You know when you’re out all day, specifically at a park or the lake or someplace kid-friendly, and you spend the whole day out and about? There’s no time for a sit down break, let alone a nap. You eat lunch on the go; there are always lots of people around. It’s beyond hot, but your kids don’t notice.
You make it to dinnertime, and your kids are clearly famished because they barely paused for a sip of water all day. They eat as fast as possible then still somehow want to play, because they didn’t get to blow bubbles yet, or play with the cars long enough, or just. Be. Loud.
Then it’s time to leave and head home, and this is it.
You’ve reached The Event Horizon—the point of no return. The time of day when it’s too late for a nap, but not quite bedtime, and everyone is beyond tired.
You know there’s no chance your toddler will head to the car without a fight. You try to get him to hug and kiss everyone goodbye, but he is just done. Done with listening, done with being nice, DONE.
You strap him into the car, load up the weeks worth of stuff you brought for the day, and get out of there as fast as you can because you know if you don’t, that overtired scene will happen in front of everyone, and you’d rather it happen in the privacy of your own home.
The kids fall asleep within 5 minutes of driving, because of course. It’s a nice peaceful ride home, and you think maybe they’ll just stay asleep for the night. They’re clearly exhausted, why wouldn’t they?
Then you get home and they wake up. Let the games begin.
Your husband takes your already crying toddler to the bath (god bless him), while you try and nurse a sweaty tired baby who wants NONE OF THAT. It’s too hot. He’s teething. He doesn’t want to eat or sleep. He doesn’t even want you to rock or cuddle him. WHAT DOES HE WANT?!
You can hear your toddler screaming BLOODY MURDER in the bathroom. The baby can also hear him, which is probably why he’s crying now too, and for a moment you think “This is it. This is the day I lose all my shit.”
The baby settles somewhat, so you put him in the crib to check on the toddler. He is screaming, “I can’t stop! I can’t stop!” (crying that is). He’s throwing stuff, he’s mad that he didn’t get to brush his teeth even though he literally just did, and keeps saying he wants to give grandpa a kiss goodbye since he refused to an hour before, even though grandpa is clearly nowhere in sight. You try and get him to focus for a minute so you can put his pajamas on, but this thing in front of you no longer resembles your child. You are certain he’s possessed.
Your husband says he can handle things while you go back to the fussy baby (Good luck, honey).
Eventually, the kids are miraculously asleep and you can breathe. You made it through The Event Horizon; from that overtired warzone to the blackness of sleep. You are a survivor. You’ve lived to see another day and you tell yourself that can’t happen again, but you know it will. It always does. Summer hasn’t even officially started yet, after all.
So until next time, savor the routine days and nights while you can. Days of both you and your kids knowing it’s bedtime, and getting there without much fuss. And most of all, try and get some sleep.