I don't know why I felt compelled to do it. Mostly, I was afraid that the weekend would go by un-weekended. I would go back to work on Monday thinking, wow, I did a lot of laundry this weekend. Erik left with his parents to hike down the Grand Canyon on Friday. I probably then was suffering from a small case of hutzpah. Something like, not only can I watch the kids by myself for three days but I can entertain as well.
So I invited some people over.
I started small at first. My good friend Erica. She knows the kids. She understands I may disappear to put Max to sleep or might have six dog hairs in the guacamole. She has dogs too.
But then I got bold and invited three more people--one a new lecturer, another who was hired at the same time I was, and a new grad student who has kids. I didn't mention kids in the email. I figured we'd work that out later.
Of course, by Saturday morning I regretted it. Max had woken up every hour and a half the night before. While I was talking to my mom, he was trying to get my attention by screaming ever so gently in my ear. How would I talk to other people if I couldn't hear over Max? How would I cook dinner if I couldn't put him down?
Fortunately, the woman who runs the day care where we may put Max called. I had asked her to watch Max for a couple hours so she could get to know him. She said she could. Sweet. Then, Zoe's best friend's mom called to see if she could go to the park. I would miss Zoe's fine mopping skills as I tried to do Saturday housecleaning but I thought perhaps Zoe shouldn't have to focus on the party all day long. Especially since the woman with the kids hadn't responded to my email yet. Zoe may have no kids to play with later.
She went to the park. Max played while I cleaned. I picked Z up and we went to the tiny cart store (New Frontiers, where they have/had tiny carts for kids). We bought fish for the tacos and gingersnaps for dessert and salad bar for lunch.
After, we took Max over to the day care lady's. I'm glad we went. I'd had a little (lot) of trepidation about putting there. Not so much there as anywhere. But here's the deal--they do a lot of fun stuff--Kindermusik, gymnastics, sign language--that's not exactly appropriate for Max's age group but so much more fun I imagine than staying home watching me type. I felt extra ridiculous taking him there on a Saturday afternoon for no real reason. But once I got there and he launched into her arms, I knew it had been a good idea. Not only would I get ready for the party but I would stop freaking out about whether or not this woman would be good to Max.
Z and I ran home. Z swept the porch, I finished vacuuming. I cut up onions for the chipotle sour cream and cabbage for the tacos. By 4:30 when Max got home, we were all relaxed and ready for the people. We watched a half hour of Househunters. That's how ready we were.
Erica showed up first. Thank god. She fed Max hummus while I made guacamole. Zoe's friend Dain, her 15 month old brother and her mom came by. Good. Kids. The woman with the other kids had called earlier. She was coming. Could her husband come too? I said, there will be only other women there but sure why not?
Everyone was here by 5:45. The guacamole was gone by 5;50. I cooked the fish, put out the sour cream, cheese and cabbage and threw some forks on the counter and called it dinner. I couldn't eat right then because Max was melting down a little. But I took him to lie down and fed him. He returned happy. I ate my tacos and then more fish with sour cream. I don't know if the food was delicious but everyone seemed to eat, even the kids.
The adults went into the living room and the kids watched a movie. There was more chaos than usual--kids running back and forth to tell us about the movie, to freak out about the dog, to wonder where the one piece was to the Lego set, but I think the chaos was good. Without a little chaos, how would I have even known I had a weekend?
Today, a little less chaos. We're heading to the farmer's market and then I'm taking the stroller and the bike to the park to see how far this one path goes.