It's 9:00 in the morning and I'm sitting here reveling in relative silence (punctuated by occasional screams of fury from my toddler banshee). After three weeks of visitors and fun, I suspect this might be a week of grumpy kids and a floundering mama, trying to back into our routine.
It was really fun having Kirsten and Caitlin here. I was really pleasantly surprised at how well the kids played together - three can be an awkward number but there were virtually no problems with exclusion or hurt feelings. We really made the most of the time and did a lot of activities, many of which we hadn't done before. The Minnesota Zoo really blew us away...clean, nice big enclosures, seemingly a focus on animals that actually exist in a similar climate in nature (unlike, say, elephants in Alaska!) and really well set up for kids. Nothing irritates me more than a kid/family based venue that doesn't allow for easy viewing from a stroller. We hit up the Children's Museum, a favorite of ours, a Saint Paul Saints baseball game, the local nature center, a splash pad and numerous playgrounds.
So in general, a great visit. However, I was reminded of one very important safeguard nature has put in place: it is impossible for anyone to have biological children four months apart.
The last time K & C came to visit, the girls were 2- and 6-months old. It was frankly kind of a nightmarish time of pretty much ceaseless crying from at least one baby at a time, having to stop virtually every 20 minutes during any attempt at an activity to feed or change someone, and two pretty grumpy sleep-deprived mamas. This trip was a lot better than that, but two two-year-old girls that are both somewhat...emotional can really create a lot of noise!
The girls got along in general, but each seemed to pick up habits designed to get attention from the other (and I'm not talking endearing habits here). For the most part they took turns with their tantrums apart from one extremely embarrassing moment while we browsed in Victoria's Secret when both girls completely lost it. K hightailed it out of the store with Brighton in a single stroller crying for me, while I tried to navigate a somewhat unwieldy double stroller through the crowded store (huh, who would have thought VS wasn't designed for double strollers?) while Caitlin screamed - and I mean SCREAMED - for her mom. I was literally apologizing as I went, assuring people I was trying to get out of the damn store as fast as I could, and I'm pretty sure I saw at least one twenty-something reach into her bag for an extra birth control pill.
In addition to that rather spectacular meltdown, the girls spent a lot of time arguing over ownership of various (completely ridiculous) things: "my mama" "no, MY mummy"; "my feet" "no MY feet"; and, my personal favorite "my thunder" "no, MY thunder." Yep, they argued over who the THUNDER belonged to.
To sum that up: thank you Nature for ensuring I never have a 26-month-old and a 30-month-old simultaneously.