Monday, July 30, 2012

Road tripping

Well, of course I was worrying about leaving the kids for multiple nights. A lot of moms would worry about such things even if their oldest were not ADHD and known for bouncing off walls/running in front of cars/throwing fits over being asked to wash his hands. That particular extra factor was just the cherry on top of the large sundae of worry. In fact my original plan was that we would go away for part of one day, no overnights. DH talked me out of it, on account of it was our 10th anniversary, and that plan was lame. (I would like to note that there are plenty of nice day-trip spots in Jersey. Just saying.)

Grandma and Grandpa were up for whatever, and saw nothing to worry about. I privately worried that Grandma and Grandpa were not exactly the swiftest of runners. The kids' favorite battle tactic? Running in opposite directions. They're like little Ping-Pong balls, with legs.

So we arranged backup. Kiddo's nanny would come for two days to help out, and the grandparents would be on their own after that. And then I was cool with making hotel reservations.

I won't bother with suspense: Aside from an occasional time out, the kids were fine. They went to the pool, they went to the library, they went to the kiddie play place at the mall. They helped kiddo work on his writing skills. They read books, they baked cookies, they cheered kiddo on during his swim lesson. A grand old time was had by all. Because the thing I keep forgetting is, the kids always behave better for other people than they do for us. This is both useful, and immensely aggravating.

Meantime DH and I were in Boston, touring Fenway Park ("we have to go extra slow for the Yankee fans," said the tour guide, ha ha ha) and the Sam Adams brewery (it was us, a bunch of thirsty college kids and one poor pair of parents whose kiddies kept wailing in their strollers, not that I would bring my kiddies to what is essentially a 20-minute talk and a beer tasting) and getting massively stuck in Boston traffic. Because I forgot the cardinal rule of cities: Don't drive in them. Also met up with cousin E. for dinner at the Seaport, which was great fun and also instructive, because their son has Asperger's and she knows quite a bit about parent advocacy at this point. Her main point was, the school districts won't necessarily volunteer all the resources that are available to you; you need to research them, and then push for them.

I heard precisely one actual Boston accent, from the cafe cashier who I was going to ask about restrooms, but who clearly assumed I was going to ask about parking meters. "Sure, you need quahtahs?" she said. Hee.

We also drove all the way up Cape Cod and back, which you can do in one day if you're willing to skip a few towns. The Sandwich Glass Museum is interesting, with all kinds of lovely glass objects on display, and glassblowing demonstrations. We also stopped at the Edward Gorey House, which was charmingly odd, and I learned that Gorey had seven cats and loved "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," which is just cool. Fun/morbid fact: There are little gravestones in the garden representing the victims of "The Ghashlycrumb Tinies." I brought home several books for kiddo (no, not "Ghashlycrumb"), which may or may not make me a horrible mother, but he's made me read "The Epiplectic Bicycle" to him three times today so I'm leaning toward not-horrible. We ended up in Provincetown, which is this delightfully weird mix of funky shops, ice cream stands, kiddie attractions (a pirate museum! Really!) and drag queens on the sidewalk advertising the 10 p.m. show.

The antiques show in Rhode Island on the way home was less enjoyable, what with all the fisheye stares from all the expensively dressed attendees who correctly guessed that we were not in their tax bracket. Of course we couldn't afford anything there -- I usually can't in antique shops. I happen to like looking at antiques, because they're beautiful, and they're a reminder of a past way of life. Except to this crowd, apparently, who seemed to think of antiques as commodities to be bought, and could not believe my temerity in standing in their way when there were things to acquire. One of them practically nudged me aside with his cane. A disheartening experience, but the only downside to a really nice trip.

And the house is still standing, and kiddo and kiddette were not bothered in the slightest by our absence, and kiddo has already broken the little pirate ship I bought for kiddette. Because he's, you know, a pirate. Many thanks to Grandma and Grandpa, who made this trip possible, and I expect you'll sleep well tonight.

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