I can't believe a week has gone by already and nary a peep from the Gardners. Well, let me just say that it's not you, it's us and that this has been the longest weekend ever. How long was it? Well, it's Tuesday night and it still isn't over.
So Chris tells me about 4 months ago that Valentine's weekend she's going out Scrapbooking with my sister. (You know, that's where you take perfectly good pictures, cut them apart, then glue them back together in book format...) Those of you who aren't familiar with the process may think that this would be a casual evening affair and not an ingredient in the recipe for disaster. However, if you know my wife, then it's no surprise that this was actually a 36 hour commitment.
Friday night to Sunday morning just me and the kids. This would be a first. Can you hear my sweat? It's screaming, "Mayday-Mayday!"
So as the clock was winding down, Daddy did what Daddy does best... DELEGATE! The plan was solid. Friday night, go to an IceHogs game afterwhich the kids would stay at their friend's house, that would take us straight to bedtime. The next day, GrandMa and GrandPa offered to come out and watch the kids while I played a guitar nooner at our local coffeeshop, then we'd go swimming at the Y for the afternoon, skip on to movie night at church (pizza and childcare provided) Boom it's bedtime Saturday night. Sunday morning we drive to church, mommy comes home, game set match. Daddy becomes a rockstar without even cooking a meal and if everything went right, I could even make it out for some Karaoke.
That was the plan. The plan was good.
Except... Friday afternoon, I got a call from the friend with whom we were going to the hockey game saying that his son had just been admitted to the hospital. He was still planning on going with his daughter, but that meant that, A) we'd be sitting in the cubscout section without a cubscout, and B) Karaoke was out. Fine. We were still on schedule, and that's what was really important here... not the fact that his son had to go through the ER.
So the kids first hockey game was fun. They learned the difference between watching The Mighty Ducks on TV and the absolute sensory overload of a stadium filled with nearly six thousand people. So they got the gist of the game and what was going on, but really when you're in that kind of new situation you focus on something small. Something familiar. Something you can wrap your mind around. As far as my kids were concerned, the whole experience revolved around finding, obtaining, and enjoying a sno-cone. Suffering through the noise, the spectacle, and the culture shock would all be worth it if daddy would just buy them a $4 cup of flavored ice and they could leave with blue-raspberry stained lips. Honestly, I wouldn't have caved, especially after Habtamu pulled the "Daddy I need to go potty really bad right now, oh wait, looks like they're selling sno-cones out here" routine, except my friend's daughter came back with one so I didn't have a leg to stand on. I was either going to be the biggest ass-hat in the stadium, or the savior of the free world. Well, savior of HALF the free world because I made them split one, which took a fair bit of negotiating.
Saturday started well, Grandma and Grandpa came over before the kids had really even started rolling. Their plan was to come out to the coffeeshop with the kids, eat, and listen to the end of my set. And although Habtamu will eat anything that once moo'ed, clucked or squealed (current favorite is BBQ Pork,) Yordi hasn't found any of the gourmet sandwiches the shop offers to her liking. She does, however like burritos, and specifically the no frills 99 cent ones at TacoBell. So I'm standing there, doing my thing, playing guitar and I see my family sit down, and Yordanos pulls out a styrofoam container the size of her head which no doubt holds an authentic Mexican burrito from the authentic Mexican place next door. Well, once the foil was pulled back and she realized that this was not just a really big bean and cheese burrito, she didn't want to have anything to do with it. We peer pressured her into eating half of it, but it did occur to me that I don't even know what was in it. It could have been one of them cow tongue and goat cheese burritos for all I know, and that certainly would have tasted 'unfamiliar' to her.
So I finish up my 'gig' and we packed our stuff and headed to the YMCA for an afternoon of swimming. Both kids are becoming strong swimmers. H gets more graceful and confident in the water every day. Yordi can do most everything the big kids do, albeit a little slower. Being able to navigate unassisted in the deep end is a big motivator for both of them. We got out and headed to church for pizza and a movie, and that's when my headache began. I figured it was just the chlorine, but by the end of movie I was actually feeling chills and nausea, so I scooped up the kids and we went home. It was close enough to bedtime that there wasn't any complaining.
Our Sunday schedule went as planned (I woke up feeling pretty good) and we met back up Chris at home after church. Mommy got 'no love' from the children when we walked in the door, mainly because H was still grousing about his balloon not being blue like Y's, and Y only shows affection on her own terms. It doesn't matter how you explain or rationalize through it though, it's still rude and I know it hurt Chris. H came around later and had a private moment with Chris, I don't know if Y ever did, as she often follows suit with her brother but in this case, she missed the cue.
So you're probably thinking, "Well, I wouldn't call that a disaster, it could have been much worse." I'll get more into it in the next post, but here's the teaser...
My big mistake here was assuming that 'the plan' was over on Sunday morning.