Detroit Adventure Part 1

by Kristi Van Dyk in

So, here I sit, with only the iPad for entertainment; Kayleigh is all aflutter as she's staring at "all of the cars." (Her way of describing the breathtaking view that we have out of the window of our hotel room.) My infant son is snoring in the closet on the other side of the bed. Steve is tolerating (rather well, considering our evening) Kayleigh's incessant chatter very late at night as he tries to snuggle her into silence. And so, I have a few moments to reflect on why on earth we take ridiculous trips like this... Why is sharing one hotel room with two small children in a busy city worthwhile? Wouldn't it have been easier to stay at home? We always end trips asking ourselves those exact questions ... But we always take them anyway when the opportunity arises.

On the car ride down, I started making notes on my notepad ... Little things the kids said or did that made all of the packing, the sleeplessness, the travel worthwhile ... It's a good thing I did because we were met with disaster immediately upon arrival.

I actually don't even want to waste my breath explaining all that went on. I'd rather just focus on the things that, thus far, have made it a pleasure.

Exhibit A: We had barely been in the car more than 10 minutes and Kayleigh, ever our daughter, said, "Mommy? I probably need my iPod now so I can watch my Mickey movies and play Angry Birds." 1.5 hours later, we piled back in the car after a rest stop and were barely back on the highway before the same question came out again. She needs to be plugged in, even if it's not Mickey Mouse or movies, it's something to do with her hands ... Buttons to push. She even told me once that she was texting Daddy while he was driving!

Exhibit B: During our dinner at Wendy's, Benjamin, began chuckling at something. We followed his gaze and discovered, it was a clover hanging from the ceiling. This small clover captivated him so thoroughly that he was simply roaring with laughter by the end of our dinner. To add to our noisemaking hilarity, Kayleigh began to rid herself of excess energy by doing laps around our table. Each time she would pass her brother he'd relapse into more peals of contagious laughter. Steve and I found ourselves completely captivated by the simple, beautiful sound of our children laughing together.

Exhibit C: Benjamin has taken to repeating everything as of late... He wants to copy all sounds! While riding in the car, Kayleigh began playing with Talking Tom. He's a cat who repeats all you say. Her favorite button is the one where he scratches the screen of the iPod and it makes a horrendous noise. Benjamin found this noise to be worth listening to and replicating. So, by they time Steve and I realized what he was doing, it was a regular part of his new "vocabulary." It's eerily similar to the Talking Tom screech... What a talented little boy we have.

Exhibit D: While Daddy was taking Kayleigh around the hotel, managing the issues we had with our reservations, Mommy played in the room with a very exhausted Benny. He was well past tired and into a slap happy stage. I was working on keeping him from melting into the screaming stage, so I made his favorite sounds (not surprisingly it's the letter "B".. Anything with a B sound sends him into solid giggles. So, I said, "Big Benny Boy" 5 times fast and the little man laughed for a minute solid. Listening to his incessant giggling made all of the annoyances of the evening sort of fade away.

And that, my friend, is just night 1... I'm excited for a fun day tomorrow at the Children's Museum. I know my kids will enjoy their day, pool or no pool... And we will look back fondly at these days someday and wish for this much closeness with the kids.