By now you've probably figured out that our daily life is utterly boring. Writing about it would induce comas and beg comparisons to watching cars rust.
We tend to compensate for this by going overboard every once in a while with a freewheeling "Hey, let's drive to Washington DC this weekend and tour the White House" sort of attitude. These high-risk adventures tend to prove repeatedly that we aren't very good at them, much like investing in the stock market on September 10, 2001 taught me much about my knack for market-timing.
This last weekend, to yet again labor the point, we did indeed drive to Washington DC, opting to spend our Friday staring at the ass of New Jersey traffic for six hours rather than try to fill the chasm left by the final episode of Battlestar Galactica with apartment-bound activities.
As I've mentioned before, we have an otherwise normal friend who has untethered herself from reality to work in the White House, serving as an assistance communications director and liaison for such low profile agencies as the EPA, Homeland Security, and the Justice Department. As a result she has special access, and as long as we promised not to make snide remarks about the administration we could take a tour of the West Wing. Who knows when we'd get an offer like that again, so we said yes.
So this last weekend we loaded up all the necessary provisions for a long car ride with the Cheekster and slowly made our way down to DC. Cheeky is a non-stop talker, and when she's tired she can get a little "off", so our strategy consisted primarily of multiple distractions and all the totemistic objects that she needs to sleep. It's a tried and true strategy, and it got us through day one with minimal scarring.
The weekend was short but nice, included a panda-viewing, an ill-advised detour through Adams Morgan, and an important lesson in never letting your child go to bed before she meets the babysitter. But the drive home...that's another story.
As mentioned above, we have a strategy for long car trips. There are three requirements for a moderately tolerable drive with Cheeky, regardless of length or circumstances:
- Time it so she's tired and likely to nap
- Ensure necessary comforts--such her favorite blanket--are present
- Provide ample televised entertainment
In a fit of extreme incompetence, we managed to do the following:
- Let her fall asleep for five minutes just before we left...just long enough to keep her from falling back asleep but leave her tired for the rest of the day
- Lost her favorite blanket--an object she values more than ketchup or the love of her parents--somewhere on the streets of DC
- Left our DVD player an all DVDs on the curb in front of the hotel.
This all happened within the span of about 40 minutes, just as we were leaving. The last was not discovered until we were halfway to Baltimore. The cumulative results...catastrophic.
Panic. Tears. Improvised attempts at placation. Finally, defeat. You may have heard the air-raid sirens in your neighborhood, for all we know. We were miserable beyond belief. All of us, traveling together in a frantic, pathetic, anxious box, bouncing slowly, inexorably north while a line of cards formed to block our path at the Holland Tunnel.
So desperate were we that we stopped at a Best Buy and bought another DVD player, calculating that $200 was a fair price to pay for a respite from the wails of dismay.
712 hours later, as we finally collapsed into a frazzled heap on our couch, Oodgie fixed me with a stare that said, "What I am about to say will be the final word on the subject."
"From now on, we FLY."
No argument, baby...no argument....
NOTE: Some of you in "the know" may note that this post is a week late in coming. It takes that long for the anti-anxiety medication to take effect.