I started writing this on Sunday afternoon, and it already felt like midnight at 5 p.m. Hello time change. I guess the upside is theoretically I could run outside some mornings before getting the kids going, but this has been logistically difficult to pull off.
The kids have done pretty well with the time change. The 3-year-old fell asleep in the car at 6:15 p.m. on Sunday evening, but then he slept the whole night until 6 a.m. This is even more impressive from the perspective that he’d been in the car for 2 hours prior to falling asleep, but he did not wake up in the middle of the night hungry (or wet, thankfully).
Random headed-toward-the-solstice note: As part of the NaNoWriMo novel I’ve been writing I have researched how the light behaves in far northern locations. I was fascinated to see that in Tromsø, Norway, where there is 24-hour polar darkness around the solstice, once the sun rises in mid-January, you start adding daylight hours fast. It makes sense — you have to get up to 24 hours of light by the beginning of June, a mere 4.5 months hence — but it’s fun to imagine going from no light to hours of it in the span of a few weeks. An explosion of light.
But right now we’re in the contraction of darkness. Over there and here too.
Anyway, it was a reasonable weekend. On Friday night, we all went out to dinner together. The 3-year-old is starting to be a reasonable restaurant dinner companion, though that particular night he fought bedtime tooth and nail after waking up way too early that morning. Also cutting into sleep: I had gotten myself into bed on time Friday night, only to be woken up at 11:15 p.m. when my phone started beeping about a tornado warning. I stayed awake through the bulk of the storm, watching the weather to see where it was passing (a bit north of us, thankfully).
The 9-year-old’s flag football game was canceled due to the storm, so my husband took all four kids to the local children’s museum while I rehearsed with my chamber choir ahead of our Sunday performance. They came back just in time for family photos. Yana, photographer extraordinaire, came from New Jersey to take them. I know we’re going to be really happy to have them — taken in peak fall color! — and so I think of family photos as a gift to my future self. I’m glad Yana also has kids, as at one point the 3-year-old started thinking it would be fun to sneak up on her and run into her, and at another point he dropped his pants to show her his band-aid from the rabies shots (see last week’s post if you missed this saga).
I then spent the next 3 hours playing with the 3-year-old while my husband took our daughter to a swim meet (where they managed to leave her shoes…how?? Apparently he carried her barefoot to the car and no one managed to figure it out…). We built a fire in the fire pit after the little kids went to bed.
On Sunday, after I cooked family breakfast (mushroom omelette and cinnamon rolls), I went to church for rehearsal and then our performance of Howells’ Requiem during the service. This was fairly challenging music, but now that I’ve learned it I really love it.
After, my husband decided to take the 11-year-old and 3-year-old all the way to the Bronx Zoo. We had discussed doing this earlier in the fall, but it had never really happened, so he decided to seize the moment, though they got less than 2 hours there between the traffic en route, and then the zoo closing at 4:30 p.m., with exhibits closing 30 minutes prior.
I didn’t go to the zoo, partly because I didn’t want to (it seemed like a lot of driving for 2 hours…), and partly because the 9-year-old wanted to go to a really good friend’s birthday party at Dave & Busters at a local mall. In my ideal scenario, I was going to run while he was there, but the 7-year-old elected not to go to the zoo either, so she was going to be part of any plans. At first I imagined that she could bike on the Schuylkill River Trail while I ran, but then she wasn’t comfortable enough with her non-training wheels bike. Then I had the idea that we’d use her scooter, but she just wasn’t into it and complained the whole time. So we went back to the mall and shopped at The Children’s Place before waiting as the 9-year-old seemed to take forever to make his prize selections.
After that, however, the two kids in my possession were happy to entertain themselves, so I did some work, and relaxed, until my husband came back with the two other kids (the 3-year-old sound asleep), and our sitter showed up around 6:30 p.m. We went on a Sunday date night to a special lobster fest a local restaurant was hosting. It’s a BYOB place, so we brought a bottle we’d ordered during our recent Oregon wineries trip.
So, reviewing the weekend, the lobster dinner, singing Howells’ Requiem, and getting family photos taken — these were all good things. The kids each got to do something they wanted (children’s museum for 7-year-old and 3-year-old; birthday party for 9-year-old and Bronx Zoo for 11-year-old), if they all had to do something they weren’t thrilled about either. Exercise was a wash. It would have been a great weekend for running long but I pretty much just managed my mile a day. Oh well.
Photo: November flowers, in full bloom