On the road from Ottawa

We stopped at the “fancy” McDonalds in Milton on our way to Wheatley to celebrate Easter. I’d planned to stop at Milton but I’d not planned on coming from the direction we did but after having been in the wrong lane when the 401 came up while we were on the 407, I was proud at having got us there at all. The McDonalds’ earned its “fancy” designation by having its trademark “M” at the top of one of those very tall poles. Do they still call them the “golden arches”? It made me think of travelling on the interstate highways on the way to see Aunt Edith and her family. Reid liked it and decided to forego a hotdog at Harvey’s in favour of the fanciness. I was glad of her decision since the McDonalds had a playland and I wanted Reid to blow off some steam before we got back on the highway.

Before we left the food counter, I’d spilled my milk shake and I wondered if that was a bad omen. Our fries were cold and undercooked but the burgers were good and Reid would never complain about a meal that involved a milk shake. I noticed the fellow who put the high chair back in its corral didn’t wipe the tray when he put it back on. I’ve always suspected that they didn’t wipe the trays but I wish it wasn’t confirmed.

Reid spent a long time on the play structure. At one point, as Reid started climbing, she turned to me and said, “See you when I see you.” The lady next to me on the parents’ bench turned to me and grinned. I just said, “Okay.” For a while when Reid said good night to Ken,  she would add, “See you next week.” I’m not sure where she got that from but I have to say that “See you when I see you,” makes more sense wherever it comes from. Reid has been hesitant to play by herself whenever we’ve gone to the play place at McDonalds in Ottawa. (We’ve only ever gone a very few times.) On Thursday night, though, Reid made friends with various little kids as they came and went. She even helped a little girl who banged her arm or something to climb down. It reminded me of when we were at the zoo in Chicago and that little girl helped Reid get out of the climbing structure. I was so proud of her for noticing another child’s distress and working to resolve the problem. While Reid played, I charged my laptop. The only outlet I could see in the whole restaurant was in the play place. I guess they vacuum the floor in there. I was prepared for Reid to want to watch another a couple of shows but she settled into her seat with her blanket around her head.

Reid wasn’t going to go to sleep, she told me, because she was a kinkajou and they don’t sleep at night. After a bit she suggested that I could be the blue butterfly (from a Dora episode). In fact, Reid suggested, I could sleep and she would stay awake. That’s not the best strategy for us when we’re driving, though. She decided eventually that she would be the kinkajou once we got to Grandma Joyce’s. I agreed that would be okay, never thinking that she’d be awake. Reid went to sleep fairly soon after we were back on the highway and I drove and listened to my book on cd. I had to be careful in selecting what to listen to since some of the books have characters who say words that I’d just as soon Reid not use.

We got to Grandma Joyce’s about 11:00, ten and a half hours after we left Ottawa. We had stopped for drinks on the Toronto side of Kingston and then for gas at Pickering. Both stops were relatively quick – getting Reid out of her car seat and into the bathroom and back takes about 20 minutes minimum – but we were at the McDonalds for an hour and a half. My bum was numb and my left knee was sore when we arrived but my back was fine. I’m thinking more and more about after- market cruise control. (Ken, this last sentence was written especially for you.)

Reid woke when we pulled into Grandma Joyce’s garage and went to Aunt Karin for a pie-dough scented hug. I thought that it worked out well that Reid was willing to cuddle someone other than me so that I could use the bathroom and change into my pajamas. 20 minutes later, Reid still wanted Aunt Karin and I wanted to sleep. Aunt Karin offered to take Reid for a stroller ride to get her back to sleep while I stayed in bed. Reid and Aunt Karin went to Uncle Roger and Auntie M’s yellow house. Aunt Karin hid while Reid rang the bell. Auntie M didn’t appear at all surprised to find Reid on her door step and just said “hello” and invited her in. Aunt Karin went in, too. Uncle Roger had been in bed but got up for the visit. Reid was greatly amused by the anti-snore strip on Uncle Roger’s nose. She visited with them for awhile and then Aunt Karin took Reid back to Grandma Joyce’s. Reid called to talk to Uncle Dave and he told her that she needed to go to sleep but she told him that she just wasn’t tired. Aunt Karin read to Reid until she heard herself talking silly as she fell asleep in mid sentence, Aunt Karin told Reid it was definitely bedtime. Reid still said that she wasn’t tired but Aunt Karin was. It was 1:00 am. Reid was still protesting, but not in a whiny way, as Aunt Karin dropped her into bed with me. I last saw the clock at 1:44 as Reid was still wiggling about. At 6:30 that morning, Reid woke and said she wanted to go see Grandma Joyce. *I* was tired but then I hadn’t had the benefit of the 3-hours sleep in the car and I agree with the maxim “An hour before midnight is better than 2 after.”

85 Responses to “On the road from Ottawa”

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    Reid really enjoyed what she called our sleep walk. I guess she called it that because most everyone else were asleep already. She enjoyed the big fat round (her favourite shape, she told me) moon following us and also all the stars. She told me that she knew a night time song and proceeded to sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to me. The next night which was also a late one, she asked if we could go on another sleep walk and my answer was “NO! I need my sleep.”

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