I hear you. Things took on new levels of exhausting about the time Anna arrived. Split starts (and eventually shadowing) add a whole new level of logistical challenges and make for a very long day, something I think non-parents don't think of when they want to socialize or ask for help running the event. But I think the good thing is that O parents tend to band together and support each other. We have lots of friends that we see a lot of because our kids have become the roving mob of chaos during O meets!
Glad you all got out there, sounds like it was a great time.
We did have a good time! We (okay, I) had been considering skipping the Laramie segment because it just seemed like too much, but I'm glad we went -- Melissa had never been to Wyoming and she really enjoyed it. And of course Lukas loved it, so many new people to charm. :-)
The logistics with a little one definitely make things more tiring and difficult, which we learned back in Sweden over Easter, though apparently we're in need of a refresher. It's not reasonable for us to expect to both be able to race each day. That's simple enough to account for, but I think we underestimate just how exhausting it is keeping another human alive and having your focus on him all the time. Those of you with more than one must have some kind of secret sauce for keeping sane.
Benign neglect. Liberal use of technology on rainy days!
Now that Anna and the rest of the QOC kids are close to the age of reason, they generally run as a pack with a parent or two (or Valerie and Amy) keeping half an eye on them. We're a bit more careful with Peter as his common sense meter is a bit...ummmm...lacking, but Anna is a huge help there most of the time. She's a great big sister and likes to organize the younger kids.
If you all head to NZ for WMOC, we should see if we can work something out across all the parents (and Anna, who will be 12 by then -eek-). No idea how flexible the organizers may be, but worth a try.
I'm looking forward to when Lukas is old enough to handle more benign neglect. ;-)
At this point NZ is looking unlikely, unfortunately. We'd love to go back there but it's not worth going all that way if we can't make it a good, long trip. And that takes vacation time and $, two big unknowns for us right now. Maybe we'll plan to go once the little dude is old enough to remember something about it.
Yeah, I hear you. We're planning to fly Space-A at least as far as Australia, plus we'll be officially retired by then, so totally different considerations. I think we're going to rent a camping van and just camp our way around for a few weeks, which does take a chunk out of the lodging/transpo/food costs, since we'll do a lot of our own cooking, too.
I don't really remember the early years well, but we often had a third set of hands in our au pair, even when all 3 adults were running. That took some of the pressure off to have a perfect race so that Jon would get out in time. Especially since I don't do perfect very well! But by the time you all get back to the US, having the parents / older kids around should be helpful, since there's a really great group of F12-F14s right now, and a few M12-M14s, too. Amazing how figuring out the kid logistics makes everything else a lot easier.
I live by benign neglect. When my neglected ones allow me to.