Imagine my terror when I rolled over in bed to check the time as Mia began to stir in the sleeper beside me, to find that it was just after 9:00 am. Somehow, Abby and Michael had slept in until close to 8:30, and had been quiet and well-behaved enough in the next room to allow Mia and me an extra thirty minutes or so of peace. I scrambled out, simultaneously grateful for the gift of extra sleep and completely anxiety-ridden over how we were ever going to get to the 11:00 party (which was perhaps an hour away) on time.
Thankfully, Abby and Michael had essentially finished eating by that point, and my new dairy allowance enabled me to pour a quick bowl of cereal for myself. I packed ultra-light, and Tom must have showered the kids in record time because we found ourselves in the car and on the road by 10:10.
Since the trip took even less time than I'd anticipated, we arrived at the designated park five minutes early. The pavilion was strangely empty of any party setup, however, which made me suspicious. There were a couple of people at the tables with a cooler of food, but they were not there for a party and informed me that the park was as small as it looked, so we weren't in the wrong section or anything.
As I got back in the car to tell Tom what I'd learned from walking ahead to scope out the place, I checked the event on my phone again. Today's the 15th, right? Tom started to confirm, then stopped, eyes wide. "Nooo," he corrected. "It's the 14th."
I felt incredibly foolish, among other things. Most immediately, I was totally bummed that I'd planned out cute outfits, gotten the kids all dressed up (with the girls in their matching dresses!), and wasted the outfits on the wrong day. Then, I started to panic a little. What should we do? We'd promised Abby a park adventure, but we'd brought no food, so we couldn't stay. It would be a 45 minute drive back home, and the kids were doing well in the car, but not for much longer.
I tried calling my parents, who lived reasonably close by, but neither picked up. However, we decided to head there anyway since we had a key, and at the very least Mima and Granda's house would be a familiar and safe place to let the kids stretch their legs while we figured out lunch.
We made it there quickly and before any tears were shed, but I knew we still had Abby to contend with. She was expecting a party, and a park, and was not pleased to see us parking the car at a location that could not deliver such things. My heart hurt for her. I knew it would do me no good to explain that she'd have a chance tomorrow (we'd promised her today), so instead I talked up all of the fun things there were to do at Mima's house.
I wasn't getting very far with it as she glumly dragged her heels around the living room. Michael, however, was psyched about getting free from his carseat and made a beeline for his favorite item: a bucket of sidewalk chalk. Suddenly, Abby wanted it too. There was a bit of brief fighting, which resolved itself when Michael found a new item of interest (an empty Cool Whip container) and I commandeered the bucket, ushering both kids out to the backyard to draw on the patio with its contents.
And so began our unplanned day-visit to Mima and Granda's.
Though the house was empty when we first arrived, we eventually got through to everyone, and were joined by first Mima, then Granda, and finally, Mei Mei. Soon, it was like a typical Sunday, only on a Saturday; in Maryland.
We stayed until dinner, and returned home exhausted but thankful for the surprising turn-of-events.
I was still determined to put the girls in those dresses for the party, though: they got washed and dried for reuse the next day.