May 11, 2006

You're not REALLY lost if you know which city you are in, right?

So, except for the whole “not enough toys” FIASCO, the trip went great. Arun hardly made a peep on both flights - since he loves to be held while sleeping, he knew better than to peer too closely at the gift horse bestowed upon him. One thing that bugs me, though - every time we fly, at least one person comments on “how good he was”. I find this perplexing - like, if he HAD cried, then what? He was BAD? I particularly hate this comment when it is used to compare him to another a kid on the flight who did happen to cry - it’s certainly not fair. X and I have been lucky - that’s all. Oh, one last thing about the flights - now he is old enough to peer outside the window and realize something is seriously OFF - particularly when landing and taking off. Watching his expressions was hilarious - his eyes would bug out, then he would look at me in wonderment, then look out the window again. It’s very hard to tell when he is scared because he doesn’t cry - I tend to confuse fright with curiousity, so the jury is still out on that one.

Oh, one more comment that bugged me. While waiting for our flight, a little old lady made a comment about “all they stuff we had”. Um, between X and I, we had a laptop bag, our Combi travel stroller, and an Eddie Bauer mini-tote (our suitcase and carseat were checked, of course). I was carrying Arun in the Bjorn. That’s ALL we had with us and we gate-checked the stroller. I felt like pointing out that when she traveled with HER kids, all she probably needed was a bonnet and saddle, but I resisted.

Sunday was spent hanging out with friends. We meet J and L for lunch at an Indian place called Minerva - VERY good South Indian stuff. It’s great hanging out with J and L because they are great parenting role models - they are pretty strict with their kids, yet they don’t get stressed out about the whole thing. I LOVE being around their kids (ages 5, 3, and 4 months). Their kids are energetic goofballs but yet are still very polite and well-behaved. Sunday evening, we met S and M for dinner at the Coastal Flat. This was a great “how much my life has changed” dinner because S and I used to work together at the little Internet startup in 2000. We were part of a group that went out all the time, closed down many bars and basically lived the singleton high life. It was interesting to be meeting with our respective spouses for dinner for a low-key affair. Sunday, we lucked out - Arun was a DREAM the whole day and appropriately smiled and giggled in all the places.

Monday was the Zoo day. For those of you who do NOT live in the DC/VA area, it was a chilly, rainy, cloudy day. That might seem like a crappy day to go to the Zoo but the bennie is that everyone ELSE thinks that, also. In short, there weren’t that many people there. Getting there, however, was an adventure. I had forgotten to get a good map before I left KS - I prefer maps that are small, compact and don’t fold up in a jazillion parts. I did have DIRECTIONS, though, so I thought “why not?” and decided to go commando in the map department. The directions to the Zoo were quite simple. In Theory. According to the Zoo’s website, they were as follows:
By car from Virginia via:
• Route I-66
• I-95
• Route 50

Easy, peasy, right? NOT. Somehow, somewhere, I ended up on some freeway. I pulled into a gas station, asked for directions, then proceeded to accidently go the complete OPPOSITE of the way given to me by the dude at the station. How could I not laugh at myself - yes, you know you are really down and out when you can fuckin’ laugh OUT LOUD AT YOURSELF. So, I managed to find I-66 west and headed BACK out to VA, then got off the interstate to get BACK on I-66 East because DAMMIT, I was determined that I was going to figure out what I did wrong. And I DID - eventually. Sort of. Hey, I got a tour of Dupont Circle AND got us to the Zoo, so hey, that’s a driving success in MY books (I did get us back home with NO problems, too). Anyway, to my credit, I didn’t get a single “What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” honk which I think is pretty impressive considering the car I was driving has KANSAS plates (we shipped our oldest car out to VA for X to drive there). Anyway, it wasn’t that bad because honestly? When you aren’t driving for work or an appointment with a timeline, getting lost can be fun and just part of the adventure. I learned THAT from my mother - she frequently would take us for Sunday drives where we would just drive nilly willy, just exploring to see where we could get to and if we could get home. I always thought it was so EXCITING to do this and my sister always, always cried in the backseat because as she put it “we were lost”.

Anyway, the Zoo was pretty cool and FREE. I only had to pay for parking, so I thought that was pretty fair. The panda was cute and since it was such a crappy day outside, there weren’t hoards of people waiting. I will say that I was shocked at how stroller unfriendly the place was. If it hadn’t been such a crappy day, I wouldn’t have gotten to go inside many of the buildings. I mean, I understand that strollers are a pain, but I am not comfortable leaving my stroller unattended. What am I supposed to do, totally unpack everything from it just so I could go inside? Besides, Arun promptly fell asleep and stayed that way the entire time we were at the Zoo - I sure as hell wasn’t going to wake him just so he could see some orangutan scratching his balls. So much for creating what I refer to as a Perfect Childhood Moment, eh?

Life is pretty damned good when YOU don't have to drive, eh?

Yeah, his mama is a moron, but hey! He got to see Dupont Circle!

By Tuesday, things were getting more tricky with Arun. He was completely and utterly tired of the apartment. This was becoming a theme - we noticed similar behaviour on our two previous trips when it was becoming obvious that he was just outright bored. For future trips, I am just going to have to pack more toys and books. In particular, books - I knew he liked books, but didn’t realize how much so until he excitedly lunged for one while at the airport - which meant I had to buy it because how could I resist THAT? But I digress...... Tuesday, we drove back to DC to meet Amy for lunch. This was a piece of cake driving-wise because we had met at the same place before. Besides, how could I resist another slice of heavenly government-controlled pizza? I knew Arun needed a good nap, so I arrived in the area a good 45 minutes early and just drove around looking at the cool houses in the neighborhood and such. The lunch was fun because we both could see a HUGE different in our children - meaning, the meal was much more low-key this time around. Noah and Arun mostly just sat in their high chairs practicing their Bs and Ds. Later, Noah, being the little Goodwill Ambassador that he is, tried to give Arun sweet, slurpy kisses and Arun, being the little snooty snot that he is, wasn’t having any of THAT. I can report that Noah is indeed one delicious little baby and SO easy-going. I had to shake and rock my kid to get him to sleep on my chest, but Noah rubbed his eyes, then fell asleep on his own.

One Down.......

One to Go........

Yes, this was a nice trip. I am so grateful that Arun has turned out to be a fairly good traveler so far. I want to ride this pony until it freakin' DIES because the toddler years are looming large on my travelin' horizon.

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