This weekend was my family's reunion. This occurs every year, but last year we skipped it, and the previous year I have no idea if we went or not. Really don't care.
But this year we decided to go. Reunions in my family are always a mixed bag. They're generally just about exactly two hours long, the food is great, the meeting absolutely unequivocally MANDATORY and boring, and the kids run amok for a while. The running amok is fun, but the meetings make me stabby.
And the whole she-bang, which ends just as unceremoniously as it begins, is over 3 hours away. This would be our first test of Alastair on a long trip, and he did great! I put him in a diaper, just to be sure, but he was a champ and held his bladder for 2.25 hours without complaint.
We got there and he was introduced to his 7-year-old cousin Ryan, with whom he became instant buddies. They ran their mouths through lunch, had lots of fun, then ran off to play with trains. He sang the Boobies song and Doodoo in My Closet. He had a blast.
We stayed with my cousins Cory and Rebecca, and since they have 3 cats, Alastair was ready to stay there forever.
Sunday, just as quickly as we'd come, it was time to go. But this time we'd make two important changes to our drive: we'd pick up my dad and we'd stop at VIR to watch some racing. VIR was a big hit. They had a Porsche Club of America HPDE on South Course, and motorcycle racing on North Course. Dad got some pictures, which I hope to publish soon, but Alastair loved watching the PCA event. There was, after all, a racing MINI Cooper*! The motorcycles were fun, too, but the noise got to him after a while (at one point he was yelling at each motorcycle to "Stop it! Stop making all that noise!").
30 minutes after we left, we stopped at a gas station, where we took a potty break. After I'd, uh, handled his business, he turned to me and said, "Daddy, I wish Mommy wasn't in Heaven." It broke my heart, but I was so glad to hear him expressing his feelings for her.
The rest of the trip was fairly uneventful. Alastair finally got sick and tired of riding in the car about 40 minutes from home. I looked back to see him silently weeping. We immediately found a place to let him run around for a few minutes.
And, since he'd been so good, we came home to mac & cheese!
As an aside, it's incredibly challenging to take a young child to a public bathroom. Toilets are not shaped for little people, and I invariably wound up touching things I didn't want to touch. Either he ended up sitting side-saddle on the seat, or I'd suspend him in mid-air with his pants around his ankles, hoping he'd pee in roughly the right direction. But my fave is taking him to a urinal, where he always tells me "Daddy, that tickles!" when I try to help him aim. It's so completely embarrassing, and of course, his doodad is just exactly high enough to clear the porcelain. At the track, in the midst of peeing, he says, "Daddy, I'm getting splashed!" So yeah, we had to take something of an impromptu bath at the sink.
*For the MINI nuts--er, enthusiasts--who still read this, it was none other than Tony Nuzzo's car.