Running from the Law: Picnic in the Park

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Picnic in the Park

Last night after work, I packed up a picnic dinner and Mac and I headed to the Missouri Botanical Gardens for their free concert Wednesday nights (part of the Whitaker Music Festival).  The park is free to the public and has a different band/performer every Wednesday evening in the summer.  Unfortunately, I misread the website and thought the music was going to be from 5 -7 (actually, it starts at 7:30 - doh!), so we were a little early, but still had fun.  



We dined on PB&J sandwiches, fruit and animal crackers on a picnic blanket in the grass.  I had a Schlafly Summer Lager and Mac had a sippy cup of water.  He was less than thrilled about this.  Ryan met us there after work and the three of us explored the park.  The Children's Garden was open until 7, so after dinner Mac got some sliding/splashing/playing in.  




Mac loved pushing the stroller and playing in the sprinklers and dirt.  It was hard keeping him out of the fountains, though.  They're like giant kiddie pools!  Ryan and I loved sipping our beers, listening to the (not live) music playing, catching up on our days and letting Mac explore.  Every now and then Mac would just stop in mid-step and break out into a dance.  It was the greatest thing ever. 


Like I said, unfortunately (stupid me), we had to leave before the real music started to take little man home for bed, but it was a fun night.  The place was packed!  And completely overrun with kids and babies, which was great.  I would have loved to stay for the the music and I know Mac wanted to dance!  


Maybe I'm a wimp when it comes to Mac's sleep schedule, but how to parents do it - keeping their kids up past their bedtimes for these types of things?  Do the kids just fall asleep there in the stroller or on a blanket?  Do they sleep in the car and not take a bath?  Mac will have an absolute fucking meltdown if he gets overtired, which I will do anything possible to avoid.  Do any of you mamas do this kind of thing successfully with little ones?  Tips?  I've got so much to learn about being a "flexible" parent, I guess. 

29 comments:

  1. I am a total hardass about my 13mo old daughter's naps and bedtime schedule because it's what keeps her (and as a result me) happy. I don't think you have to learn how to be a flexible parent about sleep if you know your kid melts down when tired. In fact I think you are doing exactly what is right for your kiddo. I live in a super kid populated neighborhood and the only kids I ever see past 8pm are all school age (kindergarten or older). I would love to go to concerts and other community activities just like you described (and there are lots where I live) but they are all too late for us (my daughter still goes to bed at 7). The way I figure i'm not missing out on a "great" activity because she would be miserable and none of us would have fun so it wouldn't be so "great" in the end. So I say stick with what you're doing and just trust that it's best for your son. Soon enough he'll be able to go to those type activities and then you'll be able to enjoy it! :)

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  2. Seriously, he has YOUR facial expressions and it kills me!! And um, make him stop growing please, k, thanks.

    ps. I SEE YOU SO SOON!!! TWICE!!

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  3. I'm a stickler for bedtime! Even if we do stay out late, Noah gets grumpy QUICK. Sometimes he'll fall asleep in the stroller but not without his lovey / paci!

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  4. This is probably why our sleep schedule sucks. We keep D up WAY past a reasonable bedtime until about 9 or 9:30. And if we're out late and he conks out on the way home, we just skip bath that night and put him straight to bed (assuming that's even possible and he doesn't wake up wanting to play).

    But on the positive side, you guys look like you had a blast. Kids don't really care about "live music" so you got to enjoy the gardens before the crowds got super bad. And that's as good as it gets.

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  5. We've skipped a bath a time or two and Max needs his bedtime routine so it's worked for us. We just stay out a little later and then skip the bath and put him in PJ's read our books and head to bed. The only thing is, he won't sleep in any later the next day so we rarely do this, but he doesn't melt down if he is dancing and having fun.

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  6. We really just don't ever stay out late. A couple times I have been in Columbia past his bedtime, and usually keep him wrapped up, and then he sleeps in the carseat on the way home and we skip his bath that day. But unless we're out of town, he is asleep at a pretty consistent time every night.

    Glad you were able to go and enjoy the Garden, even without music! It's one of my absolute favorite places in St. Louis. I'm a member and can get you in for free if you ever want to do a play date some time!

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  7. We were pretty strict about bedtimes until just a couple of months ago. Our oldest is now 5 and does OK staying up for an hour or so past her usual bedtime, as long as she gets a good nap the next day. The "baby" is now 2.5 and seems to be able to handle staying up a bit later than usual, but only a bit. We still very rarely do it.

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  8. Since C's bedtime is between 6:30 to 7pm right now, i wonder this same thing all the time and it stresses me out! Her sleep is finally getting better, so I'm afraid to change the routine and have a crappy night. However, sometimes i feel there are occasions that might be worth it. C doesn't freak out usually if we are out somewhere and she's up late because she is usually distracted by being somewhere new. When we've been out late in the past, we skip bathtime and pack pj's. Then she can go straight from carseat to bed. This looks like it was a lot of fun!!!

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  9. Definitely not as strict with number two for bedtime, but I totally hear you on avoiding a meltdown. Just attempt something fun during bedtime one night and see how it goes--I find that if we are out and about doing something stimulating, it actually keeps C from being too much of a beast. And somehow the ride home and bedtime after is never as bad as I expect. But every kid is different and you gotta do what keeps everyone happy.

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  10. Love the Botanical Gardens AND a good Schlafly beer :) We lived in St. Louis for a year before moving down here, so reading your blog always makes me a little nostalgic! And I'm no help in the strict bedtime department…I have an absolute panic attack when we're invited to anything that starts after 5 o'clock. Sometimes we can stretch Arden a little bit, but it's usually meltdown city by 7. So if you figure anything out you let me know ;)

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  11. Seriously if you get a good answer, please share! I feel like you could get a good answer from a mom of 2+ kiddos because, at that point, you can't just cater to the one kid's bedtime...you may have ballgames or school activities that keep you out later and you would just have to make it work! Just thinking about that sort of stuff on top of taking care of a baby just makes me want to enjoy this time when it's just us and him even more because I'm not sure how that is gonna work! :)

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  12. That sounds like the BEST way to spend an evening after work. We are a 7pm bedtime house here, so I feel ya on the rushing home to put them down. We usually make sure we plan on leaving at least around bedtime so she can sleep in the car, but sometimes we just let her stay up. If they are sleepy enough they will sleep and if not, you can always make a mad dash home! :)

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  13. What a great night! Sweet Mac is TOO CUTE. Love him! We're pretty consisten with Blaire's bedtime but on the occasions we've kept her up late, she does fine. But I think how they handle that depends on the kid. Blaire's an energizer bunny. She'll go, go, go and not stop. She's blown bedtime by 2+ hours before and not batted an eye. She doesn't crash the way it seems some kids do. If Mac lets you know when it's time to sleep, sounds like you're doing the right thing by following his cues.

    We'll stay out late and do fun things again one day. Right? ;)

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  14. I agree with Jenny above - it just isn't worth messing with Luca's schedule to go somewhere late. He'd lose it anyways - so even something super fun wouldn't be...fun. Although Luca is a ring boy in an evening wedding at the end of the summer so we'll see...haha

    Looks like a fun evening!!

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  15. Those evenings out are always fun, even if you didn't get to hear the music. I am help on the parenting question though! It sounds complicated.

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  16. Wow--he is SO, SO cute! I have been dying to get out to the Botanical Gardens this summer, I'll have to check out this Wed. night deal. Maybe we'll see you all out there sometime!! I'm with you--all three of mine lose their minds if we stay up more than an hour past bedtime. Even worse, they get up EVEN EARLIER the next morning--what is that about?? So, I am strict with bedtime, too. What a fun night out, though!!

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  17. This looks so fun! I'm strict about Abbie's bedtime too, don't feel bad about it!

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  18. I'm so the same way...I worry, is this event worth a shitty night of sleep? AR's bedtime is 7pm so occasionally, we'll keep her out until 8 at the latest. If we do and she's fallen asleep on the way home then we skip bath but if she's in a good mood and up for it then we'll do a quick bedtime routine. It is a total bummer because I really want to take her to those kid of things but we'll have plenty of time to do that when they're a bit bigger, right?

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  19. I wonder this ALL the time! Heck, I'm impressed that you guys did something this grand on a week night! I feel like our week nights usually are so frantic because the minute we get home from work it's time to eat dinner (for Charlie), play, then go to bed or else he's in a grumpy mood and it's not fun. I think I have just come to the realization that this is how it's going to be for a while...until all of our future kids grow up! But PLEASE let me know if you have a trick ;)

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  20. That slide looks pretty dang cool, and it sounds like a perfect night even if you did miss the music! You should try staying out on a night that you don't have to get up for work, he might surprise you...at a place like that where he's happy, dancing and having fun he might be too busy to notice he's missing bed time! I have always been pretty consistent with Stella's bed time and would get so worked up about going anywhere that would mess it up, but eventually we just tried staying out because she was having such a good time and didn't seemed bothered by it! Good Luck Lady, music in the park sounds like a blast so I hope you can catch it sometime:)

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  21. If you discover the magical secret on staying up past bed time please pass that my way!
    And, those shorts - I DIE! Little boys and their plaid shorts are about the cutest things ever.

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  22. I've often wondered this myself! I think she would do okay for just a night up past her bedtime... but I'm too scared to find out. I figure once she's three or so it will be easier to occasionally delay bedtime.

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  23. this looks like te perfect evening at the park to me!!! complete with the PB&J, too ;)

    we need to try to do more stuff like this during the week just to escape the normal monday-friday routine

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  24. great pics! Hubby & I were crazy people when it came to Elyse's bedtime! This year we are a little more relaxed and she tolerates going to bed somewhat later if we need to be out and about...but for awhile we just missed out or tried to make the best of it! For awhile she was going to bed at 7...which made for a really LONG night of us just being at home with nothing to do! This to shall pass, and then you'll be out and about for a later night--Elyse now has a bedtime of about 8-8:30 depending on how cranky she is, but she'll also last until closer to 9 if we need her to.

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  25. I don't have kids so I have absolutely no advice...I feel like they should realise since the park is filled with kids that maybe they should start the live music earlier. That's my suggestion! start petitioning the park for earlier live music.

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  26. Look at those gold locks of hair! Just precious! And I don't know how parents deal with an all day activity like that. Ethan will go out for late dinners though and we don't bath him and he'll fall asleep on the way home. Not perfect, but it works.

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  27. I hear ya, we never really messed with H's schedule until he was 3 or so and even now we don't like to mess with it. He is a different child when not on a schedule! Our church does Parents Night Out once a month, when he was little they would put him down at his normal time but now he stays up until we get there at 9:30 and then its 10 before he is down....he never sleeps well on these nights and is up at the crack of dawn the next day!

    So as much as i hate the schedule sometimes I hate not sleeping even more!

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  28. "Mac will have an absolute fucking meltdown if he gets overtired" - Amen, sistah!!! I always envy parents who have babies napping at the beach or by the pool. Cam WILL NOT nap unless he's in HIS crib or his stroller or car seat (thankfully), but we ENVER keep him up past his bedtime because that just means torture for us!! Haha

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