Sam went off to his annual Vermont long-course swim meet for 4 days. Adding Jackson to the mix made for a very long 4 days for us. And now you know why I was so overwhelmed with the bedtime dilemma. Being up until 10 o'clock with an unhappy child and then waking up early to a dog that needed to go to the bathroom left little time for me to collect myself.
Our main mission each day was to find something to do that would exhaust the dog and occupy the children. On top of that, Reed is in time out a lot for various misdemeanors and every time he gets in trouble he cries for his daddy.
Day One: the kids were in school until 3:00, but still, this was a long afternoon. Jackson chews everything and needs constant monitoring. Both kids had a ridiculously hard time going to bed. I almost surrendered.
Day Two: took everyone hiking in City Forest. The kids only last about a mile of walking, but it was a lovely morning. The afternoon, which you already know, was spent strawberry picking, goat feeding, and ice-cream eating.
Day Three: went over to Jason's to let the kids play with Killian, Beckett and Roz. I ended up staying for 2 hours because they have a big fenced in yard that kept Jackson occupied.
Next, we decided (because why not?) to drive 45 minutes to Belfast where I had read they had a great dog park. Remember, we were operating on the idea that a tired dog = a happier family.
Great work. Jackson was beat after about an hour of non-stop action in the dog park. We grabbed lunch to eat in the car and head for home. I told everyone: "Mommy is going to watch the soccer game while all 3 of you sit quietly. Got it?"
I watched the game while the kids played with legos. Jackson did not eat any, which tells you that he was actually tired. Phew.
Then, our babysitter Marlee came over to relieve me for a much needed run. I ended up at the gym on the treadmill while the US played the 30 minutes of overtime against Ghana. I thought that if I ran really fast that maybe the US would win, but they lost. It was a heart breaker, but I felt much better after a good workout.
Day Four: Church in the morning, out to lunch with my friend April and her kids:
And then the afternoon was spent at Jen's for a playdate. Jackson played too rough with her dogs, so I tied him up after he romped for a while, but the kids had a blast playing on their play set and with their pool and hose.
It takes a village of friends to keep me going when I'm a single mom. And I kind of like the challenge of it doing it all on my own, but I was very excited to have Sam back.
3 hours earlier than we anticipated, Daddy pulled into the driveway and there was a melee of kisses and hugs.
I said to Sam: "Hi! How are you?!" He said: "I'm tired." And I laughed all the way to the couch where I sat down and took a deep breath.
This morning, the kids were thrilled to find Daddy still home! And it was raining, so everyone watched Mary Poppins while I drank coffee and took some more deep breaths.
My proudest accomplishment from Sam's absence is that I worked really hard with Skyler about bed time, and the last 2 nights she went to bed without one tear or any pleading for me. And last night, the plan continued to work with Sam home, and she fell asleep on her own (music playing) as if it was the easiest thing in the world. I know better than to think that we won't have our bumps in the road, but I've learned that consistency is the best thing for her. Sam and I are a calm, self-reliant, united team of bedtime success, and we're hoping for a summer full of watching Red Sox games while the children are sleeping.
home, daddy, home.