This past weekend was the much-anticipated trip to Cincinnati, and it was EXACTLY as fun, exhausting, stressful, hilarious, and memorable as I’d expected it to be.
Let’s break it down by activity:
The flight there was miserable. Jellybean and I sat beside someone EXACTLY like Loud – young, obnoxious, full of himself, hairy, terrible music taste, honestly and earnestly confused as to why someone would hate him. The stewardess was ready to stab him by take-off, since she’d had to delay departure to check his bag that I TOLD him wouldn’t fit, ask him to take his boots off the bulkhead, turn off his iPod in preparation for departure, AND put on his seat belt. Jellybean, who can sense when someone is an asshat, could not help but stare at him awkwardly about a foot away from his face. His reaction was hilarious – he kept sideways glancing at her, irritated. I thought he was going to throw down his incredibly important papers and ask her if she wanted to fight. However, Jelly quickly tired of being ignored and took matters into her own hands; she sucked in an immense mouthful of diluted juice from her sippy cup, and did a dead-on Jim Carrey imitation as she giggle-spit it all over him. Even though his elbow was constantly in my Philly spot* I felt bad. Holding a wriggling baby/toddler for that long killed my back (no, she did not sleep on either flight), and made me more excited about driving this summer.
The return flight was slightly better, but our seatmate was a freaked-out uptight woman who was claustrophobic on planes (THEN WHY FLY IF YOU KNOW THIS?! IT’S ONLY CINCINNATI-RALEIGH!), and she was equally irritated at having a sweet little baby beside her, a baby who just wanted to love her and play peek-a-boo and pat her. The woman wanted no part of it, and kept ‘harrumph!’-ing angrily, thrashing about in her seat, and complaining out loud about how she was likely to have a panic attack any second. Jellybean tried to console her with a gooey piece of half-chewed mini-bagel, which only made the woman madder. I felt bad, but really, it’s not like my kid was screaming or barfing, so screw you for being mean to a Bean.
I learned that my precious nephew has a super-sonic cry that can call woodland creatures to his side and make ocean currents reverse. Sleep was an issue for everyone, most of all for my poor sister. Three kids, three different naptimes – never again. There was also a baby convention at the hotel, apparently, and they were plum (plumb?) out of cribs (luckily, after I got mine). My sister got to experience several safety Don’ts in trying to find a place for little Nathan to sleep, and found herself walking a stroller around in the wee hours of the morning more than once. Jelly still had her cough, so was up a few times, and I spent a few hours over the weekend sitting on the bathroom floor with a book while I waited for her to fall asleep. But she did a good job, considering she was away from home in a strange bed.
The best night was when we gave the cousins a bath together, read them all bedtime stories, and then watched some pay-per-view (‘Coraline’, loved it). It was me, my sister N, and my mum. It was nice. I still wish I had secretly ordered porn so that my dad could have seen it on his hotel bill and freaked out. Gay porn. Or something really freaky, with animals or corn dogs or finger puppets.
We were there for such a short time that we didn’t really do much except eat and see lots of family. Friday night totally blew since we were all tired and grumpy and covered in various baby bodily fluids, and I ended up ditching and going back to the quiet and air-conditioning of the hotel so as not to be a raging bitch in front of everyone. This meant I had to break one of my long-standing rules of not eating in the bathroom, since I realized that my only window for hot food was when Jelly was in the bath. As a result, I found myself sitting on the toilet, eating mild chicken wings out of a Styrofoam to-go box, while Jelly glared at me jealously from the bubbles.
We all went to my cousin’s Sunday afternoon, and although I feel like I didn’t get to talk to everyone as much as I would have liked, it was a good visit. Jellybean shocked us all by looking out the window and proclaiming, quite clearly, ‘Doggie!’. I should have expected as much for her second word. She also learned to blow kisses, although it’s more of a put-hand-over-mouth then quickly point at the lucky recipient. Very cute, and her great-grandma got one of them. My one cousin who is a nurse told an extremely funny story about a little old man exposing himself in a bowl of cereal, and an exceptionally juicy bratwurst squirted up my nose. I spent a lot of time in the bathroom because of a rookie mistake with chili dogs at lunch time. I will make that mistake again next trip, guaranteed.
Surprisingly, there weren’t really any, other than the baby slap-fights between Jenny Fingers and Fat Nate. My dad got into it at breakfast with his brother G, and I had the misfortune of sitting across from them, but I was so busy wolfing down biscuits and gravy that I didn’t really care.
My sister and her family had an adjoining room, and there was no end of drama and intrigue there. I thought at one point my brother was going to have to climb out my hotel window and shimmy across the ledge to her room, but we narrowly avoided a truly tragic incident involving doors accidentally locking and babies sleeping. I started to get a migraine on Saturday but saw it coming, so headed it off with Xanax and a nap. I always felt like we were late, or that we weren’t doing enough stuff, but it was so hard to schedule so many people.
The True Delights
Jellybean falling asleep watching TV with me (terrible, I know, but so cozy! I would do this ALL the time at home if I let myself). Early morning swimming in the hotel pool. Jelly eating breakfast with Fat Nate and Grandpa. King Carl Castlehoff, a puppet birthday present from Aunt N, and hopefully not a star of any porno movies. The first margarita of the evening Saturday night. My niece shrieking with delight when she saw me in the hotel hallway. Cousins. Juicy grilled bratwurst. Fat Nate’s smile, touching Jelly’s curls. Jelly walking her stroller around the CVG airport. Coming home.
The Ta catches a picture of just how happy I am to be home