So it's Labor Day! Sweet Girl has a three day weekend and Little Man cleared his schedule to hang with his peeps. Sean decided his fantasy football team needed his undivided attention, so he went to Jersey to sit in a room with a bunch of other guys all on computers "drafting" NFL football players and setting up an entire season of hand wringing and time wasting on their parts. Best of luck with that, really. Obviously this meant a trip home to see Nana, Papa, Aunt Carrie, and the rest of the usual suspects in Illinois. And Sweet Girl and Little Man could participate in Pig Roast festivities (and by that I mean making me crazy by running around, being loud yet anti-social at the same time, and the ever popular making me breastfeed in semi-public - it is a glamorous life I lead)! I could pick up Sweet Girl from school, do the obligatory Sonic stop, and be at home before 10 pm easily. I drop Sweet Girl off on Friday - getting the "Bye Mommy! See you later!" as she pushes me away and grabs the rope to go in to school - and Little Man and I go home to pack up our necessities. Er, make that necessities plus all the inevitable detritus that goes with packing for an infant and toddler. I felt vaguely like Mrs. Potato Head in the outtakes of Toy Story 2; here's an extra pair of shoes, and your angry eyes, a dime - call me, some blue play doh, some monkey chow - for the monkeys! And though I thought I had plenty of time to get us all packed up, it actually came down to the wire(ish) after doing some emergency laundry, looking after a fussy(ish) Little Man, and packing enough gfcf staples to last us the weekend(ish). But never fear, Little Man and I were there to pick up Sweet Girl with the Pilot loaded down for our weekend adventure: on time and looking good(ish).
We stop by Sonic to keep their ice machine in business and I get Sweet Girl some apple slices as a treat. She loves all thing apple, but I limit her intake because their moderately high phenol content can cause issues for her. Yes, I am the world's meanest mother; no gluten, no dairy, few apples. I swear I do it because I care. Anyway, we get on the road. Little Man is serenading us with his sleepy time soundtrack while Sweet Girl is in heaven with ice cubes, apple slices, and Toy Story on DVD. All is going well. Our vehicle is equipped with a "Rear Entertainment System" (which I think is begging to be mocked due to the questionably placed modifier, but that may be the 12 year old in me speaking) so I don't actually have to listen to Toy Story while Sweet Girl watches. Alas, that doesn't mean I don't get the running commentary from her anyway. "Sky! Oh no, Peep! Woody! You got a friend in me, etc" ad nauseum. All of that at decibel level 11 because there is no other volume for Sweet Girl. Things are going smoothly, if not loudly, until Mr. Potato Head gets assaulted by a toddler in the movie and Sweet Girl imitates the motions of banging a plastic spud against a crib railing........with an open cup of ice cubes in her hand. All of a sudden it's hailing inside the vehicle. Most of the ice ended up in her car seat which isn't a problem in the short term, but of course will be as it melts and makes the trip colder and wetter than it needs to be. Unfortunately there was no good place to stop at this point to minimize the damage, so we continued on.
About this time, I get a text from Aunt Carrie. I had texted her earlier thinking she would be about half-way home. I was wrong. Aunt Carrie was at urgent care getting poked and prodded. At that point she was waiting on word whether she and her gall bladder were splitting up. Realizing that this was not ideal for our previous plans (alot of things have happened at Pig Roast but I have yet to hear of any open air cholecystectomies) and that Nana and Papa, who also happen to be Aunt Carrie's parents, might not be where they were previously expected to be for the weekend. So I stopped at the nearest emergency aid station-McDonald's. By that time the ice cubes had done what ice cubes have a tendency to do, and both Sweet Girl and her car seat were soaked. First order of business was getting Sweet Girl dry. After the veritable comedy routine that is me and my two children in a small bathroom stall, we dryly got our gourmet dinner and sat down. While Little Man enviously eyed the solid food and Sweet Girl made McDonald's rethink their free in-house ketchup policy, I called Nana. After a bit of reassurance, it was decided that Nana and Papa would both go to help Aunt Carrie through her break-up with her gall bladder. After all, Aunt Carrie had been carrying that gall bladder for more than 30 years. The break-up was bound to be somewhat difficult. So Aunt Carrie was going to the hospital, Nana and Papa were going to care for Aunt Carrie, and the Three Amigos were going.........back home. Sweet Girl, Little Man, and I had been on the world's longest drive for a McDonald's hamburger. We packed up and pressed rewind.
Half a tank of gas, about one hundred and ninety miles, one wardrobe change, and an ice cube debacle later, we ended up where we started. The adventure wasn't what we expected it would be, but then again it hardly ever is. Sweet Girl and Little Man hope everyone had a safe but adventurous Labor Day and send love to Aunt Carrie. That gall bladder never was good enough for you. :)