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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Four Hours of Tent Making

Last year, for Valentine's Day, Paul and I made a basic tent for Tate and had a picnic for dinner underneath, as a little surprise.  So this year, I told Tate that we would build another tent for Daddy before he got home, since Paul was supposed to work until late.

Since I wasn't sure how I was going to construct the tent, being in a new house and all, I started making it during Soleil's naptime.  Since I knew the time between picking Tate up from school and dinner is kind of hellacious on a normal day, I thought I would prepare ahead of time.

I really got into it, and since Baby Soleil took a good nap, I worked on this thing for about the full 2 hours she was asleep.

When Tate got home, I thought he would be thrilled.  NOT SO.  He became entirely irrational complete with snot covered crying, yelling, stomping, etc.  When I got to the bottom of it, and had calmed everyone down, he said "But you said WE would build the tent and it is done already!"    A part of me wanted to laugh, but I was so tired I asked what he thought a good solution was. The only thing that would satisfy him was if we took THE WHOLE THING DOWN.  So I did.  I did give him a long talking to about frustration managament, etc etc but, I mean, it was Valentine's Day, after all.  
The next part of the solution, was to rebuild the tent.  I was exhausted at this point, and we had about an hour before Paul was to return.  We started building, and trying to get it done before he came home.  Paul sent a message, saying that he was bringing dinner home, which was odd considering it was his late night from work.  I told Tate this, and then he asked if we were eating dinner in the tent.  And then he stopped.  And BURST INTO TEARS again.  Oh Lord, help me.  He then said " I didn't realize it was Valentine's Day and I ruined the whole thing and now Daddy will have the food and we won't have the tent ready!"  

Since Paul is a professor, and he had a class that he had starting started teaching at 3:30p, I couldn't even call him to clarify details.  See, the kids eat at about 4:30-5p, and Paul doesn't get home until 6p.  At this point, Soleil started whining for food.  I sent Tate downstairs to get her a piece of bread to eat while we worked.  I had made a small effort to look nice, but now I was covered in sweat and my hair was a mess.  I was pinning sheets, and standing on chairs, and getting more sheets, moving furniture as quickly as I could, with a teary boy and a baby getting bread crumbs all over the floor.  

As it always does, it came together in the end.  We got the tent built about 3 minutes after Paul got home with chinese food and we ate while sitting in the tent, and let Tate watch a Valentine's Day show.  I poured the wine within 30 seconds of Paul coming up with the food.  

Since Tate's design has the tent around the couch, around the TV, it is kind of like a little movie theater.  Because of this, it is still up.  I don't think that I will win any home decor awards, but it is cozy in there, I have to admit!

Lesson of this story....Must work on expectations for holidays, both with the boy AND the mama.

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