Usually, the weekend grouchies don’t set in for me until about 3:00 on Sunday afternoon. This is the time I start feeling the pressure of the upcoming week and the heavy weight that comes with the realization that all of the weekend chores I hoped to accomplish are just not going to get done.
Then, it’s like a mad rush to go grocery shopping, throw in as many loads of laundry as I can before bed, tidy up the various toy-littered surfaces of the house, and make a quick plan for dinner which always ends up being a fiasco because there was no plan to begin with, and the kitchen is once again going to get destroyed, and be in need of some major clean-up for which there is Just. No. Time.
So I tend to get a bit grouchy. So does Liam. We need to be better about planning for the grouchies so we can plan to avoid them by having a better plan. Does that make sense?
Saturdays, for the most part, are bliss-filled. Today, however, was an exception to that rule. We had lots going on. And the busy-ness—I think—made it easy for the grouchies to creep in a day too early. Well, that, and having a low tolerance for likewise cranky kids.
We began the day’s events with a trip to a local farm to buy some plant starts for the garden. Liam and I were busy on the drive trying to have an important conversation about all of the things we need to do before and after our upcoming move. Have I mentioned we are buying a house? No? I’ll save it for another post.
Anyway, we were trying to take advantage of precious time spent in the same place at the same time during daylight hours. Only—we were being constantly interrupted by our chatty little girls. They were whining about being hungry, despite the fact they’d just finished eating breakfast within the past thirty minutes. They wanted the volume turned up. Turned down. Song changed. And, of course, to ask a million questions about a million different things. This was the start of the irritation that seemed to grow as the day went on.
At the farm, Nora entertained herself with a roll poly she found. But Frances insisted on being held (she’s very shy, and so crowds often overwhelm her). Juggling plants and wallets and keys and Frances was a bit of a challenge. So was maintaining my patience.
After the farm, we drove to a farmer’s market. The girls whined the entire trip about how long the drive was taking. Also, they reminded us about how they were STILL HUNGRY. The ride was made longer by the fact that Liam and I were so engaged in our conversation, that we missed our exit and added another ten minutes onto our already long-ish trip. Irritation grew a little more, like Pinnochio’s nose after his first lie.
I had high hopes for the farmer’s market. I was just saying to Liam this week that I’d like to start finding some markets since growing season has begun. It seems silly to be buying all of our produce from the grocery store when there’s much better stuff to be had. However, upon walking around the market, I soon discovered—that although there was lots of great looking produce and a variety of available items—the prices were a bit too steep. Nothing like the Lancaster market we left behind. Boo! 😩
I ended up buying three small heads of different lettuces for $9, just because we had made the trip, knowing full well that the giant box of organic salad greens from Stop and Shop are $3 cheaper and last all week long for lunches for both me and Liam, whereas the three small heads of lettuce might be able to stretch for three days. Bummer! At least the kids got a cookie snack from a kind stand owner who took pity on their frail frames. Not.
And then back in the car, post cookie, they were back at it, proclaiming they were starving again. Next up, Liam dropped us off downtown an hour before the girls and I were scheduled to take in a show at the local theater. We grabbed some lunch, which the girls just picked at, despite their self-proclaimed hunger and deprivation.
We made it to the theater on time to catch the Pinkalicious musical, which both girls were SO excited to see. However, as soon as the show began and the lights dimmed, and the extra, EXTRA loud volume of the cast members’ voices began talking and singing, Frances freaked, and jumped into my lap.
She spent the first part of the show with her head tucked into my chest, body clenched and hands covering her eyes, cowering into me from fear of all the sensory input around her. I think the energy with which she was resisting her environment caused her to pass out, because she fell asleep for the second half of the show, even though the noise was at decibel level ninety. (I should google fact-check decibel levels now to see if ninety is what I’m going for, but ain’t nobody got time for that). Nora loved the production.
After the show, we had to hang out downtown for a bit on account of the fact that we needed a lift back, and Rowan had fallen asleep at home with Liam. So, we walked to get ice cream. And then wine. And then to the library.
After Liam came to get us, we stopped at the local food co-op to pick up some meat to grill for dinner. While we were there, an employee told us about an event they were having for members that evening that involved free food. Of course, we headed back into town to take advantage of that!
The girls wanted nothing to do with the delicious falafel and chicken schwarma that was being served. Rowan enjoyed it as much as Liam and I did. That kid will eat anything. And he did too. After the free dinner, he tried to indulge in some dirt dessert. And then he was off to play in the stones and mosaic glass that was all over the ground. Because that seems like a safe idea for an art park where kids play.
After recognizing Frances’s embarrassing saggy diaper, and her imminent meltdown, we decided to head home. We were delayed a bit when Frances decided she did not want to come with us if we were not going to carry her, and then promptly parked her saggy bottom in the sidewalk, refusing to budge.
When we were nearly out of sight, Frances panicked and caught up to us. But not before a handful of parents probably judged us for threatening to leave her behind. I want to be a mindful parent. I do. But sometimes it’s just so hard.
When we finally got home and fed the girls, I poured a glass of wine and sat down in the reclining chair to read a food magazine and relax for the first time since my morning cup of coffee.
And then, the baby—who up until that point had been content and busy—decided to crawl over to me, whine until I picked him up, and then tug at my shirt repeatedly, communicating his desire to nurse.
At least if he nurses, I can relax and read, I thought. Wrong again. No matter where I moved the magazine, the baby swatted at it. If he wasn’t using his hands, he was flailing his feet at its pages. I sighed a deep, frustrated sigh, and then looked across the room to catch Liam chuckling heartily at me. Then I burst into laughter too. Apparently, it just wasn’t meant to be.
We will have to try again tomorrow. Slow down and not have so many plans. Hey! At least we have a dinner plan—meat on the grill that was meant for tonight, but never eaten on account of the change in our dinner plans. Things are looking up already!