Today we left the bosom of family and ventured back onto the road. We traveled 319 miles from Melbourne to Tallahassee.
The trip took close to six hours, mostly because the plethora of toll booths slowed our progress considerably for the first hour or so. It was a grey drizzly day–very like Seattle, except for the temperature was over 70 degrees.
If today had a theme, it would be “Poop.”
I suppose that requires a bit of explanation?
First, Allison refused to go potty this morning. It was only under the threat of not being allowed to help walk Grandma’s dog one last time that she complied at all. So after that kerfuffle, we packed up the car, hugged Grandma, Grandpa and Auntie Mariah goodbye and drove away. Allison didn’t have a meltdown–though she did try to hide in the closet in the hopes we’d drive off without her I guess. Goodbyes are her least favorite thing ever.
She happily munched a peanut butter sandwich and listened to Junie B Jones #4 for almost an hour. Then she announced that she had to poop. Of course we were nowhere near civilization, but several miles further down the Florida Turnpike we stopped at the Okahumpka (I’m dead serious) Service Plaza, which featured a gas station, rest rooms, a KFC, Dunkin’ Donuts and a couple other things.
Now, I must explain that Allison has a hardcore phobia of automatic flush toilets. She first experienced them at Disneyland when she was three, when the unexpected noise and rush of water quite literally scared the shit of her. Since then she has been wary of all flushes, and will flat-out refuse to sit on a toilet with auto-flush unless I cover the sensor thing with my hand and stay that way until she has finished her business and completely left the bathroom stall. She wants no part of autoflush.
So the Family Restroom at Okahumpka has auto-flush. But the toilet was full of pee when we walked in so I think “Sweet, the auto-flush is broken!” The button for manual flushing was so recessed that I was a bit concerned it wouldn’t work, but it did. Still, I had to cover the sensor while Allie peed. Then–the worst. The damn thing flushed WHILE MY HAND WAS ON THE SENSOR and WHILE SHE WAS SITTING THERE. She flies off the toilet, shrieking, and tried to run out of the bathroom with her Tinker Bell undies around her ankles.
Woah, woah woah! I yell. Get back here! I thought you had to poop!
No, I don’t!
Well, you at least have to wipe!
So I thrust a handful of toilet paper at her. Unfortunately, when I did that, I took my hand off the sensor. So just as she applies TP to her little bum, the THING GOES OFF. So she of course, covers her ears with her hands. So now she’s sobbing and holding a peed-on wad of toilet paper to her ear.
I don’t know how much of the noise was escaping the Family Restroom, but when I got her out of there Dana was looking longingly at the door like he was contemplating making a run for it.
Well, we made it to our hotel in Tallahassee in one piece and the only further incident was that Allison’s water bottle spilled all over the back seat. We check in, we lounge around a bit, and we wander downstairs to the restaurant for dinner. Allison was being…difficult. Tears one moment, spazzy dancing the next. At some point I tweeted: “Is 4 1/2 too old to put a kid up for adoption?”
By the time we got back to our room, Dana was inquiring if I had any Valium “or something,” which means my Bitch Meter was in the red. Being bereft of a pharmaceutical solution, I decided to take a hot bath. I made sure no one needed the bathroom, filled the tub with scalding water and sunk down up to my ears. Ahhhh.
Knock-knock. Guess who decided it was the perfect time to offload that poop?