Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Captain Read-Every-Sign-Aloud-and-Comment-on-the-Obvious resumed his position of most honorable drive master. Co-Captain/Navigator Designate Milk-Maker-Baby-Soother-Child-Distractor (wo)manned the co-pilot seat. Then the Gigglesisters piled in the back seat, and we're off to grandparents house.
When she was 1.5 years Miss Monkey weathered the trip to Texas for grandparents visit with a video player, and by the time we arrived she was zombified. This year we did it old school, no video. Books on tape, music, coloring, staring out the window, giggling with the baby girl, and a view finder click-click-clicking away. It's a 13.5 hour trip (~778 miles), we left at 3:30 am MST putting the girls in the car in hopes that they would sleep for a few hours before the day began, it worked mostly. One tank later we stop for breakfast somewhere in New Mexico, then it's on the road again. I estimate it was about 10am or so before we heard the first "Are we there yet?" plaintively from the back seat. "No, it's a loooong drive to Gramma's & Grandpa's house. Remember we looked on the map, and talked about how long the drive would be? All day, remember? Well, we're about half way there now."
Then about an hour later, "Are we there YET?" suddenly we are entertained with, "I think you took a wrong turn, Papa. We should be there by now." Later interspersed with "When do we eat? I think we should stop at a restaurant." This continues on into the afternoon, watching the miles and tiny towns roll away. Eventually, sometime mid-afternoon, I think she surrendered to the car. It's hard to teach a new person how to sleep in the car, too. When I was little we took our favorite pillow and blanket and made a bed as best we could, elbowing each other out of the way, to be comfortable enough to sleep. The more we slept the faster the trip went. The First Born would have none of this sleeping in the car, I think she just couldn't get comfortable or she wasn't tired enough. Baby E did great up until the last couple of hours when she had obviously had enough. I spent that time twisted part-way 'round so she could have a hand to toy with, my guess, to know that she wasn't trapped back there without us. On our way home---post refreshments and visit with Maui-Amarillo transplant buddies---the baby was fed, diapered, jammied and ready for "bed". The bigger one fell asleep on cue for bedtime and stay asleep until we were almost to Denver, when, for whatever reason, she was wiiide awake at 11pm. Miss Chatty-Chatskins, the content of which we understood very little, most of it was dream-conscious gibberish I think, and something about Chuck-E-Cheese. She almost had a fit when I told her she had to go to bed immediately upon our arrival home. Gone are the days when we could nurse our babies while the husbands drove, and kids calling dibs on the way-back seat could stretch out for the cruise.
We made it, in good time, and enjoyed our visits with everyone immensely. Gratefully enjoying every moment. Happy Thanksgiving.
p.s. when the family joke has become to comment on the "funny lookin' dawgs" in the vast cattle fields of Texas, it's best to surrender to the silliness.