On Friday afternoon, as I picked up Oscar from school then Edgar from daycare, it became apparent to me that the two tired boys I had on my hands may not be in proper form for the exciting evening we had planned. The idea was to go out to eat with Grandpa (Grandma was hosting a dinner party for some girlfriends), then board the Newport Dinner Train at 6:30 PM with Grandpa and Don. The Dinner Train is decked out this time of year like the Polar Express–complete with a rousing dissemination of hot chocolate, visits with Santa, and a reading of the book. It’s 90 minutes of pure bliss for the five-and-under crowd and their doting admirers.
As we got back to the house, I decided to invoke and assume the wisdom of the adage, “Mother knows best,” and bring the boys upstairs for a late-afternoon nap.
It did not go well. Their resistance to napping may have had to do with the fact that we never nap that late in the afternoon–especially on a school day. Or, and this is probably more likely, it may have been just too exciting for them to think about sitting still as we counted the minutes until we boarded the train.
Needless to say, the attempt concluded and we ventured downstairs. Crying, peevishness, and altercations ensued; and I thought, “Uh oh. Sitting in a restaurant, then an hour-and-a-half on a train–this wasn’t going to go well.”
I was wrong.
Grandpa arrived, and we were on our way. The boys had a wonderful dinner, charmed Grandpa (which isn’t too hard) and our young waitress. And they couldn’t have had a better time on the Polar Express if they had had a two-hour nap prior to leaving.
As the holiday celebrations gear up and get into full swing, it may be wise to give up some expectations, let go of some of the routines, and make very few assumptions. This energy and enthusiasm comes once a year. And lest we forget, after it’s all over, we’ll have a good ten weeks to hibernate.
Here is the link to the photo album from our time aboard the “Polar Express.”