Saturday, December 29, 2007

Travels with Dear Alex

Note that this was written without internet access (can you imagine?) - It's a series of long-ish descriptions of what we did for an entire week in Florida, which couldn't have come at a better time.

We begin another adventure today, as Dear Alex and Daddy head to Florida for a break from the cold grey city. Beautiful Wife, who returned from Vancouver as promised last Saturday night, is still chained to the job she was out shooting. She'll be joining us next Saturday. BW is suffering as much as the rest of us from the effects of too much grey, too many germs (most likely brought home by daddy's little incubator) and too little rest. We're all a little sickly in one way or another - and I'm concerned that BW and Dear Alex are circling around another round of pinkeye. (what the heck - make it a round of pinkeye for everyone - on the house!)
I do feel pretty badly, though - our usually cute-as-a-button daughter is looking a little worn around the edges, as though she's been keeping late hours and maybe got slapped around a little by her ex. I mean to say that she's got some dark circles under her eyes, some seriously blotchy cheeks, and has more or less given herself two black eyes by repeatedly, compulsively, slapping herself in the face. It's a little odd, and I feel like a not-so-good-dad to have her out in public like this - but hey, it is self-inflicted, and trying to restrain her from doing it just makes it worse.

Daddy's still in recovery from a good, simple freelance assignment that turned on me like a hungry dog...It started well, but got complicated pretty quickly, and turned into what might as well have been an all-nighter. There's nothing like getting a call in the middle of the night, when you know it's going to be a very latenight / early morning - "would you mind picking up diapers and milk on the way home. We're out of everything." That's a statement, not a question. And yes, it is my responsibility to keep us in household supplies of all types - that's what daddy does.

My little freelance job came out just fine, but it left me feeling a little hollowed-out. But I must say that I do enjoy working, and the company of adults and the opportunity for problem-solving that it brings. (which isn't to say that solo travels with Dear Alex doesn't have it's share of opportunities for problem solving - it does, in spades.)

The first part of our journey - the getting up and out was fairly easy, and we had a great ride in the black car to JFK - Dear Alex is excited to travel, and was happy to talk about the terminal the airplane and florida we're going up in the sky. She got to see a subway train on an above-ground track, an of course decided that it would be more fun to take the train to Florida. Or drive. By the time we got to the airport, she was in full melt-down mode, and wasn't really interested in air travel anymore. Getting the refrigerator-sized suitcase to the check-in and my little darling through security was challenging. One thing to note, though, a crying toddler certainly eases the passage through crowded airports - but It's not the most relaxing way to travel. By the time we got to the gate, Dear Alex had either accepted her fate, or had simply tired herself out from all the screaming. With no more fight in her we had a great flight. Dear Alex sat on my lap for the taxi and take-off and fell in love with the whole idea of flying again. We had an entire fruit salad, a bag of bagel chips, and some animal crackers. By the time we hit cruising altitude, Dear Alex was asleep - and stayed that way until we began the descent. We shared our seats with a nice young woman, who I'm sure was sure she was in for the worst (seated next to the baby on the airplane - few things more hellish to anticipate) But it all worked out okay - as though to make up for the pure hell she gave me going through the airport, Dear Alex was nothing but sweet and delightful through the entire journey.

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