What a week.
We found out on Saturday (last Saturday) that UrbanMummy’s 90 year old Grandmother in New York was not doing so well. Her parents had driven to see her and it was suggested that we come with the kiddies to see her too. Then as we looked at all our options, like driving (not an option after all), flying out of Toronto, or out of Buffalo, we realized that it was going to cost us $4000 for the 4 of us to fly in to NY. Then we got the call that she was getting better and that we would not need to come, and right after that call, we got the call that she passed away.
We booked a flight into Newark, NJ, rented a car and left the next day.
Tip: For anyone with children who needs to rent a car in the United States and would like the company to install the car seats for you… rent from Avis car rental. They put the car seats into the car in less that 10 minutes and they were super-friendly. More than we can say for Budget and Hertz – both those car rental companies gave us a big hassel and refused to install the car seats citing litigation concerns. In both cases Hertz and Budget gave us pieces of car seats and set us on our way to figure out installation on our own. Never again. Avis rules!!
We drove from the airport into New York and into our hotel and the rest of the trip went as expected. We were only going for 2 days, which became 4 days, and I noticed a few things about my children.
1) The Happy Boy sleeps through everything! He slept in the car through banging doors and a crying brother sitting right next to him. He slept through the night in a bed with his brother in the next bed waking up every 2-3 hours and wailing for attention.
2) My son is the entertainer. No matter if he was meeting cousins for the first time or 5th time, he was giving them a show. Talking up a storm, and dancing and singing where necessary. During UrbanMummy’s eulogy, he went over to her and when in her arms, was trying to talk into the microphone (which was off). What a ham…
3) When tired, The Happy Boy bites, kicks, hits and throws things, The first night he slapped his 17 year old cousin, then tried to bite her. She glared at him, he smiled, then apologized and kissed her arm. Odd.
4) My son is very polite. Many people commented about the fact that this 2 year old was saying “excuse me”, “please” and “thank you” with regularity. Hey, I cannot control what he looks like but I can make sure he is respectful.
5) The Weed makes me very tired. He still gets up every 2-3 hours… all day… and night… every day… every night. Now we are starting to understand his needs and that helps get him back to bed easier at 3 in the morning. Last night excluded.
So we did the whole funeral and shiva thing in New York, and my boys got to spend time with their cousins and it was great. I loved seeing them bond. Even if it meant that my wife’s uncle who taught her her first word, “shit”, taught The Happy Boy to say, “Gramma, Gramma, go fuck yourself”. She flipped out, everyone else laughed and he realized the power of that word, or phrase. I heard him telling me to do the same in the car on the way to the airport home.
We got to the airport after the 3 days we were there and our flight was delayed… 2 hours. We went through customs and were steered down the side, I thought because of the kids, but nope, it was to a different area where we were all – get this – searched for explosives. They even patted down the baby. I offered to take off his diaper so they could check, but after swabbing our suitcases, they just walked away from our stuff lead strewn all over the place. Didn’t even tell me it was ok to go get it. So we finally packed up and went to kill 2 hours of time. And we did. Watching planes take off and land. For sanity reasons, we had timed the kids sleep so that they would sleep on the plane (1 hour trip) but the delay meant the Weed would be wailing on the flight and possibly the Happy Boy too.
I asked the Happy Boy to not sleep until the plane – and he did exactly that. Stayed awake until I buckled him in to the plane, then his head flopped down and he was asleep for the entire flight. The Weed on the other hand napped before the flight and was a nightmare for the first 20 minutes, but slept the rest of the way.
We landed, collected out stuff, flew through customs (because of the kids and it now being 11pm) grabbed our bag, bus to the park ‘n’ fly and home. Whew. Tuesday to Friday was long, busy and tiring. Now I just need to finish one final paper for my Human Resource Management course and another semester will be done. Only 2 semesters will be left. YAY.