Yesterday, the salt was being rubbed in my wounds.
For starters, it was my first real day off (no outside work, no relatives to babysit) in about two weeks. It was to be the first day for my and Mads to reconnect and hang out. But, because I had some work to do for an upcoming sale, I arranged for him to go to my Dad's house for about an hour in the morning. Not for long, and I figured we could go to the library afterwards, get some new-to-us books, then come home and flip through them while sprawling out on the bed, enjoying the A/C.
I dropped him off, and headed home. Once home, I set to work. Or rather, I tried to. I needed to login to a specific online to do the work, but could. not. get the log in page to let me in. Passwords were checked, logins verified. Nothing was working. I tried for the better part of the hour to get logged in. No luck. The hour of work I planned on doing was wasted. I called Kei to see if he knew of a solution and had to choke back tears. As it was, I didn't even feel very interested in the work in the first place, and now it was going to cut into my day off with Mads even more than it already had. But I cleared my head, took a few deep breaths, and decided that I would pick up Mads and still go to the library and go about the day as planned. The work could be done after he was in bed. Time spent with him is more than worth the late-nighter.
It was 11am, time to pick up Mads and time for the library to open. Or so I thought. While closing up pages on my computer, I noticed the library information page I had left open.
Both libraries in our area opened at 1pm on Fridays. I had misread the time.
More frustration. More deep breathing. Now what? At 1pm, Mads is not a social creature. He's more of a grumbly, moody, snarly creature. Too old to take naps, but still young enough to somewhat need one. The day had been planned with that in mind. But now, the plans had imploded. Now, I had no idea what fun (and free, and A/C'd) things to do to make the most of my day off with him.
I picked him up from my Dad's and he promptly melted down when we got home. The details are unimportant, but it involved mud he had said he would vacuum up (he tracked it in), the sounds a vacuum makes when the hose sticks to the floor, and accidentally having his knee introduce itself to my chin.
In an act of desperation, I grabbed the stack of Mudpies books from his book bin (next to our bed, it's a dollar store laundry basket filled with his favorite night-time reads). I flopped on the bed, assured him it was not time to go to bed (even though Kei and I both read to him in various locations of the house, Mads still figures: mama+book+bed= certain nap time doom) and started telling him the "recipes for fun" that were in the book. The hand drawn illustrations lured him towards me and soon his head was next to mine on the pillow. I flipped the pages and stopped on a page illustrated with a plastic bottle. It was a "magic trick" that involved water, a plastic bottle of any size, a knife, and a hand. We had all of that. Excitedly, Mads and I dashed into the kitchen.
The "recipe" involved poking/cutting a small hole towards the bottom of the bottle, filling the bottle with water, then putting your palm over the top (where the lid would go) to stop the water from flowing out the cut hole. Because the air can not get into the bottle to fill the space created by the water streaming out, it simply stops the water from streaming out in the first place.
Mads was in awe.
The next hour involved cutting holes higher in other bottles, putting cups out to aim the water in to, and just laughing at the silliness of splashing each other with the water. I started to lose interest before he did, so while he was trying to use an orange Ikea cup to plug the sink (thus creating a lake for his Ikea cup with Spatula boat to sail in), I got out the bag of old crayons my Mum gave to me the other day.
Mads wasn't making a mess, plus how hard is it to clean up water, but I still tried to get him to help me break up the crayons to make new ones. No dice, he was at sail in the sink. So I peeled paper wrappers from waxy crayons and marveled at the ancient looking Crayola boxes that had become my treasure. I put 8 cupcake liners into the cupcake pan, filled each one with a different shade, and popped it into the oven (170 degrees). Around this time, Mads had enough of the water, helped me clean everything up, and made a nest of pillows on the couch to snuggle in while watching Yellow Submarine. I waited the 20 mins that I thought it would take for the crayons to melt. After checking on them, I waited another 5 mins. And another. Finally I bumped the temp to 200 degrees and waited 5 more mins. That more than did the trick! The liners were now filled with small puddles of shiny wax. Turned the oven off, took out the crayons. Let them cool for a bit while I sat with Mads. Once the movie was over, Mads and I had burgers for a late lunch. Then, he finally became interested in the crayons. We peeled the liners off and set to work, testing them out. Success! The green was really swirls of lime and forrest. The purple burst with stripes of magenta. For the second time that day, I was one cool mom.
The rest of the night went fairly well, save for the usual head butting that goes on between Kei and Mads. I finally was able to login and get done the work I needed to get done tonight while Kei gave Mads a bath.
So, we didn't make it to the library, but the day was not a waste. Thanks to a water bottle, a bag of broken crayons, and the determination to have a good day.