After Jo and Brian’s lovely wedding, the Huz and Keet said good-bye to friends and some family and drove back to Lake Mary where they got to hang at GB and Poppy’s House. The Huz stayed one extra day and they all drove to Orlando to see Big W, Baby Ele, and of course – Aunt M and Uncle B.
While in Lake Mary, they took O to a Splash Park. He was the only kid there for about thirty minutes. Maybe the Floridians sleep in more than O. He was scared at first but got more and more brave. They spent most of an afternoon loading a big Penske truck with furniture from GB and Poppy. So exciting! Little O was up and down the ramp of the truck. You can read about that here. He was also in the cab of the truck for a loooong time. He sat in front of the steering wheel and pushed and pulled at buttons. Mama Keet sat in the passenger seat next to him when he turned to her and said, “need key”. Oh my. What will this truck obsession lead to? He said “BIIIIG White Truck” for days. In fact he often said , “Daddy – big white truck”. It seemed the Huz was having one of those Dad moments where you’re trying to decide if you’ll keep your place on the pedestal with your son or just tell him the truth. He tried explaining to Little O that he was just borrowing it, but still “Daddy Drive BIIIG white truck!”
The Huz left on his own to drive back to Chicago. He had a long and pleasant drive home. He was pulled over in North FL because it turns out that all trucks have to go through inspection. They opened the back and saw only furniture and let him drive on.
He stopped for a night in Tennessee and got to have a special dinner with his aunt, uncle, cousins, and cousin’s children. Wow! Everybody is growing up.
The Keet and Little O managed to entertain themselves at Poppy’s house with trips outside, a playdate with the cousins, and lots of ‘running around’. The Keet was happy to stay up late with Uncle J, Mom, and Dad playing scrabble and parcheesi and generally solving all of life’s problems at the same time.
The long-time readers of A Bird, A Carpenter and a Baby know that Little O is not the best traveler. The Russells still talk about the 45 minutes he slept on the 10 hour drive from Branson last summer. HaHa. Nope – still not quite funny. They’ll get there.
But miracles do happen and he appears to have grown out of most of those “I hate my life in this carseat” screamy fits.
The Parakeet sent as much as she could back with the Huz and managed to somehow (the kindness of strangers) check in to the airport with a carry-on, a toddler, and a car seat. One man looked at her and said, “now I see why some parents put leashes on their kid”. You do, do you? OK then.
Once they were waiting to board all was fine. The Keet and O ate some chicken fingers and sat down to play cars. O revved his car up and down the airport for all waiting to see. He was having a great time. He didn’t really understand that he needed to be still on the plane, though. They were seated next to a sweet elderly lady who was just trying to do her sudoku and Little O, nearly half the size of the bird, was wriggling and whining and squiriming all over. It pretty much made the Parakeet feel utterly cheap and short-sighted not buying him his own seat. Then, the flight attendant came over and let her know that the back row was entirely free. Hallelujah. They moved to the back. O flopped around with books and toy cars the last hour or so and they all survived. He was pretty silent the two hour drive home and fell asleep before she pulled off the highway.
Daddy was very happy to see the little guy and changed him into jamies and put him to sleep. A pretty successful trip!