Take me out to the barf game…

September 4, 2009 at 5:09 am (Uncategorized)

We’ve been home exactly one week, considering that by the time we’d returned home Wednesday half the day already was over and it was spent wholly in a fog. At this point, we’re all well-adjusted to West Coast time, our lovely “big” refrigerator, being surrounded by English speakers, our cats, our hearty toilet paper and our food. Then again, maybe not…

On July 4, I’d won four tickets to a Beavers baseball game; the season was to end soon after we were to return to Portland. Dad had planned in advance of our trip to take Hayley and Alyssa to their first (semi)-professional ball game. Last Sunday, Dad and Dave’s dad, Clif, trotted off with full wallets, empty bellies and two very excited girls who, Dave and I thought, would make it through the top of the first inning and then throw in the caramel corn. But we were wrong; the HOURS ticked by and still the girls hadn’t been returned home. Turns out, they made it to the seventh inning, for that famous stretch and accompanying song. The one about “…Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks/I don’t care if I ever go back!”

The girls got home tired, happy and full. Of crap. Including ball park franks, caramel corn, root beer (Alyssa) and other sundry items my dad ticked off on his fingers but that, by sickening item four or five, I’d entirely tuned out. Dave and I ate dinner while the girls looked on, simply saying they weren’t hungry. Shock!

Then Alyssa and Hayley — fresh off the love affair with one another they’d cultivated in France — begged to have a slumber party in Alyssa’s bedroom. Dave inflated a blow-up mattress and we kissed the girls goodnight, too tired as they were to be read to. Dave then took off to see a “Dave flik,” otherwise known as something with a lot of blood, violence and very bad acting but that makes Dave very, very happy; I was pleased to see him off so I could enjoy the quiet of the slumbering house.

About 10 minutes after Dave left for a quick testosterone boost, Hayley started to cry. She came out of Alyssa’s bedroom, clearly upset and quite groggy. “Mommy,” she choked out between gasps for air, “I threw up.” Veysmeer. Zayde’ll hear about this one, I thought.

Indeed, Hayley had soiled many layers of bedding. The “soil” strongly resembled ball park franks. I cleaned her up. I gave her a bath. I remade the blow-up mattress. (Alyssa slept through all this, blazing lights and steaming bath included.) I tucked Hayley back into bed and recommenced my clean-up duties. Again, there was that familiar Hayley cry. Again, she came out of Alyssa’s room, saying she just wanted to sleep in her own room, in her own bed. Of course, I told her; I’d be right there to snuggle her to sleep. Hayley mounted her bed and I turned my back toward the bathroom. My ears then caught the familiar sound of ball park franks again exiting the ball park. (All over her bed and layers of its bedding.) Damn. Without turning this into too grotesque an entry (too late), suffice it to say Hayley soon emptied herself of the ball park poison, felt better and happily returned to bed in her sister’s slumber-party room. She was relieved to know she’d never consume a ball park dog again. As was I.

A couple hours later, with Dave and all his extra testosterone by now tucked into bed beside me, Alyssa awoke, whining about how much her belly hurt. Dave’s turn! He got up, gave her a bath, gave her a Tums and returned her to bed. (Hayley slept through all that racket, too, as did I, the girls’ very devoted and light-sleeping mother…not.) Once the sun was up way later that morning, the girls got up with it. Completely mended — phew — from the previous nights’ rejection of PGE Park dogs.

The irony, of course, is that while it took the girls a little while to regulate to the French food almost exclusively available to them while abroad, it seems they might need even more time to regulate to the most all-American of foods now that we’re back home. (Either that, or the sport of baseball itself turned their tummies. But it’s not for me to editorialize.)

School starts in less than a week, and both girls, while expressing nervousness over the beginning of a fresh year (and, for Hayley, a new school entirely), are more than ready to be back into the groove of new friends, fun activities, the routine of a school day…and less time with Mommy and Daddy.

Lots of people have asked about our trip and what it’s like being back. While I’m ready for the girls to return to school and normal routines for Dave and I to kick back in, too, I revel in the month we spent nearly constantly together as a foursome. It’s evident how much the girls got out of it, noting their overnights in each others’ rooms and their bids to have family overnights, as well. However, just tonight Alyssa told me that while she feels safest and best understood at home, it’s at school where she has the most fun. As it should be. You don’t have to fold laundry or load a dishwasher at school. Wait ’till pop quizzes start happening. Home — if not France, half a globe away — won’t look so bad.


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