We're off to vacation at Daytona Beach today. We're driving...for twenty hours each way...which has me shaking in my sneakers. But the girls were very good on the way to South Haven for our Easter break (or "Bacation" as Chloë still refers to it), and we're hoping to do a big chunk of the driving while they're sleeping...and we're going in Memaw's van which is equipped with DVD player, so I'm in hopes it won't be too bad.
Chloë eagerly helped pack last night. She picked two bed toys (Elmo and Frog) and a small blanket (the warmest one she has, which I vetoed; then she picked the most garish one she has, but it's light so I let it pass). She selected one set of pajamas, one pair of underwear, six shirts, three shorts, and two bathing suits. (I edited appropriately.) She would have packed all the socks, except they were still being washed. She's got a thing about her socks. She used to glory in naked time before pajamas, but ever since she got into underwear she's been refusing naked time, and she never wants her feet uncovered. I insisted yesterday that we wait until her feet de-wrinkled from her bath before putting socks on her and she was visibly agitated, asking me every few minutes if her feet were dry enough yet. Bath time continues to be an issue with her...the past few baths she's been reluctant because, we think, she has a scratch on her leg that she says hurts when it's in the water. Possibly the real trouble is that we put a Band-Aid on it for the first couple of days and then insisted on taking it off for her baths, which of course hurt a bit. As the scratch has healed she's been less recalcitrant, though she's still not as enthusiastic about baths as she used to.
Back to socks: I mentioned that she wouldn't be wearing socks a lot at the beach, and she said, "But I can wear socks with my sandals." I just know she's going to ask to go swimming in her socks. We have water shoes for her and I'm hoping they'll be good enough substitutes. She's started to put on her own underwear and pants sometimes, with orientation assistance, and the last day or two has attempted to put on her own socks as well, probably to be independent of her parents' faulty understanding of how vital it is to cover one's feet at every moment.
Maia, of course, doesn't understand we're going on a trip, but if she did I bet she'd be the more excited of the two...though Chloë is excited, especially when we tell her it'll be like Bacation and she'll get to not only play with Addie and Rae-Rae a lot but see her distant cousin Marlee as well. Maia is much more mercurial than Chloë, I'm noticing. When she's upset she has real fits, throwing things and squalling, with sobs so intense that she stops breathing for several seconds as her face gets redder and her eyes squinch shut, mouth open in wordless fury. When she's happy she's so happy. The other day I held her while she played with the light switch. I said "on" in a squeaky voice when she turned it on, and "off" in a low boom when she turned it off, and before long she was giggling like a mad thing, so hard she woke Eric up (and Eric doesn't wake easily). She adores sliding and swinging and being tossed around in our arms, and squeals with happiness...and sometimes she likes to make us laugh, too. "Maia is being funny," Chloë said this morning when Maia poked her finger into my nose on purpose after I told her "don't put your finger in your nose," and she was right, and I was so delighted by the both of them. Though I did use my stern voice to tell Maia to knock it off with the nose-picking.
So this post isn't really about the trip, of course, but doing the planning for a family trip makes me think about my family and how nice it really is to be going somewhere together, even if I think it's a little soon for this long a trip (travel-wise, I mean). It's a very grown-up but very real pleasure to be able to shepherd our family into the kind of vacation I went on when I was a child. I hope I can give my kids the kind of experiences I had...or at least ones that are as good. There were no DVD players on our trip to Disneyland when I was eight, but there was music and snacks and cousins and my parents providing distraction and conversation and the opportunity for a great time, and I had it, and I hope Chloë and Maia do too.