Two Days, Twelve Years
Well, Internet, if there was an antidote to last weekend, it was definitely this weekend.
Yes, despite illness and exhaustion and one angry little protruding tooth, we actually made it out of the house for our first Sans-Baby Weekend since Sadie’s birth, and it was – as I expected – just the break we needed.
Getting ready to leave Friday afternoon was the frantic mess I expected it would be, with the last-minute trips to the drugstore for teething tablets and the last-minute loads of laundry and the last-minute additions to the ten THOUSAND pages of instructions we were leaving for Sadie’s aunt and uncle (I considered editing the whole thing down to PLEASE KEEP BABY ALIVE, but that seemed a bit too vague). My brother-in-law and his wife arrived at the house just as I was coming home from a half-day at work, which meant that in addition to getting a shower and throwing clothes in a duffel bag (I didn’t even have the presence of mind to piece together actual outfits, so I just grabbed a bunch of shirts and jeans and prayed there were some decent combinations in there somewhere), I had to run downstairs every time I remembered some monumentally important piece of information, like where the extra wipes were stored (SURELY THEY WOULD NEVER FIND THEM ON THEIR OWN!) or where I would put Sadie’s insurance card (JUST IN CASE something happens and you have to take her to the hospitalOMGIamfindingitreallyhardtobreathenow).
After multiple reassurances from our very capable sitters that THE BABY WILL BE FINE, PLEASE LEAVE NOW, and after depositing roughly ten bajillion kisses on Sadie’s puffy little cheeks, we got in the car (that, for the first time since late March, did not have a car seat), and got on the highway.
I think we made it ten miles out of town before calling the house because HOLY SHIT, I forgot to tell them not to give her pears or bananas because she hasn’t had them yet and she just ate peaches for the first time this morning and YAPYAPALLERGICREACTIONBLAH I cannot relax until you call them!!1! But once that call was made (and we were told that yes, Sadie was still doing fine and was showing no immediate signs of permanent emotional scarring), I was finally able to relax and focus on driving (in the pouring fucking rain) while Brad caught a short nap, since he’d been up since 5am with Sadie so that I could get an extra hour’s sleep which turned into 90 minutes because I overslept and HOLY MOTHER OF ASS, I am getting uptight all over again just remembering the shitstorm that was last week.
Despite the constant threat of hydroplaning all over the damn road, it was a pretty drive up north – the dreary weather making all the bright yellow and red leaves stand out even more. As we got further and further away from Pittsburgh and the traffic thinned out, I reminded myself that we had officially entered The Land of No Schedules, and for the next 48 hours I had only one ass to wipe (or maybe two, if he asked nicely). This was gonna be sweet. Of course, every now and then I had that feeling I sometimes get on airplanes when I realize that there is nothing between me and the ground so far below, and suddenly the bottom falls out from under me – but this time the realization was that with every passing second I was traveling further away from Sadie than I’d ever been her entire life. But I wanted to do it. And we needed to do it.
We got to Erie around 6pm, and by the time I was giddily ordering a giant glass of wine at dinner one hour later, a call to Pittsburgh confirmed that Sadie had been successfully put to bed. Now that it was scientifically proven that yes, she would go to bed without my magical rack inside city limits, we breathed a huge sigh of relief and set about gorging ourselves on a delicious dinner and passing out back at the B&B at a ridiculously early hour.
Our room at the George Carroll House, which was not haunted as far as I could tell, even though Brad pointed out that it would be really ironic if it was haunted by the spirit of a crying baby. Ironic, yes, and INFURIATING.
All plans to sleep in the next morning were dashed by two things:
- The fact that we both woke up at precisely 6:45am, DAMN YOU BODY CLOCK! And;
- The fact that it was homecoming weekend for the local university, and the girls at the sorority house across the street kicked off the festivities at the ass-crack of 7am by blasting “Single Ladies” for all of Erie to enjoy.
Now, although I really enjoy the bed & breakfast experience, what I don’t enjoy is having to interact with the other bed-and-breakfasters. I know some of them really get off on the whole “getting to know you” aspect of staying in such an intimate setting, but if it was up to Brad and I, everyone else would just shut the fuck up and pass the muffin tray. Luckily, we didn’t encounter a large group at breakfast the first morning – just the innkeeper and another woman – but OH, this woman. She was the mother of a girl who was still up in the room getting ready (“You know these college girls and the primping!”), and she REALLY wanted to start a conversation. We weren’t two sips into our coffee before she asked the innkeeper “So what’s the history of the house?” – which make Brad groan under his breath because the history of the fucking house was written and posted on EVERY SQUARE INCH of the fucking place. JUST SHUT UP AND READ, WOMAN! And then after pumping the innkeeper dry for historical information, she addressed the room: “Does anybody care if I make some noise?” I thoroughly enjoyed the awkward pause that followed that loaded question, mostly because I could SEE the innkeeper carefully weighing her answer. “I just want to get my guitar out and pluck a little,” Chatty Cathy finally elaborated, which Brad and I took as our cue to go back upstairs, where a young girl was about to be totally embarrassed by the discovery that her mom was jamming alone in the parlor.
We spent the afternoon driving around to multiple wineries in the area, spending a few bucks at each for some tastings. Most of the places would give you six half-ounce samples for two bucks, and while I’m no expert at math, I do know that six 0.5 oz samples for $2 + my extremely lowered tolerance for alcohol = GOOD MOTHERFUCKING TIMES. The last time I was able to drink without any regard for how it would affect the baby was the summer of 2008, friends, and that was just too long ago.
After the Liver-Bustin’ Wine Tour of ’09, we checked into the next bed and breakfast. This one was a bit fancier than the first one, and instead of impromptu acoustic guitar, this one came complete with 60-billion thread count sheets and complementary WINE and HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES.
It also came with a four-poster bed (not pictured: the two other posts), which I totally didn’t realize, and – as you may recall – I am of the belief that four-poster beds = SHIT WILL BE HAUNTED, but thankfully I was far too intoxicated to be woken in the dead of night by any wandering souls. Thanks, booze!
We spent the rest of the day laying around on our asses, gathering up our strength for another taxing evening of eating and drinking.
At dinner, we talked about how – although it was great to get away – now that Sadie is here, things feel incomplete when it’s just the two of us. Although I don’t think she would have enjoyed the wineries or the scallops, she’s so much a part of us that it only seems right when the three of us are together.
There was a wall of post-it notes by the door of the restaurant that patrons were encouraged to scribble something on as they left. I stood there for a minute in my wine-induced haze, trying my best to come up with something creative/funny/poetic/perfect, when Brad grabbed the pen:
The next morning, we were up before sunrise again (AGAIN! SO UNFAIR) because we had to get back to Pittsburgh in time for Brad and his brother to get to the Steelers game. The upside of getting such an early start, though, was that we were able to enjoy the amazing home-cooked breakfast in the fancy-ass dining room all by ourselves.
When we got home a couple short hours later, I scooped Sadie up in my arms and swore she looked older than when we left on Friday (and the tooth had definitely progressed further into the world), but oh, I wouldn’t trade my weekend for anything, Internet.
So many times during our little trip, I looked at Brad and remembered what it was like getting to know him twelve years ago. And although I don’t think our relationship has changed significantly since Sadie was born, I had sort of forgotten what it was like when it was just the two of us. I think we do a pretty good job of finding snatches of time in our day to be alone with each other – on the ride to work after dropping Sadie off at daycare, in the evenings watching TV with the Bug fast asleep – but it gets all too easy to lose the other person in the clip of a routine. At certain points over the weekend, it felt like the past year and a half were just some crazy, wonderful dream. Had I really been pregnant? Had a baby? Did I really see Brad holding our infant daughter that one day in April? How can it seem like everything has changed, but on second thought, nothing has really changed at all?
Entry filed under: Thanksgiving.