Sunday, September 10, 2006

Labor Day Travels

Sure last weekend provided Chip with an unprecedented amount of alone time, but for me it provided an opportunity to participate in historic single-parent traveling. I know I'm not breaking new ground here, but I consider it an accomplishment to go to the grocery store with both kids- crossing state lines was epic!

We began the trip Thursday night by putting both kids in their pjs, strapping them into their car seats, and kissing Daddy good-bye as we headed for Nashville. Connor was extremely concerned about his lack of footwear for the trip. Perhaps I should have been too. But since we were leaving at 7:00 pm, I was confident that both kids would sleep all the way to Mimi and Bwana's house. That would have happened had I not made the fatal mistake of making a phone call about an hour out of Nashville. Connor awoke and immediately began crying desperately and whining something that was incoherent. Is he saying "I want my Mommy?" I'm right here! Don't wake Chloe up! I pulled over at a gas station in the middle of nowhere and got out to comfort Connor and try to get him to talk to me. Nothing but crying. Since this is kind of normal (if he wakes up in the middle of the night for any reason, he starts sobbing right away) I got back behind the wheel and started driving. About a mile down the road we passed a rest area. About a mile after that, Connor decided to speak clearly. "I WANNA POTTY!" I started to panic a bit- I mean, we had just been at a pretty sketchy gas station and passed the last rest area for 41 miles. Where were we going to stop? As a woman alone at night in Nowhere, TN, I didn't feel comfortable pulling over to the side of the road. And when we got where we were going, I was going to have to find some shoes for Connor so that I could get him and Chloe inside to a toilet. (Connor would NEVER go barefoot outside- why didn't I have something on his feet preemptively?) So I was trying to get Connor to calm down by explaining that he just had to hold out a little longer when he let out one last wail and fell instantaneously into REM sleep. Ah, sweet release! I figured it would dry up some by the time we got to the Chockleys' house and just kept on going.

Friday morning Chloe and I had to catch a flight at 8:20. I was nervous about getting up and getting there on time, but the Chockleys wake up earlier than the roosters so it was almost no problem. Until we got to the airport (around 7:00) and noticed that the line for the Southwest counter stretched the length of the ticket lobby! Fortunately Sherri and I weren't carrying much- she only had a big suitcase and my Pack N Play, and I had the car seat, my overloaded diaper bag, and Chloe. I mean, we were exhausted and sweating by the time we got through the parking lot! So the big line seemed especially daunting. After about 10 minutes someone walking by randomly said, "If you're traveling with the baby you need to be in THAT line," pointing us to a much shorter line. And by shorter I mean we were only in that one about 25 minutes. I don't even want to think about a world where that random lady doesn't come by and point out the correct line. (Shudder)

Sherri stayed with me until the heavest bags were checked (thank you!) and then after 30 minutes in the security line Chloe and I were hustling towards the gate. We made it with minutes to spare! The flight was full so Chloe had to sit in my lap. Passenger after passenger passed us by until two brave women opted to (had no options but to) sit by us. They were nice and interested in Chloe, which is always fun. And let me just say, she was an ANGEL! Fussed for about a minute when the plane landed, but snapped out of it before anyone noticed. Yay!

Ann Arbor was wonderful, as always. It really seemed like fall there- the kids were back on campus, the temps were in the 60s during the day and around 50 at night, and the college football season started. I even wore a pair of corduroys! We ate lots of good food, drank lots of good wine, and shopped a lot. (My first trip to an IKEA! Wow.) Chloe loved being the center of attention, and we both loved hanging out with Shannon and Carrie.

For the trip home, we made sure to get to the airport early. Apparently all the Vandy fans who had flown up to see the UMich/Vandy game had gone home on Sunday, so the airport was practically deserted. It gave us plenty of time to hang out with Shannon and Carrie, eat breakfast, and mourn the loss of the Crocodile Hunter. Our return flight wasn't full, so Chloe and her carseat got their own spot. As a result, she was even better on the way home! (If that's possible.)

When Chloe and Connor were reunited in Mimi's kitchen, it was like a scene from a romance movie. My goodness, those two are in love! Lots of hugging and kissing and rolling around on the floor laughing. (This picture is not of that blessed reunion, but since they have their arms around each other I figured we could pretend.) After about an hour of this, I knew the time had come for the leg of the trip I was dreading the most- the daytime ride home. Surely this would be a 5-hour Nashville to Memphis trip, what with all the eating and peeing and whatnot that would surely take place, along with the fact that I was pretty worn out at this point and not moving all that quickly. Imagine my surprise when they both fell asleep immediately and stayed that way until we were in Shelby County! Connor even held his post-nap pee until we got home, so no Wolfchase-area potty breaks. I had a lot of fun in A2, but I was glad to get home. For completing such a small task, I sure felt like I had accomplished something remarkable.

Our next trip is the first week of October. Florida, here we come!

1 comment:

Stacey Greenberg said...

that is a MAJOR accomplishment!