I thought the road trip to the beach started auspiciously enough, because both kids took two naps in the car. Two! This was beyond my expectations.
Yes, my older son was the one running around a BBQ place in his mickey mouse pajamas 45 minutes into the trip, yelling “No, Mommy! Don’t do that!” because he could not have an ice cream cone. But my spirit was undiminished. And later, when we stopped at a small town to run around the courthouse square, I asked my husband to take a picture of the boys next to the big live oak tree because it was so pretty — only to later learn that it a.) had been the town “hanging tree” and b.) was sitting on top of a colony of hornets. The spirits of dead criminals haunting a tree in the form of hornets? Ah, what an interesting tale of the road! Nothing to worry about!
The beach house was supposed to have wi-fi, but we could never get it to work. To quote Pete the Cat: Was I worried? Goodness no! Here was a weekend free from distraction, free from email and facebook and every other thing. Fine!
We had a lovely time at the beach, even though it was too cold to go swimming. The boys had fun crawling through the sand and jumping into big holes and smashing the sand castles their daddy built for them. The baby was so tired that he fell asleep for the night, or so I thought, around 6pm on Saturday.
And then he woke up screaming so hard I thought he was choking on something. He was doing that thing where he had his mouth open but no noise was coming out. And when the noise did some out, it was loud and angry! Nothing calmed him down for at least an hour, and I even reverted back to our old ways when he had been a one month old infant suffering from gas pains. We took a bath together, we nursed, we cuddled and swaddled and rocked in a chair; we walked and sang and bounced; had some sips of water, checked his whole little body all over for sunburn or bruises or hurts of any kind. I didn’t see anything, but let me ask a question: if a haunted bee stings you, would it even leave a mark on your physical body?
He cried so hard that some of the relatives thought we should go to the emergency room. But we stayed put. And I did not google “what if a baby eats too much sand?” or “sand poisoning symptoms” or “dead spirits + hornets + courthouse + baby.” Not because I didn’t want to; because I couldn’t. I didn’t email my 2,000 closest mom friends to ask if this had happened to anyone else. Not because I didn’t think of it, but because everyone outside the house was effectively out of my reach. I tried to clear my mind of the clutter as I rocked my poor baby through his decreasing screams, as I watched for his eyelids to drift shut into slumber. But really, I just wanted to ask everyone ever if this had happened to them before.
By 8pm, he was asleep. At 9:30 he woke up, but just seemed a little cranky and he fell asleep again as soon as he nursed for a few minutes. In the morning, he was happily smiling at everyone again, giggling at his brother and his cousin. Not, to my untrained eyes, haunted by bees or feeling the effects of sand poisoning. Well, actually, I never did google any of that. I supposed I should get on it.
[ETA: Googling just brought me to a picture of a thing called a tarantula hawk. Not at all what we encountered at the Hanging Tree, but WILL likely show up in my nightmares. Thanks, google!]