Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Summer school of hard knocks

As promised here's the rundown of lessons learned during our annual pilgrimage to the southern coast of Maine:

1. Traveling at night doesn't make it easier. The thinking was that she'd sleep on the way and make a seamless transition from car to Pack and Play. Not the case. Instead the four-hour rest gave her sufficient energy to stay up until the wee hours of the morning.

2. Swivel chairs are NOT good for toddlers. At the dinner table, when the two-year-old's hunger pangs have been vanquished in the time it takes her parents to eat three green beans, all it takes is a split second for the little miss to fling herself off the chair and head first into the dog bowl. To be more precise, she smacked down chin first into the pottery. "That's gonna leave a mark," is my first thought.

3. As Ittybit cries hysterically and the redness appears, quite possibly the sweetest thing ever to escape the lips of a 22-month-old cousin toddler is simply this: "Bel. Band-Aid."

4. Then again, the NEXT sweetest thing is when it's Ittybit's turn to be comforting after year-younger cuz (an exceedingly athletic child for his age) unceremoniously, not once but twice, finds his little body hurling off the couch and onto a slate floor. "Don't worry, cousin Elliott. It won't hurt too long."

5. I almost forgot about the splinters. There were three to be exact: two in the hand one in the foot, all presumably acquired in a deck climbing trek in Portland. The surgery that took place in Ama Linda's livingroom required several orderlies, who are now mostly hard of hearing (raises hand), and a surgeon (Jed), who may have to hang out a shingle and start a practice. It's a good thing Auntie Saya is a therapist. Her story about her own experience with a green and pussy splinter really did the trick. We think she deserves some serious combat pay since Annabel made her repeat the story several times, and even required her to drive with us to the beach in order to "Say it again," for the three hundredth time.

6. So you think you can get away by yourselves, and from yourselves, on an island for an overnight stay? HA. Not only will you call home four or five times, but you will also find yourselves twiddling your thumbs in the extravagant hotel room, eating stinky cheese and watching "2 Fast, 2 Furious." Even though we managed to have fun despite ourselves, after we left on the ferry and landed in Portland, got our car out of hock and headed home, I discovered I'd left my wallet in the hotel room. Typical me. I remember holding it in my paws as I was packing my ONE tini tiny bag and thinking, "Whew, this would have sucked if I forgot this."

7. Annabel has the capacity to lie AND feel guilty about it. It's apparently a "pre-school" thing. While we were on an island and I was in the process of losing all my identification, she was playing with a contraband stick Ama took away from her. When I gash appeared on her hip later and Ama Linda asked her if she'd been playing with the stick she immediately and convincingly said "No. I'm okay." Later though she felt guilty enough that she did fess up.

8. Again with the repetition. When we called from the road for the fifth time, Auntie Saya mentioned that the last time we rang the house for an update of her progress, she spent a considerable amount of time recapping the conversation for Annabel. "Let's just say she knows EVERYTHING she did today."

9. Teach kids to sit down in the canoe. It's probably not the wisest of parents who teach them to walk along the midline mid-river.

10. DO NOT put lobsters in a tub and show them to a bath-phobic toddler. To be filed under the heading "What was I thinking?".

11. Ocean, waves, hermit crabs that have invaded this year ... Not her cup of tea.

12. Lobster cookies, on the other hand, are yummy. They go nicely with "hot milk" and cheesy buns (Annie's Cheddar Bunnies). And if nibbled precisely, will last all day and have enough left over to give a claw to the cuz.

13. There is 0 fiber in our cereal. ZERO. ZILCH.

14. Mike Wazowski (from Monster's Inc.) has horns.

15. Jed does dishes. (Related to a wager over #14.)

16. There is such a thing as penis puppetry It's a stage show AND a book. (I will not divulge how I learned this.)

17. Freeport, this year, was not a foreign word meaning more expensive that the real shit. I backed into a $5 pant sale in pretty much every store I shopped. As Jed would (and did) say, it was nickel piss your pant night at the outlets.

18. Pineapples start frothing when they go bad. Just what we need: RABID produce.

19. The cheap diapers are so NOT worth it. The tape on the right side of Target brand diapers SUCKS. SUCKS. (Thank goodness for duct tape.)

20. There is NOTHING better than Ama Linda's wild blueberry bush. Oh wait, I take that back. Her raspberry bushes are THE BEST and just the right height for little hunter gatherers. And for after-dinner entertainment? Have you tried listening to the birds? Annabel, Cousin Elliott and Ama Linda recommend it highly.


kimmyk said...

Sounds like alot of lessons learned and a wonderful trip.

Great pictures!

Andrea said...

That sounds so awesome. You take such wonderful pictures. Congratulations on the pants sale, and on the night away, even if you didn't quite know what to do.

Mom101 said...

Those photos are SPECTACULAR! Holy moly. Whatever "warnings" in your writing have been overshadowed by the marvelous pictures.

Do you think the sales will still be happening Labor Day weekend when I get to Freeport? Yeah, I think I just answered my own question.

toyfoto said...

There is, in addition to Ama's berries, a very big upside this year, MOM-101. The mosquitoes were NOT unbearable. We were able to spend lots of time outdoors (in the woods).

Be Still said...

I am lol at the lobsters in the bathtub lesson!