Traveling with Small Children: Sight-seeing

Traveling with small children means sight-seeing. Reasonable sight-seeing. Low expectation sight seeing.

First, we went to the airport and rode a plane.

After the graveside service, we all went out to breakfast. Grandma B loved going out for breakfast. Zach went straight up to the hostess and asked if they used eggs (he’s allergic) to make the pancakes. And though they did use eggs, I made up for it with a bunch of bacon and their first taste of chocolate milk.

After that, we went into downtown Libertyville and my cousin, Lauren–a photographer in Colorado, should you ever find yourself in need of one– took awesome pictures of my kids. I totally should have taken advantage and gotten in some of them, but I was sweating buckets. Turns out she’s that good because the one picture I’m in you can’t tell I’m sweating at all.

Seriously, check out what she can do (she took the restaurant pics from above, too):

My efforts are less successful, and definitely more traumatic for all of us.

Later we found the first thing that Elliot was afraid of—the sprinkler. While Zach went all hi-ya on the water, Elliot choose to splash his feet from the safety of the driveway run-off.

I keep telling people that you blink and Elliot either gets hurt or gets caught. Well, someone blinked and Elliot got caught with both of his arms up Uncle Ray’s tailpipe. His large, diesel truck’s tailpipe. Thus discovering the second thing that Elliot is afraid of—have diesel grime scrubbed off in a strange bathtub.

I missed most of the sprinklers and all of the rest of the excitement as I was busy with a tour of the Good Shepherd Emergency Department. I’m glad I let Kellie talk me into going to the doctor–I was all set to drink a bunch of cranberry juice and wait it out–within 10 minutes of getting in the car, I was white-knuckling the Jeep’s grab bar, convinced that either my appendix or ovary had burst.

Sidebar—->Remember how my wallet ended up scattered all over a highway? Yeah, well one thing I didn’t get back was my health insurance card. Which meant I was on the phone calling Joel (whose plane was minutes from take-off) for our policy number. He sent it to me with a question of “what’s going on” that I totally ignored. Before he could call anyone else, the plane was taking off and he had to turn off his phone. Poor guy!<—-

Now, back to the pain. I can put it into perspective for women that delivered their children naturally. For me, the pain resulting from a teeny-tiny kidney stone (2mm–seriously, like a speck of dust) was way worse than the worst of Transition. One, because it lasted longer and two, because during labor, I knew what was causing the pain.

Now, remembering it is Friday the 13th when all of this is happening, a less perky person would be awash in superstition. Well, I’m trying to be more perky, not less–so here are all of the good parts of that ED visit.

  • I listened to the advice given me and went to the hospital thus my kids didn’t see anything that would scare them.
  • We got to the ED just in time. When we left, about 3.5 hours later, the seats were full and patients were waiting in the halls for a room.
  • They moved really fast (see above) considering I needed a CAT scan and how busy they were.
  • Once I got out of Triage**, the doctor , nurse, and IV narcotics arrived in under 15 minutes.
  • I went to the bathroom as the nurse was finishing up my discharge papers and passed the kidney stone right then. Still under IV narcotics.

** I’m so glad that stubborn and pushy are a genetic traits and that K used both on the Triage nurse without pause. Thanks, Kellie!

You take the good, You take the bad, You take them both and there you have the facts of life…
You can all thank me tomorrow, when you can’t get the Facts of Life theme song out of your head.

Saturday we took a trip to the Volo car museum. Dude–there is just a ton of cool stuff. I’m pretty sure that Zach and Elliot thought they were meeting celebrities. The cars they’ve seen in cartoons and movies are….. RIGHT THERE.

Scooby Doo’s Mystery Machine; a mannequin of Officer Jon Baker from CHiPS; the original Batman car; Doc, as the Hudson Hornet; and KIT from Knight Rider. Okay, KIT is for Joel and I…but still!

Jeff (cousin-in-law?) is a fireman, thus he and K have connections. Sunday we got to go on a personal fire station tour. They sat and drove the big firetruck and an antique truck, hung out in the back of an ambulance. Then they got to play dress-up with real fire gear.

Followed by a trip to a Nature Preserve (that’s my Mom).

Then meeting a for-real pack of sled dogs (that’s Ferno, Kellie and Jeff’s puppy).

On Monday, we took the train into Chicago, rode a water taxi to Navy Pier, ate nuggets and ice cream, and then took a regular taxi back to Union Station to ride another train.

Tuesday, I took them to the park to build sand castles. This wouldn’t even be noteworthy save the Mom (from the adjacent cookie-cutter neighborhood) who had dressed her toddler in high fashion. Starched and ironed high fashion. He learned about mud with us rednecks that day. Fittingly, the day ended with tractor rides with Uncle Ray.

Is it any wonder that Zach cried when we left? Or put on his best, most pathetic face the day after we got home and said, “but I really, REALLY want to go back to their house.”

Perception is reality…and their perception is that it was…

2 thoughts on “Traveling with Small Children: Sight-seeing

  1. This is a terrific recap of the visit that made me laugh, the pictures are awesome… thank you for coming and sharing your handsome sons! > Donna

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