Ali D. and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Shane left on a business trip on Friday and will be gone for a week so I’m outnumbered at home for a few days. No biggie really, I mean, the trip he took in Nov/Dec was 2 weeks long. Anything shorter than that feels like it should be easy and that was my mistake numero uno of the weekend. Things with the boys have been going well, overall. Wyatt is helpful and kind when he’s not bouncing off the walls. Caleb is sweet and can independently play for hours and hours if you let him.

The boys still take two (glorious!) naps a day but I’m starting to see a trend where they aren’t needing that morning nap as consistently as they used to. This weekend I’ve been caught in a weird conundrum of them being too tired to play without numerous meltdowns but not tired enough to actually fall asleep. After I hear them chatting for a while I’ll go in there and see Wyatt standing up with all the contents of his crib (blanket, Elmo and Winnie) on the floor. Caleb will be facing him but rather than standing, he’s on his knees and smiling from ear to ear. I know for a fact they’re talking in twin-speak and conspiring against me. I just know it. Because of this new refusal to nap, they’re either overtired by the time their afternoon nap rolls around (and any parent knows an overtired kid is a crappy sleeper, makes no sense) or they’ll take a nap at an inconvenient time. Twice this weekend I was forced to sit in my car for what felt like hours while the boys finished their naps. Some parents are lucky in that they can move their child inside the house and into their bed without them waking up and that just isn’t the case in my family. The boys are such light sleepers, so if they’re sleeping soundly, everything stops. I was able to hit the drive-thru for some grub and thought it would be pretty sweet if there were more things you could do to occupy your time without leaving the car, like get a massage or a manicure! I’m totally going to invent a drive-thru spa for all the other moms that are held hostage in their cars with sleeping children. Surely this idea would take off, right?

Sunday, I didn’t really have any plans with the boys so their morning nap (which they desperately needed) was later than normal which was perfectly fine. They woke up, had lunch and then I had the brilliant (read: terrible) idea to take the boys to the Playseum in Bethesda. I’ve heard the place was super cute for younger kids and each room in the Playseum had a theme; bakery, grocery store, pet shop, hair salon, etc. It’s only about 20 minutes away so I was planning to arrive right when it opened to avoid the crowds. I looked for parking in front of the place but it’s on a very busy street and all the metered spots were taken. I found a lot across the street with plenty of spots and deliberated taking a stroller. It was only across the street, after all, and I had a feeling there wouldn’t be much room for strollers at this place. I decided I could carry Caleb and hold Wyatt’s hand as we walked the short distance. My gigantic diaper bag/purse was slung over my shoulder so I officially felt like a pack mule. I quickly realized there wasn’t a crosswalk to cross the street in front of the Playseum, so we had to walk a block to the nearest intersection, cross the street, then make our way back in the opposite direction to our destination. Caleb is almost 23 pounds, but add bulky jackets, his AFO leg braces and sneakers, he felt like 40 pounds. Wyatt was walking slower than molasses and kept wanting to check out his reflection in the store windows. I was in a full sweat by the time we got there. There was a long flight of stairs to the basement level where the Playseum was located. Despite the stairs, I quickly regretted not having a stroller. Anytime I needed a free hand I had to set Caleb down on the floor. It wasn’t ideal, but despite my lack of free hands, I think the boys had fun.

photo 1

In the Presidential room

Caleb checking out Marshmellow the bunny in the "Pet Shop"

Caleb checking out Marshmellow the bunny in the “Pet Shop”

Wyatt kept meowing at his new pal, Blackberry (which about half the parents were on at the Playseum)

Wyatt kept meowing at his new pal, Blackberry

The space itself was pretty neat and fosters a child’s imagination. The best rooms were the supermarket and the firehouse.

photo 4

Two hunky firemen at your service!

Checking out the best produce

Checking out the best produce

Eyeing the cookies on a nearby shelf and wishing I would've placed him there!

Eyeing the cookies on a nearby shelf and wishing I would’ve placed him there!

I was bummed that the floor was tile and linoleum in most places and with lots of kids and parents tracking in sand/snow, I couldn’t really let Caleb crawl around as much as he would’ve liked. I had to carry him a lot and my arms are so sore now! Wyatt loved getting into everything but we really need to work on his ability to stay within sight of us. He was free reign at home and daycare, so for him to be restricted to one room at a time was really difficult. We found one room that both boys loved and we had to ourselves for most of our stay so that worked out well.

photo 5


photo 1


photo 4

The “Primary Colors” room? I don’t know what this theme was.

These are the memories I’ll try to remember since the day went downhill quickly once we decided it was time to go. At this point, the place was packed with two birthday parties and dozens and dozens of accompanying adults. My diaper bag was inaccessible so someone had to pass it to me and I started to get the boys dressed in the tiny entryway where their coats are. There is a door separating the playseum from the entryway and people were constantly in and out. I was near the door trying to get the boys dressed as fast as I could so I would be able to get the hell outta there but I was searching for a hat, while trying to help Caleb balance and Wyatt was right near me and apparently playing with the hinge side of the door. I don’t really know what happened first but soon enough Wyatt was screaming bloody murder and I realized someone was trying to close the door but Wyatt’s fingers were pinched in between the door and the frame. I quickly opened the door so I could pull his fingers out and tried desperately to console him, but he crying that hysterical, high-pitched, maniacal cry that’s associated with the worst of the worst pain. I felt sick to my stomach hearing him cry like that. The entryway was full of adults trying to sort out the confusion and at this point Caleb sensed the bad situation and started wailing as well. A staff person showed up out of no where and seemed quite frazzled that there were two screaming kids, and let’s face it, a crying mom, as well. I handed off Caleb to her and applied ice to poor Wyatt’s fingers. He wouldn’t let that ice pack get anywhere near him and I just had to get some breathing room, so we hiked up the stairs and the nice  woman stayed with me until the situation was under control. The boys and I found an empty stairwell, drank milk and ate a snack. Wyatt’s fingers were definitely red but he was moving them and had stopped crying so I figured we were in the clear. After that whole ordeal, he barely had enough energy to walk back to the car so I tried my best to carry them both (only then did a random couple offer me help, which I declined, because there wasn’t anything for them to do) and kept rotating which side I held Caleb since he’s harder to carry.

I definitely felt like crap the whole way home. What was I thinking taking them there by myself? I should have known better. I was way overconfident that I would be able to make it look like taking care of twin 18-month-olds was easy. If motherhood was a game, I definitely lost today. And it was an embarrassing loss, like a scoring-a-goal-for-the-other-team-in-overtime-and-then-celebrating-while-the-rest-of-your-team-is-pissed kind of a loss. Not to say I’m a loser always, but the stars just weren’t aligned for me today.

I should mention that my bad luck continued while back at home during dinner when Caleb’s mouth was full and of course he was cracking up over something I did or Wyatt did and he must have inhaled a small piece of apple. He started coughing like crazy and I started to freak out when his color turned very red. He was gagging and trying to dislodge the food so I grabbed him up out of his seat (cue crying and coughing from Wyatt who senses his brother’s distress) and gave a few forceful blows to his back which worked like a charm. You could tell that whatever went down the wrong pipe was bothering Caleb and he kept making throw up noises. I was just happy to hear him crying, honestly. That was a scary few minutes for sure.

At the end of the meal, the boys got their baths (complete with a rousing game of “get mama soaked”), pajamas, stories and snuggles and went to sleep perfectly like the horrible day never happened. My back is sore, my arms are spent and my wrist hurts from picking them up all weekend long. I’m sure to have new wrinkles and my first gray hairs after yesterday, so please boys… can you take it easy on me for the rest of the week?!?!

Both boys are doing great this morning aside from being tired because they both decided to wake up at 11:30 last night for who knows what. Wyatt was able to get back to sleep relatively easily but Caleb was wide awake and ready to party. I took him downstairs and let him crawl around while I  slept on the couch supervised. After 15 minutes, I told him it was time to go “night, night” and we headed upstairs. Here’s where being a twin parent is rough… Caleb was wide awake and Wyatt was finally sleeping so bringing Caleb into the nursery is like trying to dismantle a bomb. I have to open the door silently, tiptoe around the squeaky spots on the floor, lay Caleb down ever so gently and pray he doesn’t choose that moment to start babbling or worse, crying. I then make my exit like a silent assassin all the while praying to the sleep gods to let them both sleep soundly for the rest of the night so I can finally get some shuteye.

How many more days til Shane comes home?


I'm a working mom of three fantastic boys: Caleb, Wyatt and Parker. My husband, Shane, and I live in the Washington DC suburbs where we enjoy playgrounds, pools and never getting to sleep in. This blog is a journal of our day-to-day lives as well as a chronicle of Caleb's progress after a recent spinal surgery to alleviate the effects of his cerebral palsy.

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13 comments on “Ali D. and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
  1. mom says:

    Oh Ali, why does your momma have to live so far away?

    • Louise Beaulieu says:

      *********Not to say I’m a loser always, but the stars just weren’t aligned for me today.******
      Maybe the stars were not aligned the right way, but NEVER say you are a loser….you are a wonderful, loving Mommy…we all have those days….smile and keep up the great work!!!!

    • If you lived nearby I would’ve dropped them off at your house yesterday so I could have taken a long bubblebath!

  2. Kristin says:

    I’ll tell you one thing, children get those fingers in doors all the time. At lease once a month the children at my old daycare would get their little fingers caught and most of the time it was their own parents who didn’t realize there fingers were there. I would agree with you..those cries are loud and painful. Keep your head up!!!

  3. Val says:

    Ali, I really admire you doing what you do with those precious boys. God gave them to you for a reason, you’re an awesome Mom. I babysat this passed Saturday night, 2 babies of a month and a 2 month old, and mind you it was ONLY for 3 hours. I survived butttt….I thought of you the whole time. Be proud Ali of the Mom you ave become, you’re awesome! BTW I love reading your stories. Hope you gave a good, stress free week.

  4. Monique Danie says:

    You are really a SUPERMARIO MOMMY!!!Ali, loser should never be in your vocabulary!!! You are an awesome mom!!!!I keep up on all your blogs and I am so impressed by all you do for your boys and most of all who you are as a person ,selfless,loving,empath
    tic, loving,caring and intune with your boys!!!! girl give yourself a high five!!! YOU GO GIRL!!!

  5. Deb Lavoie says:

    Allison, you are inspirational! I did not raise twins but I did raise three children and I will tell you that you will have more good days than bad ones. You are a good Mum for wanting to take your boys out on an adventure. You actually saved the day twice by rescuing Wyatt’s fingers and you saved Caleb from choking!! I would say “job well done”! Keep doing what you are doing ☺ Thank you for sharing.. My daughter and I are reading your posts and we are both laughing and crying. Thank you, thank you!!

  6. […] Ali D. and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day Jan […]

  7. […] my sanity, I usually don’t bring both boys out in public for fear of another debacle like the day at the Playseum. Yikes! For about five minutes I felt weird about Caleb now having a visible disability now as […]

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