How much can you do in one weekend?

My husband had to attend to some family things this weekend out of town, so I was very busy with my crazy son all weekend on solo kid duty most of the time. The kid is just exhausting, I tell you. I have a great deal of respect for single parents, especially if they are parents to a child who acts like a monkey, like mine does. I had a very big espresso drink this morning and still feel like I could go to bed and sleep the rest of the day and still not be caught up.

Saturday I finally got him out of pajamas and drug him down to the pARTy in Gordon Square, a sort of street festival with a lot happening, most of which I was kind of unaware about as I hadn’t planned to go there, but with a block of time on our hands, it became the thing to do. No way was I going to attempt Parade the Circle. The last time we went, it was very frustrating as it’s just too crowded and really little ones can’t even see the parade unless you get there early and stake out a space, and waiting in one spot is not something my son is very good at, so we just skipped it, even though there was a free trolley going back and forth from Gordon Square.

We headed straight for the cartoons at the Capitol Theater, which were so very old and un-PC I felt like a bad mother for subjecting him to them. Some of them had to be war-era propaganda types, as there were military themes and even an enemy woman bird with swastika earrings. Lots of people shooting each other and shooting themselves in the head, and a lot of smoking cigarettes and violence. Mother of the Year for the Win. We left for a few minutes to get coffee and a muffin at Gypsy Beans, and then he said he was still hungry so we went to the Happy Dog for lunch, where he managed not to scream embarrassingly, break or spill anything major or make such an embarrassingly large mess that I would feel I could never return, so we are making slow progress on the restaurant front. He CANNOT sit still however, and kicked me repeatedly throughout the meal, which ended with him going up on the little stage they have in there and doing numerous pratfalls into the wall, complete with dramatic pretending to be stunned and falling down in order to make people eating at the nearby tables laugh. “It’s a little like living with Chevy Chase,” I told the one group, and they laughed. And it is, except Chevy probably wouldn’t just as soon make me laugh as whirl on me and scream NO and pummel me with his fists when I tell him it’s time to go, so it’s not quite the same.

He proclaimed, again, that he was STILL hungry even after that meal, so we walked down to Sweet Moses, where he ate a cup of chocolate ice cream at the speed of a snail. By then, full as a tick, he asked me to carry him back to the car (oh, my aching back). He fell asleep as soon as we started moving, and then of course refused to stay in bed at home for anything resembling a real nap, so he only slept for like 20 minutes. So I stuffed him back into his clothes and we drove to the Athens market, where I got the ingredients I was missing to try to make hortopita, which I have been wanting to try to make forever. Yes, including store-bought phyllo, which my Baba would recoil with horror about if she were still alive, but at least it was fresh made and not frozen. I prepped the kale and broccoli stems and leaves, put a chicken in to roast and made some sides, and then discovered I did not have any onion AT ALL of any kind. Onion would really be essential in this pita dish. I put out a call to friends and FBers but no luck, so I finally ended up making it at close to 9 at night when husband got home with the onions I requested. It came out really, really good and I was pretty proud of it, since I was sort of bastardizing and blending a couple of different recipes.

Yesterday my son “slept in” until 7:00 a.m., and then we got up, had a quick, cold breakfast (pita makes a great breakfast, by the way, I grew up on it) and got on the road to catch the Miller Ferry to Put-in-Bay, where a high school friend of mine lives and works as the Fire Chief and Postmaster, who had graciously offered to act as our host. We went up there last summer and D really liked getting a tour of the fire station and getting a ride on the fire truck around the tiny island, and he has been asking to go back every since. This was about the only day I had free to do it as my summer is getting so booked and busy, so we went on over.

Sunday is the perfect day to take a kid to the island, as all the partiers are seen doing a long walk of shame to the pier, dragging coolers and sleeping bags and wheeled luggage behind them, or waiting for hours in a hot car to board the ferry (do NOT bring your car to the island. Seriously.) back to the mainland. And there are more families and kids on a Sunday – D was clowning to entertain a younger girl in a stroller while we were waiting at the dock, and she pretended to be shy and hid under her blanket. Oy, this child, already a player.

We did about a billion things up there, including seeing details of ice fishing that made me very glad to know that I’m not missing out on anything having never done it, and of course a trip to the candy store. There was also a trip inside a very, very cold, dripping cave with a ceiling so low everyone had to bend over except the kids. And it was slippery and gross. And of course my death-phobia kicked in and I was convinced that even though it’s stood that way for hundreds of years, today would be the day there was an earthquake and the cave would collapse with us inside, a macabre tale to be told forever more of the lives lost while doing innocent sight-seeing. In other words, I hustled us out of the cave before the tour proper was actually over. He was reasonably well-behaved at lunch as well, making that two days in a row of lunches for him consisting mostly of french fries, for which my crown as MOTY was confirmed.

The only meltdown he had was at the playground, where I could see he was getting too tired to play safely and pictured being lifeflighted off the island to deal with a cracked skull and missing teeth, so I put a stop to everything so we could get back to the mainland at somewhat of a reasonable hour. The lake, unfortunately, did not seem to want us to leave, and the chop on the return ferry was so bad that several people fell down and we were all kind of looking at each other pretending not to panic at the sound of the engine GROANING and STRAINING through the waves, which we made very slow progress through. When they cut hard to starboard, we all actually thought they were turning around and going back because we couldn’t make it, but it was actually just some thoughtful navigation on their part to deal with the current, and we were almost at the mainland dock. D again fell asleep as soon as I got his straps buckled on the car seat, and I drank the rest of the morning’s coffee and zoned out to DMB all the way home, remembering the concert from last weekend and the connections I made with strangers over music, which are great connections to make.

I finally enjoyed a glass of wine on the patio last night. It’s been too cold or full of bees or a screaming child popping in and out to do that so far this year, so that was a nice ending to the weekend. I am obsessed with a book I am reading right now and all I want to do at night is read the book, but reading also makes me tired as I’ve Pavlov’d myself into a bad habit of only reading 10 minutes before bed so now I get tired whenever I read books. So the book is taking me longer to complete than I would like, which makes me think of it more.

The child was a screaming, horrible mess of a banshee this morning, which I expected after shitty naps both days this weekend. I actually had to physically stuff him into most of his clothes because he refused to get ready. This is akin to trying to put a pair of gloves on a raccoon, I think. It was Not Fun. Will take a few days before he is right again, hopefully just in time for his birthday party, which is this coming Saturday. Thank goodness the forecast does not currently include rain, since it’s supposed to rain on and off most of the week. Fingers crossed.

My sister is in from Wisconsin for the briefest of visits, so I am taking half a day off today to get something fixed on my car that is recalled, and then try to clean my abode for her visit this evening. Tomorrow we will be going to my hometown (hello, Porky’s!) and doing a little sight-seeing of the old neighborhoods with my nephew, who I am pretty sure has never been there, or at least not since he was really little – he will be a senior next year, so it’s certainly time to share some memories with him of this weird little place we grew up, even though my pool and school have been torn down and our childhood home is condemned, boarded up and awaiting its eventual demolition. Wednesday after work I am seeing an old friend and then going to talk theater with theater people, so all of that should be really good for my soul. Then there is party prep, lunch with friends and many other things on Thursday and Friday. Looking forward to this kind of busy, actually.

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