Weekend notes on life with little ones

220064416_7129d54003_zIt was another full few days, with lots of highs and lows in our attempts to have some adventures with three kids age 6 and under.

We hit the Reading Fair for the second weekend in a row. The fairgrounds are about an hour from our house, and they have a good selection of kiddie rides. You pay for admission, and then ride as many times as you want. The lines were never too bad, but my 6-year-old was less into doing the rides than the games. I’m not a big fan of carnival games — trying to win cheap toys that fall apart in the car on the ride home. But that’s basically all he wanted to do. So we went fishing for plastic sharks, picked up duckies to see what prizes we won, etc, and yes, the prizes are already mostly broken. Everyone liked funnel cake, though, and there were lots of animals. This second time around we managed to catch a hay bale rolling contest. My boys were transfixed by the sight of several teams of women pushing a large hay bale around an obstacle course. Frankly, I thought it was pretty fascinating too.

In the car on the way home from church Sunday, my 6-year-old asked if I wanted to play a guessing game. OK, I said. “I’m thinking of a number between one and infinity,” he told me. Well, that narrows it down a bit. Fortunately, he likes to see me succeed in these impossible games. “367,” I said. “You’re right!” he said. “Well, it’s not that, but you’re only wrong by 10.”

My husband and I did another late night date night on Friday at Le Virtu. We’re slowly sampling all of Philadelphia’s top restaurants, one 8:45 or 9 p.m. dinner reservation at a time. Our toddler didn’t even know we’d left, and the boys were down to the screen time part of the evening, so they didn’t seem to mind. It was nice to have a conversation with no one asking for more milk. That doesn’t mean it was all high brow conversation though. One topic was why on earth parachute pants were hot on the runways this spring (clearly, women aren’t dressing for the men in their lives if they wear them).

We tried to bike along the Schuylkill River trail on Sunday afternoon. We switched the 3-year-old and 6-year-old off on the kid bike, with the other taking a turn in the Burley with the toddler. It was excruciating. The 3-year-old didn’t complain, but was so slow I would have been better off walking than biking behind him. The 6-year-old was much faster…but complained the whole time about how he didn’t like biking. The toddler just screamed for unknown reasons. So much for that attempted fun family excursion. We may have to wait a few years to bike regularly.

One of our new goldfish died. We buried him in the back yard. This is not an uncommon occurrence — we’ve been through several goldfish — but the 3-year-old was pretty upset by it. The 6-year-old asked if Jesus would come take the fish.

We traded off mornings this weekend, with each of us getting to sleep in once. Sleeping in just means to 8:30 these days, but it still felt pretty good! And I got lucky on my day to cover. We’d all been up late coming back from the fair, so no one woke up before 7:30.

I’m ending the weekend doing a little work on the back porch watching the sunset. In a few months it will be dark and cold in the evenings, so I’m trying to enjoy this possibility while it exists.

How was your weekend?

Photo courtesy flickr user Andy G

17 thoughts on “Weekend notes on life with little ones

  1. I love your weekend- it was similar to mine, only we are training an 11 week old puppy and my husband designed a doghouse. Project for next week is for the boys to help Dad build a doghouse for the puppy. Substitute “county fair” for “amusement park” in a rural area.

    If your 6 year old is enjoying that game, he may be close to appreciating Greg Tang’s Kakooma puzzles.

    1. @TG – sounds like quite an undertaking. Good luck with the new dog! All we can handle is a fish right now. Scratch that — the only pet I want to deal with right now is fish. Everyone else wants a dog but I’m pretty sure I’d be the one taking care of it.

  2. Mine, like yours, was full of ups and downs. While I could do without the downs, there were some pretty nice ups, so that’s what I’ll try to remember.

    Also, some of the downs were the sort that happen when you work through a relational problem with someone, but when you work THROUGH a problem instead of ignoring it, that’s a good thing. Short-term pain, long-term gain.

    1. @The Frugal Girl – it is a good thing. Hashing it out can hurt, but it’s often better than the alternative. Hope the cabinets are done!

      1. Doctor says it could be measles from the vaccine she had a week and a half ago. The symptoms (fever then rash, rather than fever and rash concurrently) are closer to roseola. In any case, they said she isn’t contagious and can go back to daycare tomorrow so long as she no longer has a fever. Meanwhile DH and I are taking turns entertaining her at home.

  3. Ups and downs, for sure. How was La Virtu? Trying to pick a good spot for date night in a couple of weeks–we keep going to same old favorites and I want to branch out. We exclusively go for the 8:30-8:45 dinner reservation—its easier to get the littler one to bed first, and have the sitter deal with the 3-year-old. we started that when the little one only fell asleep nursing, but have continued it because it gives me peace of mind knowing he’s asleep and out of trouble (he’s hell-bent on trying to NOT make it to his 2nd birthday).

    1. @Ana – it was good. Not my favorite ever, but pretty good Italian. I loved the dark chocolate semifreddo for dessert 🙂 Would love a list of your faves — maybe there’s some I haven’t hit yet. But yes, getting the little ones into bed before the sitter comes is key. Any screaming is a bad start to date night.

  4. I’m too tired for fancy restaurants at 9 pm
    biking also not really ever hitting the stride with that one.. some things I have less tolerance or interest in with # 2 than 3 .. when they can all bike seems great .. I went wine drinking and cupcake eating at a girlfriends and the friday night playdate thing went well… since her new boyfriend is an amazing cook.. kind of fun having someone else’s new love seduce you with his cooking.. you get the hard work of it and the comfort of knowing you are
    married and don’t have to deal with it.. we did the pool both days sat and sunday which I find more relaxing than the beach — they are contained and I can read magazines… and drink iced tea.. hubby spent the weekend policing his father’s hospital time since the man didnt’ take his blood pressure meds.. hopefully he’s now going to take them … after his little vacation in t he hospital !

    1. @Cara- wow, sorry to hear about your father-in-law’s weekend! I’m tired at 9pm too. But honestly, it doesn’t have to take that long. A dinner reservation at 9 means you can definitely be home and getting into bed at 11 as long as you don’t drag things out. We eat fast 🙂

      1. IT does make sense to get out of the house and to have their screen time preserved for say 2 hours you can really use … Mine have up to 2 hours of TV a day and it is a godsend

  5. Your bike ride story sounds familiar. I know T needs practice riding to get better at it, but it’s so painful to go out there with her (the drama!) that I don’t ever want to do it 😛 We live on a steep hill so she can’t practice at home either 🙁

    I love date nights when the kids are in bed already. We can only do it on weekends, though, otherwise we’re just too tired. Which reminds me, I need to go work on that “regular sitter date” thing.

    1. @ARC – oh yes, the drama. The boys’ personalities came through very clearly. The 3-year-old fell off 3 times and was fine with it. He was also extremely deliberate. The 6-year-old complained from the get go that “my arms feel like jelly!” and kept claiming “I can’t control the bike!” even as he went perfectly straight and fast.

      1. Heh, it’s your own personal nature vs nurture experiment. And good stories to save for later when they are reacting the exact same ways to more grown-up situations 😀

  6. I really liked your weekend write-up! I read your blog quite frequently as you are encouraging to read with the work-home-mom-life balance. Thanks for sharing.

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