Oh, who am I kidding? It was the worst of times. This weekend. Last night. Awful. Plain and simple.

Patrick and I took Griffin to Chicago to go to the One of a Kind Show where my sister has been one of the artists for the past four years. We went in 2006, 2007, and we skipped 2008 because Griffin was just too little and we were just plain exhausted. He’s 16-months old. We figured this would be a great age to take him downtown to see the show and maybe even the lights on Michigan Avenue.

To make that part of  the long story much shorter, I’m just going to say that about a month or so ago, we realized that Griffin had hit his Terrible Twos really, really early. We’ve nicknamed him Mr. Meltdown and Mr. Noodle (his whole body goes limp and he’s suddenly about 40 pounds heavier than usual). That’s what we dealt with all weekend. The poor kid was stuck in a carseat for three hours to get to Chicago and then we needed to get him in a stroller to look around the show. He wasn’t having it. He also wasn’t having someone carry him around. Those were our options. He struggled. I got frustrated. Patrick and I took turns. Thankfully my mom was there and gave us a break here and there (and of course, he wasn angel for her).

So two days of battling Mr. Noodle.

Then comes the drive home. Again, long story short, it took us 5 hours to get home. Coming straight from the Loop, it should only take about 2.5 hours. We hit some massive traffic and then Griffin screamed and screeched the whole way. In his defense, I think he was in a bit of pain (anyone with kids knows that sometimes eating a whole pile of grapes can wreak havoc on the tummy). So as not to bore anyone with this story in narrative form, let me just hit the highlights:

  • Screaming commences before we get out of Chicago
  • It continues until we pull over somewhere in Naperville (at this point, we could have been in freaking Alaska – I couldn’t focus).
  • I change Griffin’s diaper in the car in the parking lot of Macy’s
  • We drive to Portillo’s to get him out of the carseat for a while.
  • All is right in the world and we leave.
  • Screeching commences about 15 minutes into the drive.
  • I pray he falls asleep soon.
  • Griffin teases me with his fake snoring (and then a loud snort and a giggle).
  • He screams some more and finally falls asleep.
  • I fall asleep.
  • I awake, 20 minutes later, to more screaming.
  • This goes on for what seems like forever.
  • I announce to Patrick that if I had a gun, I’d freaking shoot myself (I think Patrick contemplates pulling over and dumping me and Griffin off on the side of the highway).
  • More screaming.
  • I ask Patrick to smother me and put me out of my misery.
  • Griffin finally falls asleep at Mile Marker 25 (yep, only 25 more miles until we hit the Iowa border).
  • I sit still and rigid in the front seat, hoping he stays asleep until we at least get to the single digit mile markers.
  • We pull into the driveway and relax.
  • Griffin starts screaming.

He seemed fine once we got inside. He was smiling and laughing. I think he was really tired of being in the car seat all weekend. The only running around he got to do was at my parents’ house on Saturday night/Sunday morning. Not much.

Oh, and when we walked in the house, we were hit in the face by the overwhelming smell of natural gas. We had the gas company out at our house at 11 PM. They checked and said everything was OK, even though the guy said he could smell the gas.

So yesterday sucked big time. The only highlight was that we learned that if you ask Griffin what Santa says, he will say, “Ho Ho!” Definitely cute, but not enough to wipe away the memory of the crap day we had.

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