What did we do to deserve this?

Evan and Andrew (in typical early fashion- October 2011)

When Evan was about 3 or 4 months old, I had a friend watch him for an hour while I went to counseling.  She lived near to the counselor at the time and her son is ten weeks older than Evan. This was pre-diagnosis, and I was in an anxious, exhausted, frustrated, new mom state.  Evan was a horrible sleeper, waking up numerous times a night, and crying for hours in the evening.  When he was happy, he was happy but the times he wasn’t…phew.  I thought the hour would be doable, and the kids weren’t mobile so they would just happily roll around on a mat, right?
Well, I return to a very apologetic and frazzled friend who was trying to be a good friend and not  make a big deal about it, but basically, Evan cried the whole time and made her son cry as well.  Sigh…Todd came by afterwards and we had dinner with their family.  On the way home, we both said, almost at the same time, “When is Evan going to be as pleasant as Andrew?” Andrew smiled almost the whole time we were there, barely any tears, and was just happy to be alive and hanging out with us.  It seemed like Evan was going to “crank” as we called it, at any minute, for the rest of his and our lives.

Fast forward to this weekend, Evan is now almost 2 years old.  We made the very bold decision to take him overnight tent camping.  Todd has been ready for this for a while now, and I have been pushing it off.  I was worried for numerous reasons, the biggest one being the sleeping situation. I just couldn’t imagine how Evan would do in a tent, and how we would do sleeping right next to him in said tent!  Let alone the possibilities of bears, bugs, lack of nap, constant need to entertain, etc.
Let me also share that we decided to take him kayaking. Kayaking for an indeterminate amount of time, approximately an hour or more, with no real ability to stop if he is not handling it too well.
And this we HAVE done before, and he has not been a very big fan.  Did I mention that all week we were preparing for warm weather with sunshine? And Mommy and Daddy did not bring rain gear? And that it poured the entire time we kayaked? Ahem…..Live and learn.

Shake Shake Shake, Shake your maraca!

So….we drove the two+ hours to get to the campground. We put Evan in a stroller and start setting up camp. His Grammy rolled him around and he was content as a clam to talk to her and look around. We then put him in his portable high chair and put it in one of the camp chairs, and it sat in a precarious way that made him tilt backwards a bit. As I put him in and started to feed him lunch, I thought there was no way he would last more than ten minutes in this position. About an hour later, after he ate a whole jar of stage three food, and a Jammy Sammy, sang songs and played with his new maracas straight from Mexico (thanks Seese Family!)- THEN he was ready to get out of the chair. Ok I was wrong. Only once, right? Moving along….

Kayaking as a family in Delaware Water Gap- Evan just shy of 2 years

Then we go kayaking. Luckily my mother and father in law are seriously sent from Heaven and they lent Evan and me some stellar rain gear. Within the first 20 minutes or so, Evan wiggled around, going between happy and singing, and then uncomfortable and sleepy. Oh, I forgot to mention that he had been up since about 7 am, and it was 2 pm now, no nap, pouring rain, in….a…..kayak. I sang songs to him ad nauseaum, fed him a cereal bar, and kept him as occupied as I could. The rain started coming down hard and he tried over and over to fall asleep on my shoulder. Alas, two life jackets pushing together in pouring rain does not a comfortable bed make.  Although my nerves were a bit on edge as I maneuvered him all around and poor Todd had to paddle for all three of us- it ended up being a pretty nice ride, and Evan kept calm for the majority of it.
Because of the rain jacket that was so kindly lent to us by my in laws- Evan only had a few little spots of water on his pants when we got out of the kayak. Oh!!! I forgot to mention that about halfway into the kayak excursion, he had a dirty diaper. And not a little one. A three alarmer, multiple wipe diaper. Where were the diapers and wipes? Oh they were in the van back at where we started. So when we got out of the kayak, Todd had to drive back to get the van and drive back to us so I could change the poor guy.  Again, bad planning on our part. Evan could have cared less. (until his poor bum hurt the next day- Guilt Guilt Guilt….

My adorable husband playing for little E
That’s right, he’s wearing a faux backpack.
Reading Baby Boo for the 3,945th time.

 We finally get back to the campsite, we pass Evan around while each of us get out of our wet clothes.  The ground is sopping wet with mud and Evan doesn’t walk on his own yet, so we couldn’t just put him down and let him crawl around.  Especially considering there is no “bath-time” when tent camping. Enter the pack-and-play. We put some fun toys and books in there and put it right next to the action, where everyone was hanging out, eating, and talking.  He stood up and talked to whoever would talk to him. (yup, I did look up whether or not to use whomever or whoever in that sentence) He sang songs, played with his toys and read his peekaboo baby book over and over. He also played peekaboo up and down the side of the pack and play repeatedly with his Aunt Rhonda.

Reading with Grammy by the fire

It began to get chilly so we put him in flannel pj’s and his winter bear suit that he wore when it got really cold. It was the only way to ensure that he would be warm when he went to sleep since I forgot his weighted blanket at home. (Are you sensing a Mommy Fail trend here?)  We put him to sleep in the tent around 8:30 pm and he fell asleep in about 30 minutes. With the noise of bugs, fellow campers, a cub scout troop two sites down, a wedding reception across the water blasting out typical reception fare such as Psy’s Gangnam Style, and Beyonce’s Crazy in Love….Evan fell asleep and slept until 6 am.
6 am.
9 hours.
I probably slept about 4 total.

Over and over again, Evan proves my doubts to be wrong. He takes my worries and removes their weight. He looks up at me with that grin, and immediately grounds me.  And I have feeling he will continue to do that for the rest of my life.  I pray that he does.

What did we do to deserve this? 

Evan Robert almost 2 years

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