The Wayward Daughter Has Returned

She's home! And reprogramming has begun. My daughter is a night owl, as are my parents. So, it didn't take long for her to fall into the routine of staying up very late and then sleeping until the crack of noon while she was in Oklahoma. Also, my parents are helpless in the face of rampant manipulation from their adorable granddaughter.  So, when we got her back, she was used to: 1. Doing whatever she wanted and 2. Doing it until very late at night.  We had our work cut out for us.

Picking her up at the airport went pretty smoothly.  This time, I wasn't selected by the TSA for additional screening, but I did end up in the "full body scan" line. Yay!  I made it to the gate with only a minute or two to spare.  Moments later, the door to the jetway was opened and I spotted my daughter walking with a flight attendant.  Before I knew it, my kid was in my arms and I was hugging the bejeebers out of her. I surprised myself by getting all weepy.  Meanwhile, a man came up to me and told me how much he enjoyed sitting next to my daughter. Another member for her fan club, I guess. I signed a release form and off we went.  We found her dad in the baggage claim area.

As we waited for her suitcase, my daughter informed me that during her two-week stay in Oklahoma, she had bathed only three or four times and brushed her teeth five times. Also, she told me she hadn't eaten all day because my parents hadn't fed her. I'm pretty sure there were some inaccuracies in what I was hearing.  Or at least I hope so.

As promised, we drove straight to the Rainforest Cafe for dinner.  Forget what I said about mediocre service. We had the world's most attentive server. We almost thought we'd have to take out a restraining order. The food was okay. We understood that we were paying for "the experience."  While our daughter wandered around the restaurant, admiring the animatronic gorillas, P and I gazed up at the thousands of fake leaves hanging over our heads.

Me: "How do you think they dust everything in here? Do you think they bring in a contractor or do it themselves?"

P: (looking up into the rain forest) "Good question."

Me: "Well, do you think they blow it or suck it? Like maybe there's some big machine to get the dust off?"

P: "I'll bet they blow it. Yeah, that's probably what they do. Makes more sense to blow it than to suck it."

That's the kind of conversation you have after 21 years of togetherness. No politics or religion for us, amigos!

After dinner, we went back to our hotel and of course we were immediately required to go swimming. The hotel was pretty crowded. We were also informed by the front desk that we could expect to hear the music from an event (held in the ballroom) until midnight. Yay!  Our room had two double beds. We were going to give the kid her own bed, but then P fell asleep in her bed.  She tried to stay in that bed but announced that she couldn't handle her dad's snoring, and crawled in bed with me instead. Yay!  As soon as I turned off the light, she morphed into "The Beast of a Thousand Knees" and kicked me all night long. And yes, I could definitely hear the music from the party. The event was a huge family reunion, with the family in question being predominantly African-American. At the risk of spouting a stereotype, let me just say that these folks could rock a beat. I half-wished I were at that reunion instead of lying in bed with a size 12 foot lodged in my spine.

The next morning, we enjoyed our free breakfast before checking out.  We headed to a science museum and planned to spend a few hours there before we had to hit the road. It was a lot of fun. In one section of the museum, there was a touch tank containing some small sting rays and whatnot. I always feel very iffy about this sort of thing (out of concern for the animals), but appreciated the fact that a staff person stayed by the tank and was very vigilant about making sure all visitors upheld the two-finger rule.  You could put two fingers in the water and gentle touch one of the rays, but you couldn't pick anything up.  Anyway, I leaned waaaay forward to touch a passing ray and promptly deposited my left boob into a puddle on the ledge of the tank.

"Nice, Claudia," said my husband, shaking his head. I am always embarrassing him in one way or another.

About fifteen minutes later, we found ourselves in another section of the museum that featured an infrared camera.  The three of us stood in front of it and saw ourselves projected onto a screen. Our bodies mostly glowed red (because of the body heat and all) except for . . . my left boob, which was entirely blue. I felt like a winner, for sure.

Before we left, our daughter tried a driving simulator and a flight simulator. While she was driving, all we could hear was a robotic voice saying, "collision, collision."  As far as I could tell, our child wiped out several pedestrians and three or four cars. She didn't fare much better with the flight simulator. After only a few seconds in the air, she deposited the plane, nose down, in a field. Let's just say we have some doubts about her getting a driver's license in eight years. 

After that, we drove home and as soon as we got there, I tackled the kid's laundry.  She didn't keep the clean and dirty stuff separated, so I just washed everything. She did manage to bring back some of my mom's homemade fudge, though. My mom's fudge makes all my dreams come true. It felt like some sort of reward for all the laundry.

By 8:00, someone's smart mouth made me snap so I sent the offender to bed. I told her to brush her teeth and she argued with me and then threw her robe on the floor. There was a lot of "Don't do this to me, Mommy!" and other histrionics, but I am immune. She had been pushing her luck all day.  Ain't nobody got time for that.

At the Rainforest Cafe

On a bed of nails, yo

Right before she picked off a few innocent pedestrians

Generating electricity with Dad

Right before she crashed the plane

As you can see, she gets the tan and the curly hair from me


I have ALWAYS wondered if they dust the leaves at Rainforest Cafe. I have a feeling they never dust.
I have always wondered if they dust the leaves at the Rainforest Cafe. I don't think they do.
The Lovely One said…
Hee hee hee... your left boob contaminated the sting ray water! That's totally something I would do!

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