Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Day 2 of Two Parents, Two Agendas and Two Kids in San Francisco

Do you ever see a parent out very, very late with a small child, and the child is crying and dragging along and you think, "Bad parent! Bad, bad parent for keeping that child out late!"
That was us last night.
Day 2 of our trip began quietly enough, with a stroll over to Sears House of Fine Food for pancakes (the staff didn't let a shattered orange juice glass faze them, so we didn't either). Then the chaos that is two working parents and two kids on a trip began.
We walked back to our hotel and packed up our things, then I took Pebbles over to the Chronicle to meet with the _new_ business editor (fortunatley I've already worked with her, and she's a peach) about my story ideas. That went well, ensuring that I will be busy the rest of the week but not "stay-up-all-night-want-to-jump-off-Golden-Gate" busy. Nutmeg said she wanted to ride Caltrain with Epu to have lunch with former coworkers, and he brought her, which was dandy.
I got to see some of my dear former Chron coworkers, and they got to coo over Pebbles for about 2 minutes, and then I booked out of there to get our possessions out of the hotel storage, into a cab, install Pebbles' car seat, and ride up Nob Hill where our friend was meeting me on his lunch break to let me into his fabulously located condo.
For the second day in a row, Pebbles' usual naptime was the very time we had to be on the go. By the time I had the Pack N Play set up in the condo, it was about 3 p.m. Central Time, when she would normally be soon to wake up.
As I expected and feared, she stayed in there for an hour and never shut her eyes.
So I got her up, put her in our partially broken Joovy Caboose stroller (it had a problem before we came, but the strain of piling it with luggage at the airport seems to have effed it up pretty bad), and walked down the hill and all the way to Caltrain so I could hand her over to Epu and cab over to Moscone for a conference session.
This was the nicest part of my day -- a long stroller walk in the warm sun, passing all kinds of places in SOMA where we used to live and work and reliving my entire 7 San Francisco years. Mmm.
Epu hadn't planned on coming back from the peninsula to the city, but since one of the assignments I got this morning required that I hit this session, he generously traveled back and took the girls to South Beach Playground, a place where Nutmeg logged many an hour as a baby. After the 45-minute session, I met him back at Caltrain and we rode down to Sunnyvale for dinner with friends.
Our tired girls were kind of touch-and-go on the train -- they were dirty and tousled from the park and my washing them down with baby wipes and quick hair combings produced many squawks and much uncooperative behavior. But when we got to Sunnyvale, they were great. We walked through a neighborhood and drank in the blooming trees and flowers (thank you, Rhinocort, for not being Category C) and Nutmeg said that if we ever moved back to California we'd definitely have a lemon tree in our yard. The girls played nicely with our friends' adorable 1-year-old.
But then comes the bad parent part. Before we knew it, it was 8 p.m. (10 p.m. to our kids) and the next train was at 8:45. Both kids eventually fell asleep on the hourlong train ride, and then we had to pile them into the not sleep-friendly Joovy for the trek back to the cable car. And on and off the cable car. There were tears. We were informed that Pebbles wanted to go night-night.
Is there any more ringing indictment than hearing your kid publicly announce that she WANTS to go to bed? I felt like handing out my URL to all the strangers we passed so they could read all about our excuses for wearing our kids down to nubs.
They were asleep in bed at 11 p.m. -- 1 a.m. our time! -- and awake by 7 a.m. So, thank GOD Pebbles finally decided to take me up on that nap today. Epu's at the confernce, Nutmeg and I are chillaxin'. In about an hour, though, I'm going to have to get Epu to skip a session, ride the cable car up the hill, and take over nap duty so I can get together with a few Chron people to talk about life after the Chron. (In case you haven't heard, my former employer is fixing to cut its staff by half, so most people there are taking a long, hard look at their options, including freelancing and oh-so-lucrative world of blogging.)


margaret said...

Wow, what a day -- and night. We had a recent "bad parent" night on vacation in Coronado when Roy could not be consoled at 3 a.m. so Brian packed him up in the stroller and, sure enough, Coronado's finest stopped them ("we didn't see a blanket on the baby and thought he might be cold" while shining a big Maglite in his face). Bleary-eyed dad had his name put over the radio, and the two cruisers had lights a-flashing to complete the circus. Luckily they let our little felon go. Meanwhile I'm sleepless back at the hotel wondering what's taking them so long. Reunited at about 4:30 a.m., we all slept well after that.

Becky said...

Whew! I thought I had a busy time in SF, but there is no busy like traveling with kids AND working busy. You are an iron woman. Glad y'all are having fun, and still bummed that we didn't get to meet. I'm back home tonight. Have fun!

Sara said...

yikes! you're gonna need a vacay from your vacay!!

Notta Wallflower said...

It was good to see you guys the other night. I can relate to Sara's comment. I always get tired after a "vacation", especially hauling the kiddo around and then not knowing if he'll sleep normally. /sigh