Friends Prevent Insanity – The Week of Play Dates

Last week my gym was closed to be re-carpeted. That meant no workout. No childcare.

And no shower. At least not until Computer Guru got home or unless I set a land speed record taking one before he left for work.

Needless to say, I was a wee bit cranky last week. Just a bit.

I apologize to anyone I was snippy to. I didn’t mean to be. I just really need my cathartic exercise to keep sane. Followed by a hot shower.

Of course, it was also the one week my sinuses decided to bother me. The one week I didn’t have access to a nice hot steam room to help clear them out.

The Tackler and Sam at my son's 3rd birthday in February.

So yeah. I LITTLE cranky.

The only thing that saved me (and most likely my children) was my Texas Family.

Having relocated here over seven years ago now, all of my immediate relatives live far far far away.  At least fourteen hours by car (ten if you count my sis in KC). Not exactly conducive to helping out if you’re having one of those days where you’re tearing your hair out or just want to crawl into a dark closet and hide away from the screaming children for just twenty minutes.

CG’s mom, Grandma G did move here a year and half ago, but she is physically and visually limited on what she can do. Her primary role when over is as The Tackler’s playmate, but two children at the same time (at least at these ages) is bit overwhelming with her issues. Luckily, we’ve made good friends here. Friends that have also reproduced their own little bundles of joy and terrorizing energy.

So last week was Play Date Week.

We kicked off Monday with me attempting to get things accomplished. The Tackler went over to his buddy Sam’s house where the boys wore each other out and I did chores while Lil Diva took a brief nap.

It was glorious.

My friend Lisa is awesome. She also graciously watched The Tackler AND Lil Diva tonight so CG and I could play in our volleyball playoffs together. Lil Diva took a three hour nap prior so was on good behavior and The Tackler went to the potty on his own for her instead of in his diaper!

Perhaps Lisa would like to baby-sit more often…

Avery and Lil Diva get reacquainted.

Tuesday we went to The Tackler’s favorite bouncy place (which was my home away from home last summer when the insane record setting heat didn’t mix well with my enormous eight months pregnant body).

He had a blast and so did Lil Diva, who loves the crazy chaos that goes on and runs around checking everything out. Lil Diva also picked up a group of admiring young girls who “ooohhhed” and “aaaaaaahhed” over her.

She’s gonna be a Diva. I can tell.

The pack.

Wednesday I finally met up with Stephanie, who has Avery (The Tackler’s age) and Lil B (born 4 days before Lil Diva). We are Play Date Challenged in that our kids’ nap schedules are never in alignment. It was great to see her as the last time we met up, neither of our little ones could even crawl. Or sit up. Our kids even gave us time to talk…..

The Tackler had the strangest fascination with B’s blond hair. He couldn’t stop petting and patting that hair. Luckily it was executed with a gentle sweetness rarely seen when he interacts with his sister.

Lil Diva hangs with B.

The play date was far too short, as they had to get home for nap time.

With too much of the morning left, I think we ventured out to Target to hang out.

Weird. I know. But my children love Target (The Tackler especially). I enjoy it because it has food (and highchairs to feed Lil Diva in) and the cool extended carts where Lil Diva sits in the seat and The Tackler crawls into the lowered part for big kids. It allows him to expend energy around the store, yet forces him to get back in the cart when I have to move. Sadly, this is the only store with carts like this or errands would be much easier to run.

Lil Diva can't believe how tall B is.

Target has saved my sanity a few times when Computer Guru was not around.

Thursday brought us to my friend Rama’s. The Tackler loves going over there to play and typically the only difficult time I have when we’re hanging out at her house is getting him to leave. I’m certain he’d live at their house if given the chance.

Lil Diva seems to be following in the pattern of her brother and loved playing there too.  Rama’s youngest, A, is five months older than Lil Diva. She loves looking at him. Following him. Playing with all of his cool toys.  The older boys raced around like crazed monkeys.  They played with cars. They played with trains.  Blocks. Puzzles.  I don’t think one toy was untouched.

The only thing I missed was the conversation time Rama and I used to have.  Both of our little ones didn’t nap while we were there (Lil Diva should’ve but was having too much fun to stop – she passed out on the car ride home) and both were demanding of our attention.

Ridin' da pony!

Ahhh, the joys of motherhood.

Which has apparently sucked my brain away, because I can’t recall what happened on Friday.  More errands I think, but other than having Grandma G over for a little bit and the Quest for a Rocket (searching for a rocket pool toy for The Tackler when all the stores have put most pool toys on clearance), I’m not sure what else we did.

That’s Mommy Brain for you.

*Thanks again to those of you who helped keep me sane last week.

Updated 7-20-11: These are playdates I will sorely miss as Sam and Rama’s oldest are starting kindergarten this fall. The Tackler must wait another year because of age cut offs.

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About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos (www.writingwithchaos.com) sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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