April 15, 2013

My Daughter, The Only Child

My brother is what some might call a "wandering spirit."  He finds homes wherever he is and creates communities around him.  He has backpacked through South America, lived at a yoga center in New England, worked on a medical marijuana farm in California and, most recently, has been working in Colorado.  His next adventure is working with a group learning sustainable habitat construction.

At least I think so.  It's hard to remember the details when I'm listening while playing Star Wars: The Old Republic.

On Saturday, he flew into Philadelphia to spend several days with my mom before tromping off into the woods to build houses designed to leave no carbon footprint.

Since Sara had a bridal shower to attend, I took Harper with me and we made the arduous trek across the wilds of the Pennsylvania Turnpike to spend time with my family before my brother's wanderlust kicked in and he forsook soap for another 3 months.

I know that I have said before that having two children isn't twice as difficult as having one, it's slightly less than twice.  There are many things you don't have to worry about for the second since they are already completed for the first, such as childproofing, getting plates and cups for the kids, clothing is mostly purchased and the learning curve is not nearly as steep.

In much the same way, taking a trip with one child is not half as easy as taking a trip with two.  It's MUCH easier.  Especially if that one is potty trained and semi-autonomous.

Immediately following this picture, the Sidling Hill Rest stop was filled with my anxious cries of "NO HUGS!!  You're covered in ice cream!!!"
She slept for much of the ride, but when she was awake, we had excellent conversations!  She told me all about the mean spiders who came to our house to eat our furniture and how she managed to scare them off.

With the weather as beautiful as it was, we were able to spend a ton of time outside (read: able to wear out the toddler very quickly).  I loaded her up with a backpack full of snacks and water, including my own.  I would have felt badly about turning my three-year-old in a pack mule, but I knew full well that I would be carrying her much of the day, including the 1/3 mile uphill hike from the parking lot to the gardens at Morris Arboretum.  We walked through the entire exhibit, including a special exhibit where a sculptor had placed large wooden insect statues throughout the ground.
I swear!  The egg was THIIIIIIIIS big!

Harper was not interested in hatching the eggs like Grammy wanted her to


"I touched his bum! It's a big big big bum!"

Why yes! She did pick out her own outfit!
She was large and in charge and kept leading us to see new and exciting things.  I figured that allowing her to explore would be the best way to keep her interest in the exhibit.  Because I didn't have to worry about corralling two small children, I was able to let her wander and keep an eye on her to make sure she didn't pick TOO many flowers or dive head first into the swan pond.

Fun for her, minimal stress for me!  There were enough people there that she didn't run off but few enough that she didn't have to stay by my side the whole time.  She loved carrying her backpack with drinks and snacks!

She very politely waited her turn to climb atop the creepy man-frog, even when a kid pushed in front of her.

Relaxing a bit with Grammy

Post outing, we took a nice long nap, followed by a trip to the playground with her uncle to burn off whatever energy had been recovered by lunch and sleeping!

Harper is deceptively heavy.

The ride home was equally nice!  She slept much of the way and we talked for the rest.  All in all it was a delightful weekend with great times had by all involved!

I think my entire weekend could be summed up with the following picture:

Sara's weekend can be summed up with this one:

I totally win!



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