I’m pretty sure that yesterday was the longest day I’ve been through in a very long time. It was always going to be a long day. Like a kid waiting for Christmas we were all eagerly waiting for Matt to get home from his trip, and since he wasn’t due to arrive in town until between 8-9:00 that night it was going to be a very long wait.
It wasn’t too long into my day before I knew that it just wasn’t meant to be my day. When Matt goes on business trips he’s got a thing set up so that if there are any changes to his itinerary a message is sent to my email. Around 10:00 I started receiving notifications. And they just kept coming in every half hour or so. The notifications all said the same thing, his first flight was delayed. They kept pushing it later and later until it was scheduled to leave over two hours later than originally scheduled.
I did the math in my head and, factoring in time changes, it became obvious that Matt was probably going to miss his connecting flight. Well, at that point it was only speculation and I had a few hours before we’d know for sure so there wasn’t any sense in getting all worked up about it. Whatever happened would happen. So I went about my day, doing a lot of deep cleaning in the house in an attempt to distract myself from the hours of waiting for Matt to be home.
Finally it was time to pick up the kids. Parking has been really bad at the hockey games recently as interest in the team is beginning to pick up. Added to that the construction that is taking place around the arena and it makes for a parking nightmare. Knowing I’d want to come home as soon as Matt’s plane landed and not be at the mercy of my parents schedule my mom and I had devised a plan to drop their car off early and take my car to dinner. Which meant that we needed to leave for the game as soon as I picked up the kids from school.
I had let mom know that we needed to run home and change the kids into their hockey clothes before leaving for the game, but that it should only take a few minutes. However, I did not factor in Brendan having a complete meltdown. The afternoon started out fine. The kids got into the car and were very talkative about their days. As we drove toward home I let them prattle on about the things they had done, and when it appeared they were finished I began to lay out our plans for the evening.
I made two mistakes in telling them about the afternoon. First, I mentioned that we were going to hockey that night (which shouldn’t have been a surprise–they knew before daddy left that there were 3 games they’d have to go to while he was gone) and that daddy might not get home at the time that we thought he would because his plane was delayed.
Now, in my defense, I could have avoided telling them about Matt’s plane. However, if I didn’t tell them and Matt was not home when they knew he was supposed to be I’d be dealing with an even bigger fit than I was by telling them that afternoon. As for the hockey, they’re usually pretty good about going to the games but in the last week or so Brendan has been really resistant to going and making my life all the more miserable for it. I probably could have gotten a sitter for him, but by the time this new attitude was surfacing the tickets were already bought and I wasn’t about to waste the money because he was throwing a fit.
Needless to say, by the time we arrived at my house (less than a mile from the school) Brendan was in full blown meltdown mode. So it took me almost 20 extra minutes to get him calmed, dressed, and ready to leave for the game. I let my parents know that we were on our way and walked out the door. Without the diaper bag. That of course wasn’t discovered until much later in the afternoon (because if I’d realized it right then I would’ve been able to easily go back and get it.
When I got to my parents I realized that they weren’t quite ready to go, which was a good thing because on the way over to their house (again less than a mile from my own house) it occurred to me that my van was running on fumes and I would need to stop and get gas before we proceeded to do our car swap. So, leaving the kids with them I headed on over to the gas station up the street.
Once there I saw that it was pretty packed and that the pump I usually pull into was taken and there weren’t many options. I pulled into the only one that was easily accessible for the side of the car my tank is on and began the process of getting it running. It ended up being the slowest pump I have ever been to. After 10 minutes my tank was only just over half full. Knowing we were on a time frame I gave up on getting a full tank at that time, paid for my purchase and headed back to my parents.
By this time I had heard from Matt and he for certain had missed his connecting flight. He was trying to get another flight booked to come home but at that point wasn’t sure how soon that would be. Frustrated and stressed out we headed for dinner. At dinner (fast food–again on a time crunch) I gave the kids their choices and had them tell me what they wanted to eat. Cameron refused to decide. We put off his order until very last and when he still wouldn’t decide I chose for him. I ordered what he pretty much gets at every restaurant we go to, chicken nuggets.
I chose wrong. It wasn’t until the order was placed and paid for that he finally decided what he wanted and it wasn’t chicken nuggets. This resulted in a small temper tantrum on his part (though honestly by that time I was about ready to throw one myself) which continued through our drink choices and he ended up not getting anything to drink because I wasn’t going to make the wrong choice a second time. He pouted his way through dinner and it wasn’t until the very end that he apologized for his behavior and ate his dinner.
Back in the car we headed for the arena. It was about that time that I realized I had forgotten the diaper bag which contained not only diapers and wipes for Kaylee but video games for the entertainment of my children throughout the game as well. I figured with as well as my day had gone so far that I was in for an extremely long evening. The only plus side was that if they were too terrible that I had my own car and could leave mid-game.
Once we got to the game though things started looking up. Matt booked a new flight home that would have him arriving about an hour after we got done with the game rather than an hour before we got done. The kids were all reasonably well behaved for not having anything but hockey to occupy their evening, and best of all daddy was finally almost home.
After the game we went home and got our surprise ready for Matt. He was very surprised by his gift and hugged us over and over again. I guess he missed us just as much as we missed him. Just goes to show, while quiet solitude is nice once in a while there’s nothing quite like the chaos that we call home.