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August 11, 2004


We're back. Actually, we came back yesterday, but if one counts the time spent decompressing from the vacation as part of the vacation, we weren't really back until this morning, when I got up, groggily stumbled to Scotty's room at 6 this morning, lifted the wailing child from his bed, stumbled back into our, tossed him at a comatose SW and fumbled my way into the shower.

It wasn't a planned vacation in the sense of something we had been anticipating all year--we can't afford those kinds of vacations at present, or so I am informed. But with school starting back up, hotel prices start to fall at the coast, so we grabbed a cheap room at the Atlantic Beach Ramada Inn on the spur of the moment. It was only ten miles from the house we stayed in at Christmas--convenient, since the Ngnat had inadvertently left her favorite stuffed rabbit behind when we left.

She'd been asking about it ever since. I drove her down on Monday, and asked the bemused current renters if they had happened to notice an aqua bunny lying about. Lo and behold they had, so rabbit and Ngnat are together again.

Neither Ngnat nor Scotty knew what to make of the ocean at first, though Ngnat at least had a vague memory of seeing something like it before. However, both were enchanted with the hotel. Scotty loved nothing more than trundling down the halls at top speed, shouting imperiously at the passers-by and banging on the elevator doors. I was constantly pulling him back from them, haunted by the image of them opening up onto nothing but shaft. Ngnat, following in the footsteps of a tradition so ingrained among children that it must be written in our DNA, leapt from bed to bed in the hotel room whenever she got a chance.

Both were much more comfortable with the ocean the next day, though it took a while. In Ngnat's case, as is often true with her, she wasn't going to have anything to do with the waves until she saw a slightly older girl, Charlotte--her name turned out to be, who was five--rushing back and forth like a sandpiper as the water came in, then receded. Eventually she and the Ngnat decided the waves were monsters, and punctuated each rush towards the mighty blue with screams of derision. From there it was just a short step to lying in the surf and giggling hysterically while the waves knocked them about.

As for Scotty M, the only impetus he needed was the sight of his big sister cavorting in the tide to spur him on, though after a wave knocked him ass over teakettle he spent most of the rest of his time perched in my lap. When that grew old, he smacked at the beach with a plastic shovel and slid down the tide-created sand cliff on his belly--an activity that will generate pound upon pound of diaper sand and make changing a dirty diaper virtually impossible.

We stayed two nights, which was plenty. The only way to get Scotty to sleep at night was for SW and I to abandon him to the travel crib, an enclosure that he despises with all the fiber of his being, and sit on the tiny balcony outside the room while Ngnat lay in the bed beside him, talking and singing him to sleep. We didn't tell her to--our plan was to put them both to bed and retreat until things were quiet, but since she couldn't sleep with him screaming, she sang lullabies to him. We've no idea what she sang--we could just barely hear her behind the closed door to the balcony, and any movement/sound from the balcony started Scotty up again, so it remained closed, and Ngnat didn't recall any specifics the next morning, or so she claimed.

Probably won't fully recover until the weekend, though. SW is still making up a sleep deficit run up by the hotel bed, I'm sore from a too-ambitious sand castle and moat attempt and we're still running across the odd pocket of sand on the children no matter how many times we bathe them.

Still, it was better than work.

Posted by Bigwig at August 11, 2004 10:00 PM | TrackBack
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Been there done that...the rabbit story was great. Our grands had "puffy" so I know all about that..

Posted by: Breeze at August 12, 2004 02:02 PM
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