Where's the village?

Monday, July 17, 2006

It's good to be home.

We returned last week from 3 weeks in Oregon. And while it was delightful to see everyone, including my brandy spankin' new nephew, it was a long time to be away from the dajadaddy. A long time to be living out of a bag. A long time to try and twist your lifestyle around your kind host's routine.

One of the most interesting parts about the actual travel was our stopover in Las Vegas. Each time it was only an hour or two. But my! What an interesting place.

OK, first? The slot machines are freakin' EVERYWHERE. And the dajamou was utterly mesmerized by them. I'm talking full on hypnosis, people. She'd stop walking, her eyes would get big and round, her face would go completely slack. I'd have to call her name 2 or 3 times before she'd start walking again. Only to have it repeated yet again, 30 seconds later, when we come upon the next bank of slot machines. The other thing I found interesting, funny, ironic, or all of the above, was the location of the smokers' lounge, directly across the hall from the Oxygen Bar.

The dajamou, of course, loved every minute of it. She is a super duper traveler. She loves airports, she loves airplanes, she loves the people-watching and the sliding sidewalks and the excitement of it all. In Vegas, she even wanted to help me carry one of the bags. Now, these things were HEAVY. I had no idea what she was going to want to do on the airplane, so I kind of went crazy packing all kinds of stuff to keep her occupied. So this bag she wanted to help carry weighed almost as much as she did. But she insisted, so... I let her. Heck. I was glad to get it off my shoulder for a while, and I'm all for encouraging helpfulness, even if it's sometimes a little, um, less than helpful.

So here we were, walking through a very crowded airport, and I'm breezing along all happy and unburdened while my three year old child is trying valiantly to drag a duffel that's nearly the size of her along the floor towards our gate. It took me about, oh, three steps before I realized that this could be construed in a less than wonderful "isn't-she-so-cute-and-helpful" way. Call me paranoid, but I started imagining people muttering behind my back about what a lazy, good-for-nothing mother I was, making that little girl do all the work. My solution to this was not to take back the bag. I mean, she wanted to do this, right? My solution, therefore, was to start praising her helpfulness in one of those loud, obvious voices they use on TV when they want someone on the other side of a closed door to accidentally-on-purpose overhear what's being said. "OH! WHAT A HELPFUL GIRL YOU ARE! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR OFFERING (extra emphasis on the "offering") TO HELP ME! I THINK YOU'RE SO SWEET TO WANT TO HELP! I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!" And so on.

I don't know if it fooled anyone, but at least nobody called the Child Abuse Hotline on me. That I know of.


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