Thursday, June 16, 2005

Home Again, Home Again Jiggedy Jog

We got home last Sunday after spending 5 days in Boston. It was a nice trip and we had a good time, but it was exhausting and I'm glad to be home. The flight out was uneventful, though the flight back was a bit more stressful, and buying Ellie her own seat was a very very good decision. In the plane and later in the cab from the airport to the hotel and back she sat like a big girl in her own seat with a lap belt. She loved it. We rented a stroller for getting around Boston, which was another wonderful plan. It was a bit of a pain getting up and down stairs for the "T" but the "handicapped accessible" stations were probably worse with the most amazingly strong urine stench I've ever encountered in the elevators. It was hot hot hot while we were there, and it was a business trip for me so I was "on" for about 7 hours a day, far more than I'm used to.

My mom came along to enjoy the city, spend time with Ellie, keep Paul company while I was working, and watch Ellie in the evenings so that Paul and I could go out together.

Now, that was a treat! I can't remember the last time I saw a movie in the theater. That's not true. I saw Fahrenheit 9-11 last summer, with Ellie in tow, and it was not a good experience. That was the day we learned that our little darling, who was perfect during all 3-1/2 hours of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King short months before, was suddenly too old (and too young) for movie-going.

Paul and I went out on our own twice, once to see Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith and once to see a play in the theater district. We saw Christopher Durang and Debra Monk in Laughing Wild. That was . . . an interesting show. I'm told that it is a laugh-out-loud comedy, but I thought it was about as depressing a show as I've ever seen. The acting was fabulous, though the second act left me frustrated and annoyed. A dream sequence. Oh, great.

The only minor stressors on the trip were the occasional breaks in civility caused by four such different personality types traveling together:
  1. Oldest child with high control needs who values alone time very highly, seasoned with exhaustion.
  2. Youngest child determined to lead the way in an unfamiliar city
  3. Youngest child with difficulty expressing desires until frustration has built to a snapping point
  4. Toddler, though perfectly lovable, still a typical toddler

and toss them together in a small hotel suite for nearly a week, sharing a bathroom and sleeping too little. It's a miracle we all survived! I'll let you guess which personality type belongs to each of us.

Overall, the trip was a wonderful break from reality. Ellie was absolutely angelic most of the time, enduring meal after meal out, in addition to long walks in the heat and visits to science center, MIT, USS Consitution, the Boston Aquarium, the Boston Children's Museum, and so on. We ordered The Big Dig at the Cactus Club, and Ellie discovered that little is more fun than dipping a chip into a plate of gooey goodness. She was too short to really see what was in the dish, so each dip was a blind experiment. She loved it.

Still, like the rest of us, she is thrilled to be home. She grinned when I buckled her into her car seat at the airport, and chattered excitedly all the way home (about what, I can only imagine).

It's looking like my September business trip to Hawaii is likely to fall through, and I'm beginning to think that this is a good thing. For one thing, it would be my 3rd such trip in 4 years, and that's counting the year I was at home with Ellie. But mainly, I think that an 8 hour flight with a toddler sounds unbearably stressful (Moreena, I have no idea how you did it) and we can't leave Ellie with either set of grandparents for a week during the school year. That seals it. It seems likely that this "once in a lifetime opportunity!" will present itself again at some point. Possibly after the grandparents have retired.


Jessica said...

Glad you had fun even though I just realized that this means we don't get to babysit while you and Paul go see Episode III.

This means you have to come up with another movie you would like to see (hee/hee).

Jessica said...

Oh...and I think I know who's who in your personality descriptions. *Snicker*

Redhead Editor said...

Ellie looks absolutely adorable with Arthur. She is getting so big. I took Emily to Boston on a business trip, but she was 13, and I was ... well older than you so we weren't as grumpy. Here's an idea... Take me to Hawaii and leave Ellie with Paul.

Moreena said...

Oh, yeah. I'll second that offer to go to Hawaii. I'm sure Joerg wouldn't mind staying home with the kids while he prepares his tenure case. Ha.

I think the flying thing is always just a big gamble. It was pure nightmare on the way over, but on the way back the girls could *not* have been better. I have no idea what the difference was. Experience? Hmmm. Frankie has trouble remembering things she did just a few days (or minutes) ago, so maybe not. Luck, I'm thinking.

FractalGirl said...

Ellie is so adorable, Sarahlynn. I'm glad you got to have some good times and not just work.

And no matter how much fun it can be to travel, there's nothing like returning to one's own bed. :)

PPB said...

It sounds like an all over success. And of course the 4 of you butted heads. I wouldn't have made it to the airport without a few moments. (My FOO consists of 3 first borns and my younger sister, who is just bossy out of spite.)

Ellie is adorable as always.

Sandalou said...

Good Grief BA, Ellie is just so damn cute.

Zoe said...

The Children's Museum! I love that place! Do they still have the giant nose and the Japanese house?

trisha said...

Ellie really is just so stinking cute!!!

trisha said...

Oh, wait, there are words in your post, too! I only noticed the Beautiful Girl at first.

Drat on Hawaii.

I had the same problems traveling with my mother and brother last month. I was always their buffer.