It was not promising to be a good day.
First of all, I woke up in a grumpy mood, having had my sleep interrupted for the second night in a row by the baby. I feel greedy for expecting her to sleep regularly through the night, but since she has been giving me 7 hours of sleep on a regular basis, the nights when she struggles to make it through, wakes, wails, and is easily comforted by nursing, seem, well, demanding.
Secondly, I’d had three days of Q testing me. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, J worked 11 to 7 and I was mostly alone with the kids. After three days, I wanted to hit my head against the wall to distract me from my desire to throttle Q. It was only on Sunday that we had a flashback to my mother’s theory that “when a normally pleasant child is acting like a pill, it’s often because they’re about to make some sort of a breakthrough.” Q is potty training, and while he never tells us he needs to go, unless he’s naked and making conversation as he pads off to the potty, he is actually doing quite well. Preschool starts tomorrow, and likely the stress of the two events is building on his little shoulders in ways I’m too oblivious to notice, except in terms of his behavior being so much more trying than usual.
By Monday, while I was feeling compassion for my little boy, I was starting to suspect I was going to have a nervous breakdown.
My husband, no fool, asked what would I like to do: have some time to myself, divide the kids between us, do something as a family…?
We went to the Haddam Neck Fair.
Haddam Neck is a tiny village that is part of the town of Haddam, most of which is the next town north of us. Haddam Neck, however, is within the part of Haddam on the other side of the Connecticut River. In case you’re curious, no, it does not make sense to divide a town with a river big enough for barges.
The Haddam Neck Fair is a small and lovely affair. There were some rides (we declined). There was fried food (we participated). There were many cows, some oxen (I realized my ignorance as I tried to explain oxen to my son), rabbits, chickens, goats, sheep, a camel, two donkeys, and zebus (the relation to cattle made famous by a Veggie Tales song!). We enjoyed the racing pigs (not local, I think they were up from Florida), and Q, as you can see, was in heaven when the tractor pull started up. I finally discovered what a tractor pull actually is. (The explanation illuminated the landscaping on a local property.)
All this excitement could have led to exhausted tantrums later, or a bathroom accident, or an infant meltdown. We lucked out, established our normal routine when we returned home, got Q to take a nap, and had a lovely afternoon and evening.
On the cusp of preschool, we had a magical day together.