For Jake’s grandmother’s birthday we asked her what she wanted. She responded with the simple request of a visit to her home. We scheduled a date and decided to make a day out of it by taking Gwen to the train museum which is on the way.
Jake’s grandmother lives in Gardnerville, which is about an hour and a half drive from our house. It’s not a big deal, we’ve all driven it 1,000 times. I was even looking forward to our first adventure with Norah because we were beginning to feel bad about being hermits who truly haven’t left town or our house for over a few months. Little did we know that the act of not leaving the house for months was really a brilliant plan of self preservation.
On the Saturday we had planned the trip, I woke up with Norah at 6 am. Jake and Gwen were up at 8am. We weren’t ready to leave the house until 11 after showering and packing. We weren’t spending the night folks, this was just prep work for an afternoon away from the house. 15 minutes down the street we realize the screaming baby in the back would require attention. You see, Norah won’t use a pacifier so if she cries there’s no quieting her. This actually turns out to be a good thing because she only cries when she needs something, so a pacifier wouldn’t really be of any service to any of us when she’s trying to tell us she’s got something in her diaper, now would it? This makes me feel a little less panicky about the situation, because my god, what do you do without a pacifier?
We had to stop and spend an hour nursing, going potty, eating and changing diapers before getting back on the road. We get stuck in traffic all through Carson. Ordinarily this would be annoying but not when you’ve got Norah who again pooped five minutes from your destination while you’re stuck in traffic. It escalates from annoying to full blown breakdown mode.
Finally we make it to the train museum. After taking care of Norah who has made it quite clear she was in need, we pack up the stroller and go to the museum only to find the train ride that the outdated website boasted ran every 40 minutes doesn’t work. The batty volunteer then charges us an admission for two (when we only wanted one) to the world’s most dull museum with big trains that you can’t touch. Gwen pees her pants while playing at the only redeemable quality of the museum which is the train table. We make a mental note to purchase pull ups for big trips such as this.
We walk through the museum for which Gwen doesn’t even recognize the trains, nor is she allowed to climb or touch them and then we head out in the sunny heat to an Annex where we have been promised a push and pull type ride for children. After a brief encounter with a strange old man that made me keep Gwen close to my side and gave me the creeps for the first time as a mother of a daughter, we get to the annex to be told they don’t have anyone to run the ride for the children today.
We try to make the best of this frustrating situation, telling the toddler who was talking nonstop for the half hour drive to the choo choo train that in fact, it’s broke. We fake enthusiasm for the giant trains even though she can’t grasp they are trains and get back in the car where Norah decides she will cry because she’s now overtired and the car isn’t moving.
You ready to turn back and go home yet? Because I was. I was so ready to abandon our mission that we had already dedicated six hours to it wasn’t funny. But Jake stayed strong and we soldiered on. Norah thankfully slept for the remainder of the ride while Gwyneth whined about the choo choo train being broke.
The visit itself was nice, of course. Due to varying reasons our girls have an entourage of extra grandmothers. This equates to being spoiled rotten and being loved on nonstop during their visit. Meanwhile Norah refuses to sleep while being fussy in between and Jake and I are ready to pull our hair out after experiencing what it now means to keep an eye on two kids in a house that hasn’t seen a baby or toddler in many many years. Nursing Norah, chasing Gwen, feeding all of us, etc. It was a lot to handle and caught me by complete surprise.
We did get to visit with family and take in Jake’s grandmother’s gorgeous landscaping she clearly put a lot of effort into, which was really the whole point of the trip. Jake’s grandmother is always driving to our house, but we hardly ever make it out to hers. I’m glad we finally made it.
Luckily the ride home was anticlimactic with just one extra pit stop, which worked out to be at the cushy Starbucks of the Summit mall where we spent way too much money on pumpkin spice delicacies and chocolate milk for the ever so patient Gwyneth while tending to the needs of the newborn.
We will now never leave our house until Thanksgiving. I’m even anxious about that drive, even if Norah will be two months older. And don’t even get me started on our plans to drive to Las Vegas for Christmas…….