Monthly Archives: January 2007

The Weekend from Hell

Yeah, I know it’s Friday, but last weekend was such a crazy few days it’s taken me this long to recover. It goes something like this…

The trouble really began Thursday night when we discovered water in the cabinet under the kitchen sink. After some testing, we discovered that there was a leak somewhere in the faucet, but only when the water was actually running. So, turn off the water feeds up to the faucet (thank goodness the dishwasher was on its own feed and didn’t appear to be having a problem), and clean out and dry up the water under the sink. But this means no sink until we can fix the problem (and, of course, we have to figure out what the problem is in the first place), which we probably won’t have time to do until, well, maybe Sunday.

Friday: Mark is working from home; I take the toddler over to Little Gym; stop at the grocery store on the way home. No big deal.

Then Saturday started off promising enough, aside from all of us having these nagging colds that haven’t gone away in almost three weeks. The hubby, the toddler and I all headed down to the mall so that Mommy and Daddy could get haircuts. No problem. When Daddy was taking Sammy down to the play area, he apparently became crazy baby and kept trying to escape. But whatever. Once we were both done it was onto the next errand.

Which was Container Store. That went well enough too. We were going to grab some lunch to bring home after that, but it was still pretty early so we walked over to Buy Buy Baby just to look at some toddler beds and maybe get a kid’s bookcase (you know the kind, sort of like this). While we were there, we found some Thomas & Friends bedding. As mentioned in an earlier post, my son is Thomas obsessed. He has the books, he has the toys, and pretty soon, it appeared, he was going to have the bed linens. Well, despite not actually having a toddler bed yet (and not really needing it), we got the sheet set because they were in stock and who knows if they would be later. We also got a blanket for use in his crib. We passed on the big Thomas cushion because such a device might be used to aid in a possible escape from the crib. We didn’t realize at the time that this needn’t be a very big concern.

All’s fine when we get home. After lunch, Daddy goes to put Sammy down for his nap, and here begins the adventure. Sammy, my sweet little innocent lamb (yeah, right), has now figured out how to get out of his crib. With a swing of his foot he can push himself over, likely hit his chin on the crib’s moulding on the way down, stick the landing and run out of the room. Mark calls me up to witness this and sure enough, after a mere three attempts at this the crib doesn’t slow him down at all. Up comes foot, over goes baby, and baby runs out of the room (oh yeah, and closing the door behind him to leave a befuddled Mommy and Daddy). This changes everything. Naptime (when it happens) is going to be much more difficult. Bedtime is going to be a much more long and drawn out process, and probably happen later in the evening. The days of putting him in his crib and leaving him to fuss for a few minutes before going to sleep is now over.

And for Mommy and Daddy, it’s panic time. I run back to Buy Buy Baby, get the only toddler bed they have in stock that is boy-appropriate, as well as some more sheets, a pillow, and oh yeah, that Thomas cushion. I come home to find that there was no nap (no surprise) and Daddy has given up in exhaustion, allowing Sammy to watch his favorite TV show.

No time to really worry about that, we have to clean the house. My friend Beth promised to come over to our house with her husband and toddler for a playoff playdate (that’s a playdate during an NFL divisional playoff game, since her husband and I are big football fans). Now, when I had last seen Beth on Wednesday, I told her the game to watch was going to be the Colts/Ravens game, Saturday at 4:30. So it’s now Saturday at 4:25, and my husband and I are waiting patiently for them to arrive. And we’re waiting at 4:30. At 4:45, I start calling. By 4:50, I finally get through to Brian, Beth’s husband.

“Uh, are you coming over?” I ask.

“Beth said it was Sunday,” Brian replies.

“I told her Saturday. Colts/Ravens.”

“Hold on, talk to Beth.”

So I talk to Beth who, as a non-football person, didn’t realize that playoff games could also be on Saturday, and they have plans for that evening. Perhaps tomorrow? (Mental note: when arranging anything that has anything to do with football with Beth, clear it directly through Brian.)

“No problem,” I say, and we make arrangements to watch Pats/Chargers on Sunday.

Well, we have a nice, tidied house and nothing for dinner. We order, and I pick up, Chinese.

Then the moment of truth comes: how will we put down our now over-tired Squid boy for bed? At first, he’s quite pissy at the fact that he’s being put in his crib again (the toddler bed, although purchased, has not been assembled yet). But after one thwarted attempt at escape, he collapses from sheer exhaustion.


Mark and I, now paranoid that Sammy will take a header out of his crib upon awakening, get up early and make sure we’re showered and dressed before Sammy’s fully awake. During our morning routine, Mark has an epiphany: the kitchen sink (which mind you, hasn’t been operational since Thursday night), is attached at the spout to a hose that one can pull out to use as a spray (instead of traditional sinks where the spray hose is to the side of the actual tap). Perhaps that’s what’s loose. A little experiment and voila! That is, indeed, what was wrong with the faucet the entire time. A five minute fix we could’ve done when we had noticed the problem on Thursday, and we didn’t even have to crawl under the sink to fix it. We come away from the experience relieved that we have our kitchen sink back and feeling like idiots.

Much of the rest of the morning is spent on baby patrol. We hope we can tire him out to the point where he’ll voluntarily take a nap, but I’m not counting on it. Mark thinks that Sammy won’t be able to climb out of his pack n’ play, but I have my doubts. He leaves that as a fallback option if we can’t get him to nap in his crib.

After lunch, I try to put Sammy down for his nap. To encourage the nap, I lie down on the floor next to the crib and prepare to take a nap myself, you know, as an example. Doesn’t work. At one point, he gets so pissy that he bounces on his mattress and gets enough air to hurl himself, head first, out of the crib towards the floor. I swing around and break his fall just before his head makes contact. No nap today.

So we head back downstairs. Sunday is going to go about as well as Saturday, it seems. Then I hear it.


Oh, shit.

About a minute later… chirp

A smoke detector’s battery is running low. I listen closely. Shit. It’s coming from upstairs.

Now, I know what you’re going to say. We should’ve changed the batteries when we changed the clocks. And you’d think that I, as a former firefighter, would know this. Well, I do, but when I tell you what it takes to actually change the batteries on our top floor, you’ll understand why we let that little detail slip (besides, the batteries are just a backup; the smoke detectors are actually powered by the AC).

Time to put Mark’s theory about the pack n’ play to the test. And it appears that he may be correct: we put Sammy in (along with his favorite Thomas story book) and he sits happily paging through said book. Meanwhile, Mark and I go downstairs to schlep the 12′ ladder (Mark thinks it’s 16′, but there’s no way it’s twice as long as our 8′ ladder) up two flights of stairs to our third story where the smoke detectors are installed on vaulted ceilings. Personally, I hate vaulted ceilings, and this is a big reason why. We go from room to room replacing ALL of the batteries in ALL of the smoke detectors on the floor, just so we don’t have to do this again until April (or maybe July). And then we schlep the 12′ ladder back down two flights of stairs (now, mind you, this is not an easy process in a townhouse with narrow staircases and tight turns which is why it takes two of us; that and the ladder is damn heavy) back to the garage. (Did I mention that we were sick?)

Sammy’s still comfortable in his pack n’ play, so we go to the kitchen to clean ourselves up. I’ll get Sammy out of his pack n’ play once I wash my hands… oops, no matter! Here comes Sammy toddling into the kitchen now. Yes, he can get out of his pack n’ play at will. There goes that theory.

At this point, after all this activity, Mark and I each need showers before Beth and crew arrive. I go first. Then Mark. He comes downstairs with news. Let’s just say that our cats have given us another chore to do that involves cleaning our comforter (and that’s ALL I’m going to say!). At least it’s been warm out. We can do without the comforter for a day or so.

It is now 4:30, and Beth and company come by for the game, which works out well enough, but I’m so busy being referee to the toddlers that I’m barely aware of the game, let alone actually following what is going on. The best part was watching the toddlers eat pizza at Sammy’s kid-sized table and chairs. I spend much of the time picking pizza up off of the floor, but at least they’re entertaining each other and not wreaking too much havoc.

After half-time, Beth, Ben and Brian head home as it’s becoming clear that our nap-deprived son is getting quite over-tired. Again it’s exhaustion that keeps him in his crib, and he goes to sleep without incident.

Now it’s Monday, and first on the agenda is that little thing with the cats vs. comforter. I take it over to the laundromat (since our washing machine isn’t big enough to handle it) and actually enjoy sitting and reading, undisturbed, for a little more than an hour. Once I come home, I put together the toddler bed (still hoping we don’t have to actually transition Sammy to it during the weekend) just so it’s available. We all come downstairs for lunch, and oh shit! I forgot I was going to take Sammy to Little Gym since I start a new job on Tuesday and can’t take him to his last class on our normal Friday! I look at the schedule and hope that maybe my mom can take him on Wednesday when she’s watching him (which she does, thank goodness).

On the nap front, I again try to do the lie next to the crib thing. I let him bring his hardbound Thomas story book into his crib, which he occasionally “drops” and I retrieve and hand back to him. Getting bored with this game, he flings it towards me where the corner nails me in the ankle. No nap today, and he is now Daddy’s problem!

The day passes and at last, the long, LONG weekend starts to wind down. It was now time to focus on all the issues that would be facing us during the coming week: me starting a full-time job, informing Sammy’s daycare of his new ability to escape the dreaded crib, and relatives coming to visit. But you know, I’ll take all that chaos compared to the weekend where everything that could go wrong seemingly did!