I feel like I am now a guest blogger on a blog that originally started as something that I would share equal responsibilities. Clearly that never became a reality, but I’m back to tell MY side of the story of this past weekend.
Let me start by saying that I was thrilled to give Kate a weekend home alone. I have had a lot of traveling for work the last couple months, and while it is generally “work”, I get the benefit of dinners out, social gatherings, and a lot of other things that are more relaxing than being home alone with a rambunctious almost 3-year-old. So when we were planning this weekend to go to New Hampshire, I was happy that Kate accepted the offer to have a weekend home by herself.
In truth I was also really looking forward to some time with Owen without Kate around. I think Owen and I have a fantastic relationship but when Mommy is around, he almost always gravitates towards her. So I was excited to get some undivided Owen attention (even though I was sharing him with the rest of my family we were going away with).
My sister and her family were visiting from California and we all went to my parent’s house in New Hampshire for a long weekend. My sister came with me for the car ride to help entertain Owen on the 3.5 hour drive, but he was a champ. He had a great nap and spent most of the rest of the drive just listening to his music player through his headphones (best purchase ever!). I do think that had Kate been in the car, he probably would have asked her a million more questions than he asked us.
When we got to the house we discovered the first problem. It was HOT. We knew it was going to be a very hot weekend in the 90s, and my parents don’t have air conditioning (for now) up at their weekend home (as it’s generally pretty cool in the mountains). But when we got there it was 90 degrees in the bedroom Owen was going to sleep in. We opened all the windows which cooled things off, but I knew Owen was used to cool, dark, quiet rooms. We had to leave the windows open once he went to bed and for the first time since he switched to his big boy bed, he left the room. Several times in fact. On each night. One time waking me up while screaming down the hallway at 1am because he said something scared him (which turned out to be a bug outside that he saw on the screen window). He also made a habit of getting up around 4am when the birds started chirping and sun started to rise.
While I know these aren’t really BIG issues, I was stressed. I was trying to stake my claim as the Dad who could help him maintain his generally excellent sleeping, eating, playing schedule, and I felt like I was failing.
Despite the very erratic sleep schedule at nights, the days were great and it WAS so much fun to have time with him and my family where he would come to ME and not MOMMY when he needed something, or wanted a hug, or had a question. We beat the heat at a fun children’s museum in town, playing in the kiddie pool, and playing with all the toys that Grammy and Grampy had for him. He loved to entertain the rest of my family with his singing, and asking about a million questions, and telling stories about things that he did “yesterday” (also known as months and months ago).
On Sunday we had the first of 2 dramatic incidents. I was in the basement with Owen when I heard a sound like the loudest vacuum or blower was on upstairs. I ran upstairs and to see wind and leaves whipping through the house and thought immediately that we were in the path of a tornado. Things were crashing on the floor and screens ripped out of the windows and into the house. Pretty soon the most torrential rain I have ever seen came pouring down as we raced to close the windows. It turned out it was a microburst with winds around 60-80 mph. It did not last too long, but Owen, who I was worried would be terrified, was just chilling in the basement playing the entire time we were racing around upstairs. The power went out, and when it subsided we went outside to see a ton of downed trees in the yard. The loss of power (and water, as my parent’s house is on a well) altered our schedule a bit (no tv before bed, no bath, no sound machine) but I have to say that Owen was great about the change and had a better night’s sleep that night.
On our way home Monday we had our 2nd dramatic incident as we came upon (on a VERY twisty, steep road) a motorcycle lying across the road completely engulfed in flames. We were the first car to approach this accident and the motorcycle driver, fortunately was standing on the side of the road. Long story short, the driver was injured, likely had a concussion but was otherwise ok, after a very serious accident. Unfortunately we were in an area with no cell service so we ended up (in my brother-in-law’s car) driving him down to the town where we could call 9-1-1 and have an ambulance meet us. And once again, amidst all the chaos, Owen slept in the car during all this entire thing.
We got home with no other drama and Owen was thrilled to see Mommy but couldn’t stop telling her about all the events of the weekend. As we are closer to adding another member to the family, it made me appreciate even more having some time “alone” with Owen.