Days 1 and 2, “The F Word”

I am committed to being open and honest in my blogging about my experience of being a grandparent, raising a grandchild.  So, I will be open and honest during my blogging about our 26 day trip across the country and back.  So, days 1 and 2 of our trip.  I am think about 2 “F” words.  No, neither one is “that” one.  I am think about, “Fun” and “Frustration”.  Days 1 and 2 have been filled with both.  Day 1 was mostly fun, with a little bit of frustration.  Day 2 was a lot of fun, but honestly, frustration won the day, slightly.

Day 1: It started early, because I didn’t sleep much the night before thinking about what I had to do to finish getting ready for the trip, before we left at 9 am.  9 am, so we could get to Costco at opening time.  I like to have the tires checked before we go on a long trip, and I like to get to Costco before it gets busy.  So, 9 am was the goal.  I had to put the bike rack on the motorhome and as I was doing that, I realized that I need a hitch extender.  I had one that I didn’t think I needed anymore, because it was a dual hitch extender.   So, I sold it on Craigslist.  I forgot that I needed to extender to extend the bikes beyond the spare tire on the back.  So, I had to make a dash to Harbor Freight at 8 am,  to get an hitch extender and be back in time to make our goal.  So, basically we got away about 9:15 am.  I didn’t meet the goal but it was close enough.  We were all sad about leaving Allene behind.  It was kind of a sad departure.  The other issue is that in feeling rushed to meet my departure goal, I left a few things behind.  My water bottle that keeps drinks really cold and probably more importantly, my “Love and Logic” book.  I had planned on reading it, Allene and I have started it together, at night, after Sebellah fell asleep.  So, I left Love and Logic behind.  That is probably a posting in itself.  I am working to getting back to practicing the principles of “Love and Logic”.

So, the drive, which is the shortest day as far as mileage, was good.  Sebellah did well and even took a nap during the last part of the drive.  We got to our first destination, Holbrook and the KOA there.  It was the typical KOA, a little cramped and basic, but it has the essentials.  A pool and a playground.  Both were a little dated, but the little playground was interesting.  Most of the features were metal, with a huge slide and a merry go round.  The merry go round will play a part of the day 2 frustration.  We did a pool session, which was overall, fun.  Sebellah had a hard time with their not being a section of the pool under 3 feet, but she enjoyed the time in the pool.  She loved the little playground.  She was initially afraid of the big slide, but she did conquer her fear and made it down.  After conquering the fear, she loved the slide.  She even got so bold as wanting to take two steps at a time and even go backwards up the steps.  Both of which I decided were not a part of Pops safety rules for the slide.  We ate dinner, played on the playground and went to sleep.  The other part that added some frustration to my day was that I still had to do some grading of final projects as part of my role as an Adjunct Professor for Purdue University Global.  This week I am finishing up a term.  So, after she went to sleep, I had to do some schoolwork, even though I was exhausted.  So, day 1.  Overall, a good day and a good start to our trip.

Day 2:  Day 2 started with my getting up at 4 am to do more grading of final projects.  I did an hour or so of work and then went back to sleep.  Then Sebellah came in and woke be up about 6 am.  Actually, that hour of sleep did help and I felt somewhat refreshed.  We had eggs and sausage for breakfast, she mainly had sausage.  We went out to play on the playground.  We were playing on the old merry go round and having a lot of fun, until, I tried to jump on as it was spinning and lost my balance and came crashing down onto the metal bars of the merry go round.  It was quite the crash and was very painful.  Sebellah thought it was funny but I was in so much pain that it was not even a little bit funny, as she said.  Which is a line from “Peppa Pig”.  I was in so much pain that I thought I was going to throw up.  I didn’t and was able to somewhat walk it off, although I do have two nice bruises on my back and it is still very soar.  So, the pain did add to the frustration level for the day.

But, we were off by 9 am, and head to Albuquerque.  It was about 230 miles, a little farther than day 1.  The first issue of the drive was that I could not get the tablet, the main form of entertainment for her, to come on.  She was not happy.  “I don’t have anything to watch”, she kept repeating.  Over and over again.  She can be a little dramatic at times.  About an hour into the trip, I did finally get it to come on.  “Yes!  The day is saved”.   Well, not exactly.  After about 20 minutes it shuts off again and will not come back on.  I am still not sure if it is dead or just a charging issue.  It might be dead.  So, no tablet for today.  Actually, we did pretty good finding other things to do.  We sang more songs and counted more cars of a certain color.  Right before I got the tablet back on, I had said that I would give her a new activity toy from the stash of activity toys for the trip.  When I got the tablet to come back on, I decided she did need another new activity toy.  Of course after the tablet failed again, she decided that she did.  I was okay with that idea as well, but the problem was how she was asking for that new activity toy.  We went through about a half hour of my saying that I was willing to stop and get one out, if she would change how she asked for it.  She was not giving in and continued to be whiny and dramatic.  I was not in the mood for “whiny and dramatic”.  Eventually, she came close enough and I stopped at a rest area and gave her a Mickey Mouse magnetic zoo travel set to play with.  It was enough to get us to the Route 66 RV Resort.  The resort has a great pool, with a perfect shallow section.   She loved the pool.  The only real issue with the pool experience is that Sebellah knows no stranger.  She wanted to engage everyone and wanted them to watch her pool tricks.  They were accommodating but had children of their own.  I was constantly having to redirect her back to focusing on the two of us.  Overall, our pool experience was very nice.

I forgot to mention that Sebellah did not take a nap on our drive on day 2.  So, I am dealing with what Allene and I refer to as, “No Nap Sebellah”.   During the pool experience, I heard people talking about a great burger place called, “Laguna Burger” and that you can take the shuttle over there for dinner.  So, since Sebellah loves to eat at restaurants, I thought it would be a fun treat.  Remember, I am taking “No Nap Sebellah” on our little date.  Well, the shuttle ride was fun.  It was a cute little bus/cart thing and a nice driver named, “Albert”, from New Hampshire.  Of course, Sebellah asked him what his name was.  The hamburger and hot dog at Laguna Burger were great, but “No Nap Sebellah” was very antsy and not really a “good listener”.  So, it was fun but honestly, it was a little more frustrating than fun.

When we got back to the camper we decided that since it was not quite as hot, that we would play outside.  Right before we decided to go outside, I realized that Sebellah had spilled an orange drink all over the couch.  “All over the couch”.  I was not happy.  I will admit that I showed my “frustration” more than I wish I had.  It did give me a chance to try out our new portable carpet cleaner.  I am still not sure if the stain is going to remain.  At the moment, it appears that it might.  I will keep working on it.  I will have to accept some responsibility because I did see her earlier in the afternoon lay the drink bottle on the couch, with the cap on, and thought, that is not a good idea.  I should have taken it at that point, but I did not.   I know, it is just a couch and I am still working on letting it go.

The wet couch, which is also a pull out sleeping couch, is also her bed.  So, last night, she slept with me.  It was not too bad, other than an occasional foot in my side or face.  Also, we did end the evening sitting outside and she rode her tricycle for a while.  The night and day, ended well.

So, days 1 and 2 are in the books.  Another part of my frustration is with myself.  I know that I show my frustration more than I want to.  I thought of a new phrase that I would like to implement.  “Breathe before you speak, and be calm when you do speak!”  I just thought of that phrase, while lying in bed last night.  My goal is to practice that today and each day of the next 24, and beyond.  “To Infinity and Beyond”, as Buzz Lightyear use to say.

I will try to post some pictures but I am having difficulty getting my Google Picture Library to update.

Sharing the Journey,


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I have been involved in the field of Human Services for 30 plus years. I teach in the field of Human Services for Purdue University Global. Allene is a stay at home "Lolli", after spending many years in the Healthcare field. We have 3 adult children and in May, 2018, we adopted our granddaughter, who is 6 years-old. We have had her since she was 5 months old. At the end of 2019, we moved to Mount Airy, North Carolina, as a part of a plan to downsize and give Allene the chance to retire, and be at home full-time. We are devoted to making a difference in Sebellah's life and also in the lives of other grandparents raising grandchildren.

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