Maybe it is enough to say that Little O did not change his mind about the car between May and August. Oh well. Lesson Learned. Time will tell if they actually learned a lesson. But it sounds good to say that for now -this little family is staying put.
Not to say that the Missouri Tour was without its “ups”:
* Stopping with the Ohlms family in O’Fallon. Always so pleasant. They got the Huz and the Parakeet laughing with the stories of their own family road trips and car battles and filled their bellies with yummy food before they headed further south. Little O also got to leave with a Cell Phone where Elmo calls him by name. That’s right, the phone says “oh it’s you, Owen”.
*Then, they got to Branson. Let’s just skip that day of driving. It was no fun and super stressful.
Little O, though, was so happy to get out of the car – he was like his parents had never seen him before. He ran up and down the hallway of the condo – slapping his hands on each wall. He banged on the tv, the front door, the kitchen cabinets. He finally found the door stopper spring and squatted down to thump on that for a few minutes. He could not be contained. He was filled with hyper excitement at no longer being strapped into a seat and being awake for so many hours. Who are these babies that fall asleep when a car is in motion? The Huz and Keet can not imagine what that is like.
*The Huz looked at the Parakeet and said, “Please figure out how to order something for dinner. I am not getting in that car again.” She got enough Papa John’s to last for two days.
On Monday, they went to visit another Aunt and Uncle in Springfield, MO (where they did not remember a camera). They met up with them at the Bass Pro Outdoor store where the Parakeet’s Uncle works. This is not a store. This is an attraction. It’s really hard to explain without seeing in person – but suffice it to say, you could get a Starbucks, a sit-down meal, buy a boat, practice shooting at a range and expand your wardrobe all while waiting for your latest trophy to be stuffed. Seriously. It’s huge. Oh, and there are fish tanks everywhere – Little O loved them. They also discovered his love of steering wheels while at Bass Pro. He got to sit in a boat and a hunting “car” and drive. He loved it.
For the rest of the week, the family threw around a few different ideas of what they could visit..
But, tired of the Branson traffic (yes, seriously) and the general Ordeal that is getting Little O through more than ten minutes in the car, they opted for mostly pool and cable time.
*They couldn’t leave without visiting the Outlet malls. At least, the Parakeet didn’t think they could. The Family got their first Crocs. Super Comfy.
Then, they packed up to head a bit further north to Barnett, MO where Little O could meet his great-grandparents. The Parakeet made a trip to the Wal-Mart on their way out of town and bought a portable DVD player. They were willing to give anything a try.
OK, not anything….
The day and a half with Grandpa and Grandma the Great was especially nice.
Little O got to ride the riding mower with Grandpa and hold the hose for Grandma while she watered the plants. He wore his overalls just so he could fit in way out in the country.
He also explored his musical side.
They left on Saturday morning with a cooler FILLED with fresh veggies and other treats. They are still snacking on them even this week.
The drive home wasn’t great, but it was a lot better. It took them ten hours with an hour and a half stop at the Ohlms (again) who were nice enough to get out lunch and let Little O tire himself out going up and down their stairs. He must have been tired – because he slept a whole ten minutes of the next six hours home. What can you do?
He didn’t like the Thomas the Train or Wallace and Gromit DVD that his mom bought at Wal-Mart but he really liked the 15 min Fisher Price Little People DVD that came with the barn he got at the Ohlms house. So, the Huz and Keet had the pleasure of listening to Aaron Neville sing an introduction to each Little People character…”Discovering Michael…” Oh, man.
This trip was sort of like the big bookmark of time for the Huz and the Keet. Chapter 1 – first years married. Over. Chapter 2 – life with a child. Officially started. They have such fun memories of driving across the country together listening to books on tape, playing guess that song with CDs or the ipod, scheming, dreaming and rehashing each visit with friends or family.
Traveling with a child is a new chapter in their lives and they are trying to adjust. So far, he doesn’t like the car and he still goes to bed at 7:30. It was a new kind of ‘fun’, a new kind of ‘get-away’. Turns out that whole ‘adjustment to parenting’ thing really does creep into all parts of your life.
They will tell you about their next vacation in 2011 when Little O can understand words like “hey – just five more minutes”.