7/14/08 Eli's (and Nicole's) Visit

Guess who came to visit us this weekend! Nicole and Eli! I got to go see them around Easter, but Tony hasn't seen Eli since he was a baby, so I coerced Nicole into packing up Eli's required accompaniments and driving over to K-town to stay with us.

I did my baby-proofing part by buying those little outlet covers and sticking them in outlets all over the house. No one's getting electrocuted on my watch! No siree! So I stuck a dozen outlet covers in all of the outlets, wiped my hands and considered the house officially baby-proofed. This parenting thing isn't so hard.

What? Why are you laughing?

Anyway, Nicole showed up on Saturday lugging a suitcase, a diaper bag, a stroller, Eli's food, two sets of Winnie the Pooh plastic cutlery, Nicole's purse, a bag full of toys, a car seat, and a squirming one year old. And this was just for an overnight! I was stunned. Who knew a 14 month old required so many things? Eva Gabor travels with less baggage.

Anyway, after arriving, Nicole settled Eli into the kitchen for a quick lunch of "meat sticks" and fruit cocktail. (Meat sticks, as best as I can describe them, seem to be tiny hot dogs in some sort of juice). Nicole painstakingly cut them up into tiny pieces and fed them to Eli. Tony and I sat across the table to enjoy the show. Eli is pretty adapt at picking stuff up with his hands and squishing it. When Nicole held the Pooh Bear fork, food made it into his mouth. When Eli held the fork, it was mostly used to bang on the plate. Not the most efficient way to eat, but eventually Nicole was able to get a pretty good amount of food into him. I could do that, if I had to.

Except when he decides to "share" the food he's chewing by taking it out of his mouth and handing it to Nicole. I'm totally not down with chewed meat stick in my hand. But Nicole, she is a saint, and seemed not at all grossed out.

After lunch, we went to the zoo. (Because what does everybody want to do after a 3 hour car ride? Go walk around the zoo in the heat!) But Eli's never been to the zoo before, and we're the zoo people, so we felt honor-bound to take him.

Eli was thrilled with the zoo. He was thrilled with the animals. (Although I'm not sure that he realized he was seeing anything out of the ordinary, because he was also thrilled with the bushes and the fence and the Watermelon Slush Puppy that Nicole gave him). We skipped the petting zoo, but Tony showed Eli his beavers and chickens that he used to take care of, and I'm pretty sure the Eli was suitably impressed. We may have a future zoo patron in the making there.

We grilled out for dinner. Nicole had a hamburger, Eli had half a hotdog (the other half was equally distributed to the table, his chair, the floor, or Nicole's hand. The cats cleaned up the floor and the chair for him...they were thrilled that Eli and his hotdog bits had come to visit!) And Tony and I each had a hotdog and hamburger, because calories don't count when you grill out. Then Eli ran around the house with his sippee cup, and threw one of the cat toys down the stairs, and opened all the kitchen cabinets, and played with the trashcan lid, and punched all the buttons on the roomba, and got his arm trapped in the cat door. So much for child-proofing the house! Just watching him was both amusing and exhausting at the same time. I'm not sure how Nicole keeps up with him.

He got a little cranky around bedtime. Nicole says he's teething, so he's been running a fever lately. (Teeth=fever? Who knew?) He'd be playing, then he'd suddenly start to cry, then he'd stop, then he'd start again. All in the span of about 2 minutes. It was amazing. (Much like watching a tiny version of myself while PMSing). Except I don't think I have that kind of lung power, because that boy can really wail when he sets his mind to it. All of the cats went tearing out of the room when he really got going, and to be honest, Tony and I seriously considered following suit. You'd think the child was being tortured, the way he screamed. Of course, Nicole didn't seem at all alarmed, and just kept rocking him and talking to him until he finally went to sleep. Did I mention she was a saint? Because I think a mere mortal might have gone insane.

Of course, the next morning he was completely fine, and acted as if nothing had happened. The kittens were totally checking him out, and he was very good about gently petting them. Obviously Nicole has been working on the right way to pet a kitty. He's such a sweet little boy.

We did Applebee's for lunch, where Eli had a cheese stick (cut into tiny pieces), some chicken (same little pieces) and some green beans (in big honkin' pieces...not really). I'm thinking that "Feed the baby" would be a fabulous new diet, because by the time Nicole finished cutting up pieces, making sure he ate them as opposed to dropping them into the floor, moving the salt and pepper shaker out of the way, making sure the sippee cup was within reach, and picking up the crayons he had dropped, she really didn't have much time to feed herself at all. (I lent her moral support by wolfing my food down. No baby's gonna make me miss a meal!)

After lunch, Eli gave me a slobbery fingered wave, Nicole strapped him into his car seat, and off they went, back to Nashville. Tony and I immediately collapsed for a nap (mine was 5 hours) after which I cleaned cheerios out of the couch. Eli was way more fun and way more work than I imagined. I'm not sure how Nicole keeps up with him. He was here less than 24 hours and I needed to sleep for 5 hours to recover. I'm not sure that I could handle that full time. But at the same time, now that he's gone, I find myself thinking that the house is just a little too quiet. I'm already looking forward to the next time they come to visit.

The cats are hoping that he'll show up with another hot dog.


Antique or Not said...

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Go to my blog and you will see the Blog Award in my sidebar that I am passing to you. Just copy the logo and display on your site and pass onto 7 more deserving bloggers. You must post their links on your blog if you pass the award to them.



Anonymous said...

Hee Hee and that seemed mild to me. They are such fun. Especially once you become Grandma. Margie

Anonymous said...

Oh, Margie. If you only knew the pain...the perfect would-be grandma and grandpa going to waste because no quirkyone will reproduce. But, like the martyrs we are, we'll just be quiet (as usual) and let them eventually discover what they're missing. And continue to envy Eli's grandparents. (Insert big sigh here.) Quirky'sWaitingForAGrandchildMom