A pregnant woman, a toddler and a puppy walk into a room. Sounds like the setup to a Rodney Dangerfield joke, right? Nope. Just the new reality in the Donohue household. After Lola’s shockingly quick goodbye in the spring, we all felt a little loneliness in the house and when the opportunity suddenly popped up to get a new cocker puppy, it felt like a gift we couldn’t pass up.
We picked up Dash(iell) Hammett Donohue last Saturday and the whirling little dervish has been nipping his way into our hearts ever since. We adopted Lola when she was five, so a puppy is a new experience. So far, so good. He’s sleeping through the night (not in our bed!) and adjusting to his crate. Leash training will be the next big hurdle. There won’t be a dull moment for awhile. It will be chaos and cuteness for the rest of the summer and fall.
It was time. We had to tell her. It didn’t really seem fair not to. So we took a few belts of liquid courage and sat her down.
“Ce, you know those trips down to see Grandmother and Papa and Gigi? All those late night, endless drives with only brief, rushed stops at worn out scenic overlooks or bland, fluorescent-lit rest stops (thank you, Connecticut!) that we’ve put your through the last three years?”
“Well, your Mother hasn’t exactly been honest with – ouch. Okay, we haven’t exactly been honest with you. Yes, visiting family is great, but there is something we left out. During those midnight sprints across creaking bridges and through never ending paving projects? Well, there is also an amusement park nearby. Close enough that it’s hardly even worth calling it a detour.”
“What’s an a music park?”
“Amusement park, honey. It’s a place that drains a parent’s sanity – ouch. Sorry, I mean it’s a place that has fun rides, and food, and this one has lots of your favorite characters from Sesame Street.”
After confirming that yes, Elmo doesn’t live in the TV and would be there, she was very excited. We remained nervous and wondered if they would sniff check our ‘water’ bottle for bourbon.
Well, it turns out we needn’t have worried. Ce LOVED it. It wasn’t quite warm enough to enjoy all the water rides, but with most schools still in session it was not crowded (it’s not a big park and I could easily see needing that ‘water’ bottle in July) and Ce took to the rides like a toddler to Fruit Loops. No cajoling necessary. We had to pull her away in the end. Her final tally?
- 3 giant swing rides
- 1 carousel
- 5 roller coasters (a small, but legit coaster)
- Countless rides on the free fall
- 2 big water slide plunges
- Single sampling of many others.
- She even forget her natural shyness and ran up to the six foot Elmo for a hug.
Next stop, Disney. Gulp.
(This post dedicated to Cousin Amy. You’ll get there one day.)
Continuing the catch-up from our trip down to Grandmother and Papa’s house: here is a look at the cousins going deep sea fishing. I have to say despite the endless colds and sometimes leg dragging drop-offs, I do appreciate how much daycare has helped Ce socialize and play with other kids.
You can also see she definitely inherited her Mama’s love of the water as there was no way Daddy was putting his feet in that ice bath. I’m glad kids are impervious to cold.
What could be better than riding the tractor at the mall? How about riding around on Papa’s tractor?
When I was growing up, I remember my Dad going on business trips. Typically cable conventions or cable systems in exotic places like Sarasota or Oswego. Dad’s business trips meant two things: at least one TV dinner if it happened during the week (I still have a strong sensory memory of Hungry Man cherry compote) and, when we were smaller, a grab bag of goodies upon his return. Granted, the goodies consisted almost exclusively of free convention swag festooned with cable channel logos (although sometimes it was a sports arena program and ticket stubs). I’m sure my Mom cringed at the influx of stress balls, tote bags, cup holders, ash trays, coasters, lanyards and other tchotchkes, but we loved it, fought over it and hoarded it like it was shiny Spanish doubloons.
Well, Cece had her first introduction to the return trip goodie basket when a bursting USPS box showed up on our doorstep smelling like tropical sunshine and double rainbows. Its arrival just happened to coincide with her grandparents return from Hawaii. Ce’s reaction didn’t disappoint:
I fully expect that in a century or two any ex-patriot Donohues still living in New England will develop a genetic mutation that allows us to experience driving the northeast corridor in some sort of fugue state. Just steer the car onto 95, bliss out and wake up at your destination. Last week’s Thanksgiving drive was a top five nightmare with the car smoking and spitting transmission fluid all over Connecticut. It’s a testament to how bleak it appeared that we count a four hour delay as very, very lucky. I’m pretty sure the sight of Cece marching around the mechanic’s bay and Lola’s confusion in going up and down on the garage lift helped our cause by charming the grease off the workers.
Despite that very rocky start and the pending ulcer inducing search for a new car, Ce’s second Thanksgiving (or Happy Gobble Gobble as she termed it) was a good time. She was able to reconnect with her long lost soul mate Ghibli, shoot some hoops with cousin Nathan down in DC and visit both great-grandparents back in Philly. Not to mention swiping a whole package of free oil change coupons from Southland Auto.