So far, so good. Babygirl found the idea of riding in an airplane thrilling, as did the boys. Our eardrums didn't explode and no one screamed and the plane stayed in the air, hitting only a few "bumpity-bumps" as we descended into Houston. During the four-hour flight, Babygirl watched the "Heffalump" DVD, ate the salad from my lunch, drew on her "Color-Wonder" paper (a true miracle, that stuff) and finally napped in my arms. [I have to note that Babygirl, not yet three, drew faces, complete with ears and hair and a bruise, and then wrote a row of the letter "H."]
When she woke from her nap, she was not happy to be still on the big airplane. She wanted to go home. Landing distracted her, as did the escalator. However, when she walked out of the airport into a blast of heat, she grew concerned. When I buckled her into her carseat in the white Suburban, tears rolled down her face. She did not want to go to her aunt's house. "I want to go to my home!" she cried over and over.
Since then, she's come to understand that her home is too far away and that we are staying at "the lady's house." (She calls her aunt, "the lady," and sounds exactly like Jerry Lewis when she does so.) "The Lady" left the next morning, so we've been housesitting, sort of, and exulting in the cleanliness and emptiness of a whole house to ourselves. Within blocks of the house are two swimming pools and parks, and I must admit that things are bigger in Texas--the pools are both twice the size of the pool at home, and the parks have two or three sliding/climbing toys. Babygirl loves to slide and climb and swim, so we distract her from her homesickness with carefully timed mentions of swimming or sliding. When all else fails, I say, "You want to go shopping?" and then I take her to the local Wal-Mart Supercenter. When in Texas, you know, do as Texans do.
I took the boys to see Madagascar. They are having a blast eating out every day. (I am enjoying not cooking, though I carry on with two loads of laundry each day). Tonight, they are going with their dad to his niece's house to swim and play. I hear rumors of dirt-bikes and four-wheelers and other devices designed to break children's bones. I'm staying home with Babygirl--we think it would be just too much for her--and we'll probably walk to the pool on the greenbelt paths.
We leave Sunday morning at 6:15 a.m. on Amtrak, heading for Disney World. Babygirl is excited about the idea--the train and Disney World itself--though she really has no idea what we're talking about. The boys cannot wait for this portion of our adventure to begin. We'll arrive late on the night of July 4th, ready for a five-day whirlwind tour.
Alas, I failed to get my house perfectly clean before I left, but in the end, I told myself it was good enough. When I get home, we'll be so happy to see our own not-quite-clean digs that it won't matter. Maybe that's the point of a vacation anyway. By the time you see your own worn carpets and grimy windows, you are just thrilled to be back in your own territory, nevermind if the high temperature is only seventy-one degrees in the middle of July. At least at home, you can plop your baby into her crib at 8:00 p.m. and she goes to sleep without a fuss. Here, we're sharing a full-sized bed and she sleeps fused to my spine, causing me to wake up puffy-eyed and sore.
Who knows when I'll check in again . . . Gina will be posting re-runs here and there for your entertainment. I'll eat some barbecue for you.