The cot did finally show up at the motel, which was awesome because the kids fell asleep right away. And then there couldn’t have been more than three separate incidents of people having loud conversations either out in the hallway or underneath our window during the night.
Chickadee was snoring. Monkey talks in his sleep. And Otto still hasn’t gone in for the sleep study he really needs to go have, but we have long suspected he has some sleep apnea, and thanks to the other noise, I was awake most of the night listening to him rest oh-so-peacefully (which was not, in fact, peaceful, as it turns out, so much as it was him NOT BREATHING) inbetween snorting in great gasps of air on account of that whole forgetting-to-breathe thing.
It was extremely relaxing, except not. BUT! Then we got up the next morning and Chickadee said, “My eye hurts!” and I was certain she was going to turn out to have pink eye, because wouldn’t that be the perfect topper to a night in hell at the SUPERGREAT motel? Oh, but I was aiming low. She didn’t have pinkeye.
She had a raging fever! SO MUCH BETTER!
Fortunately, I am well acquainted with my luck, so I had some children’s motrin tucked into my bag. We dosed her up and gave her some orange juice and put her back into the car. Because who wants to be sick in Allentown? Much better to be sick on the road!
(Fellow parents will understand when I say this: Chickadee is my Random Fever Child. She spikes a fever easily, often when she doesn’t have any other symptoms of being sick. It’s disconcerting, but I promise she wasn’t dying of tuberculosis or anything while we tapped our watches and told her to suck it up.)
The remaining four hours or so of driving were uneventful. The kids watched a movie on the portable DVD player, and then—as it was the last of the movies we’d brought and they are strange—they watched it again… in French. While reading off the subtitles to each other in some sort of dramatic rendition that required a lot of arm-waving.
By the time we arrived at Nearly Nickless’ (Otto’s brother’s) house, Chickadee was fading a bit, again, but there were cousins to play with and cookies to eat, so there wasn’t much time to lay around being sick. Obviously. She would perk up and run and play for a while and then slide into my lap for a bit of respite and then be off again, so I think she’s going to live.
Monkey was absolutely OUT OF HIS MIND with the delight of being OLDER, as his two cousins here are both younger than he is, and so—for once—he gets to be the big one. (Big is a state of mind. As it happens, Thing1, who is newly 5, is nearly Monkey’s size.) The three boys ran around and around at a dizzying pace, with Thing2 (who is 3) stopping whenever Chickadee elected to sit out for a bit to come over and say, “Hey! Hey! Chickadee? Chickadee? You wanna come PLAY WITH ME?”
Somehow the house filled up with people, and the afternoon passed really quickly. Thanks to Chickadee’s fever and the two days of traveling (with the not-so-restful night inbetween) I felt no compunction about putting the children to bed at 7:00. Ahhhhhhhhhh.
What happened after all the children were in bed defies description, but I WILL TRY because I’m like that.
My lovely sister-in-law comes from a large and hilarious family, and her parents and siblings were all here yesterday. One of her brothers had brought over his wii and another of her brothers had brought over his gigundous flat-panel TV (we watched the Patriots game on it, and WOW). Otto and I had never even SEEN a wii before, because we are are too busy listening to our vast collection of 8-track tapes to investigate such things.
So, there was some wine. And there was the wii. And somehow between these two things, there was some bowling (fine), and then I had some more wine and may have attempted Guitar Hero. I may have looked like a complete idiot, and there may have been some cameras. And it’s really too bad, because I liked everyone who was here very much, and it’s a shame that I am going to have to kill them all now rather than risk pictures of me swearing at a small plastic guitar ending up on Facebook.
This morning all four children rose at the ass-crack of dawn, and Nearly Nickless herded them all down into the basement playroom so that Otto and I could sleep a little longer, and once we got up he immediately went and and got donuts and bagels for breakfast, and also brought me a cup of coffee as big as my head, and so in conclusion I think I’ve decided to live here forever. I do need to find a way to, you know, make it WARMER, but we can work that out later.
Chickadee seems better today, too. But then, it’s hard to argue with the healing powers of a boston cream pie donut.
Bonus conversation from this morning:
Thing2: You! Should come! Downstairs with me!
Me: We should? How come?
Thing2: I wants to show you somethin!
Otto: I’ll come down with you in just a minute, Thing2, okay?
Thing2: Yes! Cuz I need you!
Otto: What do you need to show me?
Thing2: MY COUSINS!
Otto: Your cousins?
Thing2: Yes! My cousins! I want to show them to you!
Otto: My kids? You want to show me… my kids?
Otto: Thing2, did you know I have kids?
Otto: Who are my kids?
Thing2: I don’t know. WHO?
Otto: YOUR COUSINS!
Well, I’m glad we were able to clear that one up.