Let me set the scene for you: It's raining, and it has been raining off and on all weekend. As a result, Max is going a bit stir-crazy, and if he is on the train to Crazy Town, you can bet that there are boarding passes for each and every one of us to ride with him. Plus, Maggie is sickly. Snotty, sneezy, stuffed-up, and deeply unimpressed. I am having to suction out her nose with that suction bulb thing on an hourly basis, and Maggie is of the firmly held opinion that I am torturing her. I actually see her point -- if that bulb thing doesn't look like a medieval torture device, then I don't know what does. Max is solicitous of Maggie's well-being after a fashion -- he says "Bless you, Maggie!" when she sneezes, he advises me to clean her when snot or barf comes out of her, and he gives her his least-desired toys to play with. His altruism does not extend to giving up parental time and attention that should be his, however, and despite our differences over the suction bulb, Maggie is loath to be parted from me.
Now, having given you the background, allow me to take you on a journey, through all of our clever yet flawed attempts to resist succumbing to madness. Ready? All buckled in, are you? Here we go:
1)Seeing that it was raining, Ian and I thought that we would spend part of Saturday afternoon at the Library. It would be an outing, there would be the excitement of new books and new scenery without the spending of money, and we would be out of the rain. However, Max is two. The outing simply irritated him, because he did not like the sensation of getting rained on while getting in and out of the car. The new books registered with him not at all -- I don't think he looked twice at a single literary gem, and he simply said "no no no!" when we suggested any. Instead, Max viewed the books as exciting rows of obstacles, and he siphoned off his cabin fever by running through the aisles at top speed, rounding corners with abandon and hooting like a maniacal owl. We spent so much time in the rain, loading and unloading children from the car, that we may as well have just gone to the park and gotten wet. Plus, I am pretty sure that Max's picture is now behind the librarians' desk, under the heading, "Peace and Quiet Killer #1".
2)We have had on-again, off-again issues with Max's sleep routine ever since ... well, since forever. Our plot to bump his bedtime up with the ending of daylight saving was a success, despite its premature execution, and he has been in bed asleep by nine every night since the time change. However, he has been waking up correspondingly earlier, and has been treating us to a bonus night-waking every night for at least three weeks. I theorized that maybe Ian and I were waking him when we came to bed, since he fell asleep with a little light on, and we turned it off when we came to bed. Perhaps, if we put him to sleep without the light, its absence would not cause so much consternation later. It's a good theory, right? I was proud of it. I was actually nearly certain I was right. So we put him to bed in the dark on Friday. He fussed about it a little, but went to sleep fairly quickly, and I prepared to bask in the cleverness. However, Max awoke an hour later, found himself alone in the dark, and panicked. Not only did he come into bed with us earlier than ever, but he woke up every hour for the rest of the night, checking to make sure that he wasn't alone and abandoned again.
3)To celebrate this spectacular failure, I came up with yet another plan last night. We took the side off of Max's crib and moved his bed right up against ours, so that his mattress was touching ours. This would allow him to feel that he was in bed with us, since he was sleeping right beside me, but would leave him and us with our own space. This theory sort of panned out -- Max woke up around three and tried to climb over into the big bed, I tried to cuddle him back to sleep in his own bed, and he ended up somewhere in the middle. I spent the rest of the night fretting that he would fall into the crack between the two beds and never be heard from again, despite the fact that the crack is small enough that I don't even think one of Max's hairs could fall through it. It didn't matter, anyway, though, because Maggie was awake for the next hour and a half, trying to nurse and then squawking angrily when her stuffy nose prevented breathing. Finally, around six, she let out a giant sneeze ("Bless you, Maggie!" emanated from the depths of the crack between the crib and the bed immediately afterwards, startling me and signalling Max's awakening) and then fell deeply asleep. This pleased me, until I discovered that the sneeze had masked the sound of a giant poop being expelled. Diaper, pajamas (hers and mine), sheets, and blankets were all soiled, meaning that sleep time was officially over. I have had to burn the sheets, blankets, clothing, and mattress, and I have assigned Max the task of salting the earth where they stood. And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is how we spent our weekend.