So, we've made it through the first weekend of Craig's time away. As much as the morning and bedtime rushes are difficult during the week, weekends are harder because you have to manage three meals a day and a full 12 hours of "entertaining". You have to discipline, monitor screen time (ha!), keep the peace, and negotiate leaving the house with children that get all crazy the moment we walk out the door. Twenty-four hours of that kind of activity across two days can make a weekend not feel all that weekendy. I was almost relieved to come into work today.
The weekend wasn't horrible, but it wasn't outstanding, either. We had our fun on Friday night, but then Saturday we had a whole day to fill. Initially we'd been talking about going to Strong National Museum of Play since one of the perks of my employment is free admission this month. I really should have remembered that sooner, honestly, but at least it's something to do on one of these weekends alone. However, this weekend a new exhibit opened and I was worried it might be extra crazy. It's also hard with Carter's naps and Jacob's gluten issues because finding a time where we don't cut into nap too much but also don't have to be there for a meal is very difficult. It's not that we can't bring Jacob food and eat there (none of the museum's food options are great for him), but it's just something I'd like to avoid if at all possible. Oh, and then one of Jacob's friends basically demanded our phone number so we could set up a playdate, and made mention that they have a membership. So, now, Jacob has it in his head that we could meet up with her next Saturday. We'll see if her dad contacts me, but it's still on the agenda for next weekend for us regardless since we couldn't make it work this weekend. We couldn't really get ourselves moving to go early Saturday morning, and then we had sort of discussed going to Jacob's favorite restaurant for dinner since Saturday was their 10th anniversary. Since we didn't do the museum, I decided we should try for the restaurant, even though we were there pretty recently, it's more than a half hour away, I was alone with two kids, and the weather was crappy.
Well, the second we pulled out of the driveway it started downpouring. The drive wasn't great, I second-guessed my route (it was fine and we got there OK, I just confused myself), and then the boys were absolutely crazy once we got there. On the bright side, we won a "door prize" of a dozen cookies, which we will be using next time we have four of us in the house to eat them! Anyway, we ate our dinner (a gluten-free Buffalo chicken panini for me, and pizza for the boys--strategically chosen to provide us with another meal this week) and Jacob was incessantly asking about getting cookies. I think he was concerned because there were so few in the display, but I know they usually have them in the freezer, too, so I wasn't rushing. He kept trying to get up and order without me, and he was driving me nuts. Eventually Carter was the only one eating so we stepped away from the booth for a second to strategize our half dozen selection. At some point after that, both kids were chasing one another around the tiny eating area, being loud and distracting. Carter was banging on the display glass and the candy machines. Once we got the container of cookies, Jacob kept trying to grab them, ripping the styrofoam closure in the process. Oh, and there were also free cookies as part of the celebration, which Jacob kept trying to get to, but I never did get a chance to ask if we could have any of those because Carter kept trying to go out the front door, and eventually succeeded while I was trying to keep Jacob from digging into one set of cookies or another. It was crazy. And frustrating. And I totally felt like an incompetent mom because it looks like I can't control my kids. Sigh. I made Jacob come out with me when Carter exited, and that was that. No free cookies, and no paid-for cookies that night either. Home, a little playtime (though no TV), some Grandpa-Grandma FaceTime, and off to bed. I was had had enough.
Yesterday wasn't much better. Carter freaked out again about going to Sunday School, even though he loved it last time and (of course) loved it again this time. We had to go to Wegmans afterward, which was frustrating as usual as the kids are forever bugging each other, touching everything, and being generally disruptive. Luckily, meals went smoothly. Carter's nap was short and the Bills lost, but Team Canada won their first game after a pretty good comeback. The day was full of a lot of refereeing between the boys, though, and Jacob's video games were quite limited due to behavior, but he kept himself occupied pretty well, and in the end we managed okay. Oh, and I HAD to clean up the living room after bedtime. The general mess around the house has started to get to me--toys, school papers, anything Craig didn't sort before he left, kitchen clutter, whatever...it was giving me anxiety. So I did a massive sweep of the living room and cleaned up everything. Any toys that were out will need to be re-found. Sounds cruel, but it needed to happen. Jacob noticed first thing this morning and liked how open the room looked, and Carter didn't even notice. Jacob's room is next, because he has Playmobil guys scattered over more than half of the open floor space in his room. We've been talking about organizing them for months, and it may just have to happen this week before I clear it all out and hold it until we find a solution. I really need to dust and vacuum badly, too, but finding the energy for that at the end of the day is very hard. At least I did get the fall decorations up this weekend, so I'm a few days ahead of the game on that.
So, I'm definitely missing Craig but we're surviving. It's nice to have some time with the boys, though, but man do I wish they'd get along! Or listen. Or stop talking for even a minute. But boy, do I love them.