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When Baby and Mommy are Done

We had a very long day. We started off with a family dance party and contest. We all get together, put the iPod on shuffle and dance. After breakfast — and after Big Girl came in first– we went on the boat, rafting up with seven other boats. (All the boats tie up next to each other.) Both girls swam in the bay and generally ran around. We left around 2:15 because Little Girl a birthday party. It was at one of those kid gyms where she ran around like a wind up toy, and in the process jumped into someone else and split open her lip. (Have I mentioned that this kid seems to be a danger magnet?!?) She got hysterical, but settled down. Still, it wasn’t too soon after that we left in full meltdown mode. When we got home we picked up Big Girl and my husband and went to dinner at out friends’ house. Did you notice something was missing from this list? Yes, that’s right. No nap.

I knew going into the day it was going to be tough. I was hoping Little Girl would nap going to or coming from the birthday — a good 30 minute drive from our house. But it wasn’t to be. She was too excited on the way there. She kept talking about how she was going to sing Happy Birthday to her friend. She was too excited on the way home, too. She knew she was going to see our friends’ daughter, who she loves like a sister.

So we get to their house and Little Girl is a lunatic. She’s climbing and sliding and tossing puzzles. She’s playing chase around the house with her little friend. She’s not listening. And then she slid off the couch yet again when I had already told her several times to stop. Thunk! Right into my head. I was so angry. I picked her up and put her on a time out. I wasn’t really angry at her. (Well, maybe a little.) I was mostly mad at myself.

I should have skipped the dinner. I should have stayed home with the baby and let her go to sleep. Or I should have, when I got a birthday invitation for 3 p.m. — right in the middle of our usual 2 until 5 p.m. naptime — declined with an explanation and thanks. Or I should have begged off of the boat earlier in the day and put her in for a noon nap. I could have done several smart things. But instead I went with the stupid option: Do everything and the heck with the nap. I had to have it all. I had to push it. And the result was a toddler and a mommy who were both just DONE.

After the head bonking accident, I chased Little Girl around for a few more minutes until I realized that I was just not having fun. She was into everything. She was clumsy and falling into things. It was time to leave. So I picked up Little Girl and left my husband and Big Girl there. My friend graciously offered to drive both of them home. She was asleep in her carseat by the time we rounded their corner. She transferred beautifully into the crib — she was THAT tired. She woke up briefly as I changed her into her jammies, but went right back to sleep. I think that’s where I am headed, too…

How do you handle packed weekends? What would you have done with so many invitations in one day? Any suggestions?

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