Thursday, June 15, 2006

Purple Baby Takes a Break

Purple Baby Takes a Break
Originally uploaded by Ryan Claycomb
The drive from West Virginia to Milford Delaware should take about 5.5 to 6 hours with no stops. I budgeted 7 to 8 hours to drive the kids there by myself (Ryan was at a dear friend's wedding).

I was wrong. It took 12 hours.

That's right. Twelve. We left the house at 9:45 a.m. The first delay was that I packed everything under the sun, including three different kinds of sunscreen, but forgot my wallet. So 30 minutes out we turned around. Us leaving: take two, at 10:45 a.m. An hour or so later, we changed diapers on the side of the highway. We made it to our lunch spot at 1:30 (an hour and a half behind schedule) and had a lovely meal.

Then we hit the beltway at 4 p.m. And rush hour. At 4:30 Lilah threw up. At 4:45 we got back on the road. At 4:55 Lilah threw up again.

In certain Victorian novels, readers are spared some scenes by the author's drawing of a metaphorical curtain over it. So shall I spare you the details of the hours from 5 to 7, which included much clean-up, even more crying, some running around, MANY bathroom trips and/or diaper changes, and a very bad open-mike night at the New Deal Cafe. There was also the immortal moment when Lilah turned to me and said, "Mommy, I not get sick again, I promise."

"No, no, sweetie," I said, "I know you won't. But it wasn't your fault you got sick."

She thought about that. "I think it your fault, Mommy."

We pulled into the Claycombs' house at 9:45 p.m., not a one of us having napped a wink all day. (Well, it's good that I didn't, but you get the idea.) As the children flung themselves joyfully into Mom-Mom and Pappy's arms, I sat in the driver's seat of the car and thought--for a moment, just a moment--"Hey! I could just peel out right now and no one could catch me!"

But I stayed. And eventually I, like Purple Baby (Lilah's dearest friend, pictured here), got to sit on a lawn chair in the sun and watch my children happily eat sand. So it was all worth it.

Posted by claycomb at June 15, 2006 8:52 PM


Ann, I just nominated you for mother of the year.
Posted by: Leslie at June 17, 2006 1:53 PM

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