Getting cold in here

IMG_0200The temperatures plunged this weekend, so there was not a lot of outside time — well, for me at least. My husband and the two older boys spent all Saturday at a ski mountain in the Poconos. The motivating factor was a race toward the end of the day that my 6-year-old participated in. Skiing a double black is exciting, especially when you still pronounce it doubew bwack. He came home with a medal, which was thrilling for all involved.

My weekend was…slow. Toddlers make time slow down. Except nap time, which seems to go very quickly. On Friday, everyone was out of school, so I drove all 4 to the Da Vinci Science Center in Allentown. It is a small museum, but we managed to last about 2 hours. Then it was back in the car around 12:30 to drive the hour home. The baby fell asleep along the way, but slept for long enough when I transferred him to his room that I was still able to get a quick run in on the treadmill when I got home. We hosted a playdate in late afternoon. Then dinner was a struggle. I made the kids popcorn shrimp, which I thought would be a winner. Yet they whined and whined and yelled and otherwise frayed my nerves as though I had served Brussels sprouts. Who does not like fried shrimp? Fortunately, I did not have to deal with bedtime, as we had a sitter for the evening. Some friends come over briefly before the four of us went to Cerise, one of our favorite Main Line restaurants. I had a sunchoke soup and a white fish with golden beets that my children would have hated.

Saturday we were up bright and early for the ski run. Then I played with the little ones for a while before going grocery shopping. I feel like I am becoming increasingly not fun about errands. The kids wanted the car shopping cart, the one with the yellow and red car fixed to the front, and I let my 4-year-old drive it, but it was too wide to turn comfortably in the aisles and we had to move end cap displays and this did not put me in a good mood.

Nor did chasing my toddler around a bowling birthday party that my daughter was invited to later Saturday morning. The party itself was perfectly lovely, but bowling and toddlers do not mix. I kept having to pick him up as he tried to race down the lanes, or pull balls on himself. We wound up leaving early since he was melting down for nap time.

The good news is that he did fall asleep in the car, and then he stayed asleep as I transferred him into the house, so I could work for a bit. He was up at 2:30, and then it was 3.5 straight hours of toddler time until the boys got back (with a photo of the car dashboard reading 7 degrees Farenheit!). I made everyone hot dogs but did not want them myself so I have mostly been subsisting on microwave meals this weekend, doctored up with extra veggies (in this case, the peas the kids refused to eat). I mentioned I had Valentines the next day for everyone. My husband then insisted he had to go to the store (despite my being there before) so he took the baby, and came back with flowers. So I got one too.

Sunday, I put Valentines and chocolate bars (and pink yogurt bites for the baby) at the plates for breakfast. I made heart shaped pink waffles. Then we got the kids ready and I took all 4 of them to church. Dropping the two little ones off was easy enough, but then when it was time to retrieve everyone, they were scattered all over the church campus. So there was a lot of running through the rather biting cold. Fortunately there was some good music (the Britten Te Deum) to make up for it. And an intriguing verse from Psalm 139, with a time-tracking image: In your book were written all the days that were formed for me when none of them as yet existed. The baby fell asleep in the car again so we are 3 for 3 this weekend of carseat naps. I am getting very good at carrying him upstairs in the carseat. I got a run in (sprints up to 9.6 mph!) before we had a huge debate, over lunch, of where everyone should go for the afternoon. Some people wanted to stay home. Others wanted to stay home, but then were IMG_0199intrigued at the possibility of seeing Kung Fu Panda 3. I thought some people needed hair cuts. The 4-year-old wanted to go swimming at the Y, but others felt it would be too cold. All this involved a lot of kid yelling and drama and brinkmanship. I wound up staying with the baby (who was up at 2:30 again) and the 6-year-old. We all read together for a bit, the 6-year-old reading us stories. That was nice. He really is improving, and managed to read My Truck Is Stuck, and The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog. I read some magazines while trying to keep the baby from hurting himself. I made an eggplant pizza I found in Weight Watchers magazine. Then it was kid dinner (with arguments over corn and oranges — argh!) and then my husband and I made Valentines Day dinner after the baby went to bed.

I wanted to do something special for the holiday at least, even if it was just cooking dinner, because we met each other 13 years ago today (Monday) and got engaged 12 years ago. I know the phrase the days are long and the years are short. There are definitely some long days when I am chasing a toddler around the house and it is too cold to go outside very long. That said, I do not think the years feel short. I think they feel very full. It has been a full 12 years since he proposed to me on the beach in Bermuda. I am not sure if he pictured at that moment that he would spend the morning, 12 years later, running 3 kids to the dentist, but maybe he did.

9 thoughts on “Getting cold in here

  1. Yes it definitely felt like a LONG two days! Saturday we mostly stayed home after gym/swimming in the AM, but Sunday I gave my husband a “break” (to prep food & do laundry) and took the boys to the PTM (along with the rest of the city) for FIVE HOURS. OMG. Lots of freezer meals consumed for us, too.

    1. @Ana- I know, I refused to go to the PTM precisely because I assumed it would be a madhouse. I can deal with the 4- or 6-year-old there when it’s crowded but the toddler gets overwhelmed. Being outside was just painful. I wonder if anyone went to the zoo.

  2. I agree with your thoughts about long days, short years. Our little one is only two, but they have been two very full years. Good and bad, just like anything in life.

    1. @Anne- Yep! I do not feel like it was “just yesterday” that, for instance, my 1-year-old was born. I have been pretty “on” for many of those 9000 or so hours. Many of the hours were good ones. But they have not flown swiftly by.

  3. Oh, I definitely am with you on the meal drama. It is such a huge pain, and I’m not sure which is better — forcing the “one-bite” rule or the whole “division of responsibility” (google Ellyn Satter) where the kids choose which of the foods on the table they will eat, and you just stay neutral (my kids eat nothing but bread doing that). It’s a huge source of anxiety and frustration for me. And yeah, who *doesn’t* like popcorn shrimp (or corn or oranges)?

    1. @Meghan – I know! The nice post script to that, though, is that last night we tried “Taco night.” The kids did all eat their tacos. There was some grumbling, but my husband and I were both there, and we said this is a meal we will all be able to eat together, and we did. I think there were enough components that they did like (tortillas, cheese, sour cream) and they all will eat hamburg, it just happened to have a teensy tiny bit of spice on it. So that is one more meal in the rotation. Thank goodness. It is a small rotation.

  4. These kinds of posts make me want to hug you. “Toddlers make time slow down” = YES. And to whoever invented those little toddler-sized shopping carts at the grocery stores now – I shake my angry fist at you.

  5. Totally agree about the years not seeming short at all! Though friends have told me they speed up when kids get into school (ours are still under 4). I was expecting to go stir-crazy during this cold three-day weekend, but we did pretty well. It was fun making Valentine’s cookies with my 3.5-yr-old twins, the baby took long naps for like the first time ever, there was some quality Lego-time between the three of them, and I got some moving-related items crossed off my list. That counts as success in my book!

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