Rhinebeck weekend, as always, starts on Friday after I get finished teaching, when we hit the road for the 5-6 hours it takes us to get to our hotel down in the Rhinebeck area (this year, in Fishkill, which is pretty far out, but we didn’t know whether we’d be able to go early enough to get a room anywhere closer!).
I managed to do a bit of knitting in the car while M napped…
…and we once again stopped at “my” rest stop:
It was very windy. Also, do I just have freakishly long upper-arms, or are the “elbow patches” on this plaid shirt from Target placed too high? (I think it could be either – I do have disproportionately long, and perhaps oddly proportioned arms, which I first learned while taking violin lessons as a kid!)
After a night of fairly poor sleep (oh, travel with toddlers!), we made it to the festival Saturday morning, and after her initial refusal to wear anything handknit, M finally decided it was chilly enough and asked for her hat and sweater:
She was pretty tired and grouchy for most of the day, so spent a lot of it on my back (which was a WORKOUT – this kid weighs over 36 pounds!)
We got to see SO MANY friends, which was wonderful! It makes me so happy to be able to give my usually online-only friends a big hug in the real world. I have no photographic evidence of any of these meetups, though, because I’m terrible at remembering to do that. (We’ll put a positive spin on it, and say that I’m so enjoying the moment that I want to experience it rather than capture it…that’s basically true!)
We also got to visit some sheep (and llamas, and alpacas, and angora goats), and after one of them proved that sheep really do say “Baaah” by bleating VERY loudly in M’s face, she decided that she’d rather interact with them from the safety of my arms (which were getting very tired):
M’s favorite activities at Rhinebeck included “walking the line” (there are lots of lines painted on the paved areas at the festival grounds)…
…finding excellent maple leaves…
…and listening to the pan-flute band that always plays there:
She really rocks out to them. It’s kind of hilarious! We got her a bird whistle from their table of wares; it is LOUD and of course, she loves it (it is being declared an “outside only” toy, however!):
That evening, we went back to the hotel and relaxed in the hot tub before M’s bedtime. It felt good on my aching muscles – according to my phone, I walked over 5 miles, took something like 13,000 steps, and most of them were either wearing or carrying a 36 pound kiddo!
We sadly can’t ever stay for a second day at the festival – we’d have to either pay for another night in the hotel, which wasn’t an option this year because I teach on Mondays, or get home ridiculously late. As has become our tradition, on our way out of town on Sunday morning, we stop at the Walkway over the Hudson. This year, it was absurdly windy, which made it hard to get any photos at all!
M also wanted to be carried most of the time, which was rough after having done so much of it the previous day. Look how she’s grown since when we visited the Walkway in 2012!
(I’m further away from the railing in the 2014 shot because I’m basically terrified that M will climb out of my arms and over the railing into the Hudson. It’s the sort of thing I have nightmares about on a regular basis!)
The drive home was…well, let’s start with the good part. We drove through an absolutely gorgeous state park (Minnewaska – the name sounds like something from my (Minnesota) neck of the woods!)
And M was quite charming during the early part of the trip, declaring it naptime while throwing a cauchycomplete scrappy mini-quilt over her face to block out the sunlight:
But once she woke up…oh, I don’t even know if I can write about it. I’ll try, though, because I make an effort to be honest about the less-lovely sides of motherhood; it’s easy to think that nobody struggles, that you’re absolutely alone in the hard-stuff, because almost nobody writes about it and everyone pretends they’re fine. And maybe they aren’t pretending, I don’t know – that’s the thing that’s maddening about this, is that you don’t know whether you’re truly alone, or if you’re just the only one willing to say anything about it. So I’ll say it, and hope that it makes someone else feel less alone.
The drive home was awful. It makes me worry that we will not be able to travel to visit our families over winter break; she is THAT awful in the car. I have bruises and scratches from how many times she grabbed my arm and dug her nails in, and kicked me in the face while swinging her legs over the side of her carseat (she’s tall, so she’s got REACH). See, I sit next to her carseat in the backseat (it’s not comfy, because she has to be in the middle because of the setup of our old LATCH-less car, so I’m between a carseat and the door…good thing I’m small). I do this because if I sit in the front, then I end up having to turn around every minute to do something relating to M (she is just not even remotely good at handling car trips or self-entertainment), and that makes me super duper carsick and hurts my lower back (where I have spinal stenosis – twisting repeatedly is just not a great thing for me to do). Plus, she’s a thrower, and it’s better if I can be in the backseat to stop her than to have her chucking stuff up at A while he’s driving. (This would be one of several reasons why the “just hand her an iPhone with video on it” approach is not one I care to take. I don’t exactly relish the idea of a $600+ piece of technology being thrown!) But omg, do I ever have to stop her. A lot. The physicality of this age is so hard for me – I can’t just tell her no (she’ll do it anyway – she’s at a very boundary-testing age), I have to physically restrain/redirect her. Dealing with her crazy antics all day long takes a lot out of me, and when I’m stuck next to her, so can’t take myself away when she’s not treating me kindly and thus serving as her punching/kicking bag…well, there’s only so much of that I can take. I ended up sobbing in our backyard in the cold for half an hour once we were home before I could face the idea of going inside and being around her again.
I’m just not sure that the joy of Saturday and of Sunday morning was worth the misery of Friday and Sunday afternoon/evening. And I was kicking myself for not doing a little more shopping while I was at the festival. That bird whistle is actually the only thing we bought, even though I REALLY wanted a set of Bartlettyarns miniskeins – it was just too crazy in there when I first saw them, and I never got a chance to go back and pick up a set. And I don’t know, somehow the combination of not having anything (but the experience, which, at the festival at least, was wonderful, so there’s that!) to bring home plus the abject awfulness of the drive left me feeling incredibly guilty and regretful about making the trip.
Gee, that’s not a fun note to end this Rhinebeck 2014 post on, is it. Sorry! I have some wonderful “real camera” photos from the festival, mostly of M wearing Elle Melle and her new red hat, and I’ll put those in a separate post, probably tomorrow.