This morning the kids and I were up and rolling bright and early, with plans to jump in the car and meet my parents at a halfway point so Mary and Anna could spend the night with them in Connecticut. Of course, Lily spent most of last night teething and expressing her separation anxieties in decibels loud enough to notify Providence, so I was a little slow moving, but nevertheless tried to sow enthusiasm amongst the troops.
"Mary, go use the bathrooom! Anna, come here, I need to tie your shoe!"
"So we can go to Mime and Boppa's?"
"Yep! We're going to leave in just a few minutes!"
"But I want to live here!"
I paused, mid tie.
"Anna, you do live here. We're not giving you to Mime and Boppa. You're having a sleepover and Mommy and Daddy will see you in the morning."
"Oh," she said, as if I had corrected a great misunderstanding. "Okay then."
Crisis averted, we managed to get baby, preschoolers, overnight bag, purse, assorted bedtime stuffed animals and sippy cups and all manner of of miscellany into the car and were on the road within five minutes of my desired start time. Anna, no longer convinced she was about to be adopted out, was quite chatty.
"Why're we going to Mime and Boppa's?"
"You're going to spend the day and have a sleepover," I reminded her. "Then tomorrow Mommy, Daddy and Lily are going to come to Mime's house. Mommy and Daddy are going with Mime and Boppa someplace and Mime's friend Miss Audry is going to watch you. Do you remember her?"
In the rearview mirror, I saw two little girls shake their heads no.
"Miss Audry is really nice," I said. "And she's going to bring her little girl, too. Well, her big girl. Rachel is eleven."
"Will she play with me?" Mary asked.
"She sure will," I said. "She wanted to come, she likes little girls."
"Is she dis many?" Anna asked, holding up three fingers in my mirror view.
"No, honey, she's not three," I said.
"Is she my age?" Mary asked.
"No," I reminded her. "She's eleven. If you wanted to count that on your fingers, you would need both hands plus an extra finger to get to eleven!"
"And if we wanted to count on our TOES," Mary said giggling madly, "We'd need all our toes and an extra toe!"
"Why?" Anna half muttered, half mumbled from her car seat. "Is she barefoot or somethin?"
I snorted. I assured Anna her soon to be new friend wears shoes.
"She doesn't have shoes," I heard her mumble (or something like that, I was too busy trying not to crack up.)
We continued. Somehow, Mary and I got on the subject of race cars.
"You know what Mary?" I said. "Mime's daddy, my grandpa, who you never got to meet, drove race cars!"
"HE DID?" she asked in awe.
"He did," I confirmed. "And Mime, when she was a little girl, she used to help build them with my grandpa!"
"Really," I said, to Mary's delight.
"Can we do that today?" mumbled Anna.
"Can we do what today, honey? Build a race car?"
"Uh...no, baby. You're going to Mime and Boppa's. We're not going to build a race car."
"Pleeeease? Just ONE?"
Well, sure, kid, if it's just one, but you know, stock cars are kind of like potato chips, I don't know if you can build JUST ONE.
We arrived at the meeting point, whereupon Anna announced she had to go to the bathroom, and of course, the restaurant wasn't open yet. Mom assured me she had it under control and there was a place up the road that they could visit.
I wonder what Anna had to say about that.