That was a disaster. A friend once said about life with two kids: "Some days work, some days don't." Unfortunately, today wasn't a day that worked.
We ran errands in the morning--the Recycling Center in North Park Village, Family Fruit Market to re-stock the empty larder--with the promise that after The Tot's nap, I'd take everyone on the train downtown to see The Dad's office.
It was a non-starter. We ran to catch (and missed) the L, which freaked The Girl out. She had one of her signature panic attacks: crying, trembling, and refusal of the usual comfort measures. Poor love. I tried to get her to calm down as much as I was able, but it was difficult with the noise of the highway, trying to keep The Tot from going over the edge of the platform, and reining in The Boy's bossiness. The Girl's panic ebbed a bit once we got on a south-bound train, but started again as soon as we descended into the tunnel at Belmont. She asked to go home repeatedly.
What could I do?
We got off the train at Logan Square and waited for the next north-bound train. The Boy plead with The Girl not to be scared, but it was no use. Going back home was not a happy decision for The Boy; on the 3-stop train ride back to Irving Park, I had two crying kids in place of the one I had previously. The Girl was still freaking out about the train ride and The Boy was upset that we turned around. It was the longest 10-minute train ride of my life as everyone in the car around us turned to stare.
By the time I got them all home, I was so tired that I admit to using the TV as entertainment/babysitter. I plopped them all in front of Scooby-Doo on HBO so that we could all recover. The Dad ended up working late, so I had them all in bed by 7 p.m.