at least not when he’s four and a half!

It’s always a challenge to know what specifically is up with the wee ones when they’ve been out of my control. I know bits and pieces, of course, because I ask, but without knowing that they’ve been following out routine, all bets are off.

Last night, they spent the night at my parents’ house – pictures and a post on Mister Man’s half birthday party to come, I promise – because I do yoga every Saturday morning, and my husband is a Scholastic Bowl coach and had a tournament where he left hours before I woke up for my 8am class (and still isn’t home yet). My parents graciously volunteer to have the wee ones do sleepovers whenever we run into this situation, which I dearly appreciate.

I know what they ate for dinner last night, because I fed them. What they did once they got to Grandma and Grandpa’s house, who knows. My mom claims they were both in bed at 7:30 – which is well past their bedtimes, as is – and were up by 6, not surprisingly an hour plus before they usually wake up. When I picked them up after yoga at 9:30, Little Miss was being given a refill on her “tea party” by my dad, which meant another handful of mini-marshmallows, raisins and Goldfish into her bowl to run back to the family room to eat. We won’t talk about how many of my rules are being broken right there – plus, who eats marshmallows and Goldfish together? Yuck!

At least we did get home in time for our playdate that wouldn’t end. When I got to my parents’ house, both children were still in pjs and had no interest in leaving, nor knowledge that they had to go home. My parents don’t – or won’t – get it, which irritates me, as I try to explain why I do things the way I do. Leaving was not pleasant, which I think my parents intentionally do so that my kids will prefer them and their house over their parents and their home.

But I digress (as usual)….

Both kids had fun playing with my friend and her children. We don’t see them often, as they live a half hour away and we don’t have any activities that overlap anymore. She raises her kids differently than I do, and that’s fine. I forget that there are times when it’s better to meet at a neutral location or her house though. A neutral location – my initial suggestion of a park was laughed at – was unfortunately not possible since it isn’t even 40 degrees and has been raining and snowing all day. Actually, for most of the last three days.

When we had agreed to a playdate, we talked about playing for awhile in the morning then having lunch, since both my kids need to nap. Her kids don’t nap, although her son is younger than Little Miss by a few weeks. And she’s really laid back, again not a bad thing, just different.

When they got here a little before 11, I could tell the wee ones were already tired from getting up so early, but they did a good job of being host and hostess. Little Miss and her son were inseparable, finding books and “reading” them together and talking about the story and so forth. Mister Man and the daughter took a bit longer to find common ground, as she only wanted to play Duck Duck Goose and he wanted to do a board game. Play Dough worked as a compromise, fortunately, and everyone had a great time. In fact, they sat at the kitchen table playing with the different colors and activities until it was time for me to make lunch.

No two children ate the same thing, of course. Didn’t you know I was a short order cook? Little Miss originally wanted a grilled cheese but then decided she wanted the leftover orange-fused French toast with Nutella from last night. The daughter is a picky eater and would only eat a hot dog or bologna, neither of which we have in the house, or plain bread with a stick of string cheese. Two down. Mister Man and the son both went for chicken dinosaurs. Until her son saw Little Miss’s French toast. Unfortunately, that part of the kitchen was closed, but he made do with Italian bread toasted and slathered with Nutella.

After lunch, our usual routine is to put dishes away, wash our hands and faces, and go up for naps. My friend’s kids finished eating before mine did, so they ran off to play. My kids soon joined them. Around 1:05, my friend asked what time my kids usually went for a nap. I told her that Little Miss usually went down between 12:45 and 1pm, and Mister Man at the same time or shortly after her. She then announced that they would leave in fifteen minutes.

At that point, I realized Mister Man had disappeared. Ok, I realized it because I heard a wail from upstairs. He was looking for his baby (a Thomas pillow) and Douglas Kitty and grey teddy bear. I had seen him take them out of his room – where they usually live – but didn’t know where he’d left them. A search ensued. He finally found them after my friend spotted them on a dining room chair.

He disappeared again, I assumed to put them back in his room. I was half right. He’d put them in his room… and then laid down to take his nap. Now if this is me and a friend’s child just put himself to sleep, I do a quick pick up of toys and head out. Like I said, my friend is really laid back.

By the time she decides clean up time means clean up, her kids have both disappeared into our basement. As with all kids, they were enthralled with the slide and roller coaster. Her “two more times, then we’re leaving” went on for 10 or 15 times. She and her daughter finally made it upstairs, but when I tried to direct her son upstairs, he was having none of it. Knowing she doesn’t correct him, I wasn’t about to start at that point. Instead, Little Miss and I went upstairs, leaving him in the basement.

He did finally make it upstairs after realizing we were really leaving him down there. Shoes went on, lollipops were given to Little Miss and left for Mister Man, and they were out the door. At 1:50.

Little Miss quickly went potty (with a dry diaper!) and into bed for her nap. As I started to clean up the mess from our playdate, I heard Mister Man come out of his room. He had to go potty, too. After he went, he came down and told me he felt sick.

Needless to say, I spent the next twenty minutes upstairs with him, trying to figure out if he was going to throw up or not (please no, I so don’t do puke!). Fortunately, he has no fever, but he told me he went potty, and his stomach still hurt (generally, solution #1), and then he got a drink and it still hurt. He wasn’t still hungry, but it felt yucky and was hurting, too. I finally gave him a little Motrin, hoping that it would help him sleep at least and maybe take away some of the pain.

He wasn’t up to laying down in his bed to nap yet, and he didn’t want to try to lay down in mine. I had him lay down and show me where his tummy hurt. He pointed right in the middle, and I started gently rubbing in circles to see if I could ease the pain. He said that made it feel a little better. I could tell it was helping, because his eyes were starting to involuntarily close, then open a little, then close again. Within a few minutes, he was out like a light, laying in the middle of the hallway in a most uncomfortable looking position.

I debated leaving him there and letting him sleep in the hallway with a blanket. I didn’t want to wake him by carrying him into his room, but then I remembered this is the child who’s practically comatose when sleeping. All I got was a slight murmur as I laid him in his bed, and he’s snuggled warm as a bug in a rug.

The only bummer? In 3 ½ hours, I have an engagement party for the wedding I’m in. My parents have a charity even they’re going to tonight, of all nights, as is my sister and an aunt and uncle. One of the women from the babysitting co-op is scheduled to come over at 5 to watch them until we get home.

I haven’t called her to cancel yet, but if he’s off when he wakes up, I think I’m going stag to the engagement party!

And yes, I do have a picture of Mister Man sleeping in the hallway, but I need to wrap the present, fix dinner for the kids, and get ready to head to the party. Knock on wood, Mister Man will be fine and was just overtired.

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