Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Death of a Lovey

Well, we're back, and we had a lovely time, even if things didn't quite go as planned. We left a touch later than we intended to on Friday, and let me tell you, a 7 hour trip in a car with a 3 year old is not exactly the most fun or pleasant experience in the world. It doesn't seem like a 300 mile trip and a 400 mile trip would be that different, but they are! Apparently, Luke has about a 350 mile "carseat limit," and he gets super-whiny once you cross it. And I don't appreciate the speed limit being only 65 mph through most of SC and NC; I feel like I am *crawling* on the interstate. But we did finally make it around 9 PM. Got Luke in bed and all set to go, then chatted with BIL and SIL. Even let DH show off the Wii (yes, we took it to NC and back!).

Saturday was mostly uneventful. We went to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, which was quite lovely (and free!). They had a dinosaur exhibit that you could pay to see, but we did just fine with what they had. BIL was concerned that we didn't arrive until about 90 minutes before close, but I knew Luke wouldn't really stay interested for much more than that (if that), so it worked out fine, and we headed straight to dinner from there. In the snow! Atlanta actually got more than we did up there, or so I hear. I'm actually sorry Luke missed the 3 inches or so we had on Saturday back home, but that's okay. I even managed to drive in it without freaking out or killing anyone. Got Luke in bed, more chatting, and watched Fantastic 4, which we had missed when it was in theaters (missed both of them, in fact, though we only watched the first one at their house).

Sunday, however, was a bit of an adventure. First off, DH had taken the Wii to BIL's house specifically so we could try out Luke on it and see how he did. If it was something he seemed easily able to play, then we would let him start playing on it at home. If not, he would just think it was BIL's, so not having one at our house (as far as he knows) wouldn't be such a big deal. He had some trouble with it, though he caught on to some things a lot faster than we thought he would. The B button (trigger type button on the back of the remote) seemed to give him the most trouble, both in simply remembering that it was there and actually being able to reach it with his small hands. He sure seemed to have fun despite some of the frustration with the remote. I have some video, but I haven't downloaded it from the camera yet. Maybe in the next couple of days I can get it posted here. Anyway....

We were supposed to meet my friend Leah for a late lunch after they finished up with church. We left late, to start with, due to a huge diaper mess, though better before we left than after. I followed the directions my SIL gave me, and given that it was right in the middle of nap time for Luke, he fell asleep in the car, which we knew would only make him grumpy, but there wasn't much to be done about it. Leah called while we were on the way to let us know that they had arrived a bit ahead of schedule and were going to go on and be seated. We arrived safe and sound, only a few minutes late, but Leah, Nathan, and Georgia were no where to be found. I called, but only got voicemail. She returned my call a few minutes later, and we finally figured out that we were at the wrong restaurant. Well, right restaurant, wrong location, and it would take a good 30+ minutes to get to the correct one. Both kids were grumpy and starving, so we just agreed that it wouldn't work out for us to meet up this time. It was sad, but there wasn't much to be done. We had already fed Luke at his regular lunch time (11:30), so DH and I just picked up some fast food and returned to BIL's house.

Upon arrival, BIL and SIL were taking showers, so we just sat downstairs and ate our lunch. About the time we finished, BIL called DH upstairs for something. I couldn't imagine what, especially when BIL was so insistent that Luke not be allowed to accompany DH. All I could figure was that maybe they had gotten Luke a gift that they weren't sure if we would allow him to have (though what that might be, I could not even imagine). Several minutes later, BIL came down, and DH requested my presence upstairs, again sans Luke. What on earth is going on?!

The temperature in NC did not get above freezing all day. BIL had noticed how cold the room was where Luke was sleeping, so he opened the door to allow it to warm up some. I even remember when he told me he was going to do that. Well, apparently, while they were showering but before we got home, one of their dogs went into the room and took exception to Luke's tiny stuffed puppy.

Puppy has been Luke's constant sleeping companion for the vast majority of his three years. It was something I picked up from the dollar bins at Target on a whim one day when he was a baby, and we put it in his crib, along with several other loveys, when he was old enough to be allowed to sleep safely with such things. He adored it immediately, probably because it was so tiny, not even 4 inches from head to tail, and very "floppy" so it couldn't really sit or stand, just lay there. He also used it instead of a pacifier to go to sleep at night. He started with the tail, but after a while, I got concerned that he would suck the tail right off and maybe choke on it, so I started checking it periodically, and it did indeed come off in my hand one day. I just tossed it out and stitched up the hole, hoping that would be the end of sucking on puppy. No such luck. He switched to sucking on one of the back legs instead. After two years (or more) of that, Puppy was looking decidedly worse for wear. I had even thought of telling him when we got back from this trip that I didn't know where Puppy was and see what happened. I still wanted to keep it! (I was going to tuck it in a drawer with some other baby things to show him later in life.) I just didn't think he needed to continue to suck on it, and there was no way to break him of that, so it just needed to disappear. Apparently, Ginger decided to spare me the ethical dilemma of whether or not to lie to my child.

When BIL got out of the shower, he found bits of stuffing and brown fabric all over the place. I think Ginger even started throwing up bits of fluff not long after, so there was no doubt as to which of the dogs was the culprit (not that Daytona would have ever done anything like that; he's a good doggie). BIL was livid; SIL was so upset, especially after giving me directions to the wrong location for lunch (my fault, I should have double checked). DH was none too happy either, but I think I was more upset than everyone else combined. And then there was the dilemma of what to tell Luke. We decided to go on and tell him then, well before bedtime, that Puppy was gone and we couldn't find him, but we did *not* tell him what actually happened. We didn't want him being upset or angry with the dogs, or worse yet, afraid of them (they were quite large, about as tall as he is to the top of the head, but they were very good with him and he adored them). He didn't seem upset or really even phased in the slightest. He just looked around for Puppy, calling him, picked up the air mattress to look underneath it, and that was it. We thought it just hadn't sunk in yet since he wasn't trying to go to sleep, but when we put him to bed, he asked again where Puppy was, we reiterated that Puppy was gone and could not be found, and that was it. We thought surely he would wake up screaming in the middle of the night (he's done that before when Puppy got wrapped up in the covers and he was too sleepy to figure it out), but it didn't happen, and even our first night at home was fine without Puppy. (Tonight is night two; we'll see how it goes.) Apparently, I'm the only person who felt the need to cry about it!

BIL had to work on Monday, but SIL didn't. We were hoping to be on the road early (before 10 AM, if possible, trying to be home well before Luke's bedtime), so we wouldn't have had much time to spend with them in the morning anyway. BIL gets up at some insane time (3:45 AM, I think?) to go to work (gets home early too, though), so he went to bed around 9:30. SIL and I were chatting quite well, and DH abandoned us around 10:30. The two of us "spices" (that would be plural for spouse, LOL) stayed up until after 3 AM, talking about *everything* under the sun. I've really only ever met her two other times, once at Luke's 2nd birthday party with lots of family around and a sick child, so not a ton of time to talk, and the other at the wedding, which *definitely* didn't leave much time to get to know each other. She is really a wonderful person! I couldn't have chosen a better SIL, LOL. But we did decide we needed to go to bed before BIL got up and realized we had not yet been to sleep!

DH got up with Luke and started the packing process, and he was kind enough to let me sleep. I met SIL coming out of her room at 9 AM, and I stopped dead when I heard DH talking to someone with a deep voice downstairs. "Who is downstairs?" Seems that BIL had managed to turn off his alarm instead of hitting snooze, and it was daylight by the time he woke up, which meant he had already missed half his workday, so he decided to stay home for the day. I had intended to throw the last few things in the suitcase and be on our way, but we all got to talking and didn't leave until nearly noon. Luke was better on this trip (slept much of the way, actually), but it felt like we would never get home! DH was convinced there was a wormhole slowing the passage of time or something. We did finally make it around 8:30, successfully put Luke to bed sans puppy, did some chores, and hopped in bed ourselves.

An excellent trip in general, barring the couple of little blips. We really wanted a chance to spend some time with BIL and SIL and get to know them more. BIL was in the Navy for 10 years or so, starting not long after DH graduated from high school, so he and DH haven't had much of a chance to interact as adults, and SIL is still new to the family, having only been introduced to us at Luke's second birthday not even 18 months ago. And we know all too well that once baby arrives (she's due in April), it is difficult to talk about anything else. I am so glad we went and had this opportunity to spend time with them as a couple. We hope to return in late fall to see the baby!

Currently feeling: tired of being in the car!


  1. Sounds like a great time had by all. :) Katie has trouble with the B button on the Wimote too. So much so that she has given up on video games for now - which is just fine with us. Alex has been such an addict since we started him young that we are glad to have a little more time before she is sucked in too!

  2. Thank goodness everything with Puppy turned out okay!


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