After the craziness that was the sixteen hours down to Texas, the Keet and Huz were open to suggestion. While with the Russells, they made the obligatory trip to Wal-Mart. They bought sun shades for both of the back windows, a mirror that would allow O to see them in the front seat, and a box of cheerios. They bought some other things – but these things were to make the trip home easier.
On the day they left, the Parakeet remembered at the last second to put the shades up. Little O is apparently persnickety about light. They left at the same time – around 9AM. This time, the Huz promised not to drink water in the morning and not to stop until O woke up.
That worked! They made it to Texarkana and the Cracker Barrel before pulling over. Little O slept about an hour and a half. It was grand. He threw small fits in the restaurant, but they fed him, changed him – it was fine.
The next stretch – the Parakeet sat in the back with him. She did have to sing some silly songs. They played his CD over and over. Then – the MAGIC!
God. Bless. Cheerios.
When O seemed fussy, the Parakeet gave him one little ole’ cheerio.
“Hee Hee” said Little O and he gummed it and gummed it and swallowed it down.
She put two or three in her palm. He stared and poked and slowly pinched one between his fingers. Then, he gummed it and gummed it and swallowed it down.
They played this game for thirty-three minutes.
Then, he was full.
Then, he slowly fell asleep.
He took a nice afternoon nap. The Huz and Keet did not speak or play music just, in order not to jinx anything.
When he woke up the pulled into a rest area (seasoned road-trippers – they anticipated the meltdown).
At this stop, they also changed O and let him crawl for a bit. They made a bottle and the Parakeet gave it to him when they got back in the car.
They got another maybe hour in before pulling over for dinner. The restaurant was attached to a hotel, where they let Little O crawl and squeal for a good twenty minutes.
When they put him back in the car, he was happy and full.
As it got dark, he slowly fell asleep.
Most of the ride to the Ohlms house was uneventful. Repeat: most of the ride to the Ohlms house was uneventful. Hallelujah.
The last ten minutes however, when they were closer to civilization and the car couldn’t stay on cruise control and different colored lights found their way through the windows – Little O stirred.
He stirred crazy style; the whole red-faced, full-decibel CRYing. The Parakeet did her ninja moves and got to the back seat. She stroked his hair, whispered in his ear. The Huz found the Dixie Chick lullaby on the ipod. Little O still never opened his eyes – he was just plain freaking out. Finally, the Parakeet kept one hand over his ear and the other over his eyes. He did that pathetic hiccup -sob thing back to sleep. They carried him in to meet his ‘cousins’ and ‘aunts’ and ‘uncles’ after just thirteen hours this time – red-faced and tear-stained, but terribly sweet.