Well, the front door was locked, too. Contrary to my usual practice, I must have slid the deadbolt when we came in from school. We're in and out of the house so much in the summer that most of the time I leave that door unlocked until bedtime. Not Monday.
The good news: all of us were wearing shoes, and the kids had their water bottles. Bad news: clearly my keys were in the house, along with my cell phone and my wallet. And all of the windows were shut and locked to keep the cool central air inside. Oh, and my neighbor, who has a key, wasn't home from work yet and I had no idea when he'd be back.
We played in the backyard a bit more. No sign of my neighbor. At around 6:15, I decided that we'd take a little walk as the stroller was accessible in the garage. We walked for about thirty minutes and arrived home to find that my neighbor still wasn't there. I thought about where to go next. We have a number of friends in the 'hood, but I wanted to go somewhere that the kids were familiar with and that had the supplies that two-year-olds need. Aha! Daycare.
We trundled off to daycare, stopping by the local gas station to see if our gas man could recommend a locksmith if we needed one. He gave us the name and number of the guy he uses and sent us on our way, promising that he would be at the station late if there was anything he could help us with.
We arrived at daycare and were welcomed with open arms into an evening of family fun. Our daycare is in the basement of a multigenerational household, and the whole group was there from grandkids on up. I left a message for my neighbor and then we settled in. Maddie and Riley were thrilled to get to play with the daughters of the daycare's business manager, and they girls were equally thrilled to get some time with the twins. They did puzzles and art projects while we waited for the phone to ring. Just as the business manager's husband and I were plotting how we could pick the lock to my back door, the phone rang. It was my neighbor, letting me know that he was home and that he'd leave my key in the mailbox.
I shook off offers from our daycare providers to drive us home—it was a beautiful night, we only live a ten-minute walk away, and after the excitement of playing with friends and staying up later than usual, the kids needed to calm down. We got home and I got the twins to bed by 8:30 p.m. or so, an hour later than normal. They fell asleep after a few minutes of happy chatter, and have been talking about our evening ever since.
Of course, that night, I woke up at 3:30 a.m. with a raging headache. Then Riley woke up at 4:30 a.m. with a raging nightmare. He calmed down quickly, but was up again at 4:50, then 5:00, then 5:10 . . . at which point I gave in and brought him in bed with me. He didn't ever go back to sleep, but he did lie still next to me and talk to himself. "This Mama's nose," he would say, touching my nose gently. "This Mama's ojos. This Mama's hair [stroke, stroke]." It was very sweet, and I drifted in and out of sleep while he kept himself quietly entertained.
At 6:30 a.m., I told Riley that I needed to take a shower and I put him back in his crib. He went back to sleep until 8:00 a.m.
My head was still pounding at that point, so I took a sick day. Of course, I couldn't resist running a few errands sans twins.
Got myself a muffin from a favorite bakery that I don't get to much anymore.
Went to the library.
Picked up some pantry staples from the grocery store at the other end of my town, and bought a few treats while I was there, too, including these frosted animal crackers, one of my all-time favorite indulgences.
Returned a book to Barnes & Noble.
Went to a Target Greatland, where, to my surprise and delight, they had the Radio Flyer wagon I wanted in stock and they had great sand toys in the dollar bin. That almost made up for the fact that they did not have the Wii or Wii Fit in stock, which I had told myself I could buy as a for-no-reason-at-all indulgence if they were there.
After all that, my head was pounding in full-blown migraine mode. I went home, unloaded my stuff, and took up residence on the couch. One Advil Cold & Sinus and a liter of water later, I was out. For three hours. It was awesome.
I turned on Oprah for a few minutes before I went to pick up Maddie and Riley. This woman was on. She still annoys the holy living hell out of me. Instead of torturing myself by watching her claim that she can keep Stage 4 cancer at bay by thinking good thoughts and drinking raw kale juice, I cleaned out the twins' wading pool before heading over to daycare for pickup.
After a fun evening of splashing in the pool and having dinner on the deck, Maddie and Riley went to bed with minimal fuss last night at 7:15 p.m. I was in bed by 10:00 p.m. myself. I heard Riley cry around 11:30 p.m., but not to the point that he needed me. And then: silence until 7:15 this morning. Bliss.
The morning got even better. I stopped at Trader Joe's to pick up a few things on my way to work, but arrived about five minutes before they opened. I decided to put that time to good use by getting a cool drink at the Starbucks next door. I virtuously ordered an iced green tea. While I was waiting for it, there was a mixup behind the counter and an extra iced coffee was set on the bar. The barista held it up and asked if anyone wanted a free iced coffee. Sure, why not? No one else stepped forward, so I decided to go ahead and take it, and left the store with virtue in one hand and vice in the other.