The stage was actually set for this evening's disaster earlier this afternoon when S-Boogie refused to take her nap. She just hung out in her room for about 2 hours (I could hear her and even went in a few times to tuck her back into bed) and came out about 4:30 announcing "I'm not going to sleep". Lately she'll sometimes skip a nap and there's not much you can do about it. But, I knew that meant she'd be extra cranky after dinner and that the hour and a half before bedtime wasn't going to be very pleasant. It usually isn't anyways, since I haven't yet figured out how to handle a colicky baby, cooking dinner, and still getting a toddler to bed on time. Usually Little Dude spends a lot of the time screaming in his swing while I'm cooking or getting S-Boogie ready, and I generally end up eating with one hand and holding the screaming baby with the other. Luckily S-Boogie seems to be indifferent to his screaming.
So, after dinner tonight I suggested we take a little walk around the block. I could use the exercise, plus I hoped that a little jaunt in the snuggli would put Little Dude to sleep, and hopefully he'd stay asleep long enough after we got home to get bath time out of the way. We all went out for a little walk, and as we got close to the park I decided it might be fun to stop by. S-Boogie loves the playground and Little Dude wasn't quite asleep yet. There was one little boy there who was a bit older than S-Boogie and she immediately attached herself to him. She can't be around other kids without doing exactly what they're doing. Unfortunately, he wanted to go on the swings. She wanted to go on a big swing like he was, but I was nervous. I usually put her in the little baby swings, because I don't trust her to hold on to the bigger swing and not fall off it backwards. So she started having a giant fit about going on the big swings and I just stood there by the "baby" swings and let her know which one she could ride in. Then another little girl her age showed up and got on a big swing too. S-Boogie kept having a cow and managed to wander right into the path of the swinging boy and get knocked to the ground. She didn't get hurt, but that didn't help stop her fit. Finally the other girl's mom got smart and put her daughter in a baby swing. S-Boogie immediately stopped crying and wanted to get in the baby swing too. Everything was cool for a while. They both swung for a while, and the other mom even helped push S-Boogie since it was kind of hard for me to do stuff while wearing Little Dude. Then they went on the slides for a while. It was getting close to bedtime, so I warned S-Boogie that she could go on the slide 2 more times and then we'd leave. Usually that works just fine. Well, she went down two more times, begged for one more time and got it, and then I took her hand to lead her to the stroller. She immediately dropped herself to the ground and started screaming and thrashing around in the wood chips under the slide (which, incidentally, smelled like dog doo). I had to drag/carry her over to stroller. Somehow I managed to get her there and strapped in without hurting myself or Little Dude (or her). She spent the entire 4 block ride home screaming at the top of her lungs and thrashing around in the stroller. She also screamed during her bath and didn't really stop until I was putting her in bed. And Little Dude also screamed all through her bath because he managed to wake up during all the brouhaha at the park. I don't think I'm going to get the parenting two kids thing down until they are both in college.