Friday, August 31, 2012

Are We There Yet? Slings N' Things


We had every intention of getting an early start today since it would be our last day of sightseeing on this epic, coast to coast journey of ours.

But it was so nice to lounge.  And we kept bickering about what we should go see.  And we had to do annoying things like set up services in our name at the house.  And then poor little B sustained an injury that had her crying and crying in pain.  She was just playing, being swung a little by a beloved sibling.  It wasn't like she had jumped off the table (which wouldn't be much of a stretch for her, actually).  But we couldn't tell if the injury was in her elbow or her wrist, or somewhere in between.  All we knew was that she screamed whenever her right arm moved or was bumped in any way.

Broken.  That was our biggest fear.  But as time passed while we iced it, no bruising of any kind became apparent.  So it wasn't broken.  That was the good news.  The bad news was that it still caused her tremendous pain whenever it was moved.
So we immobilized her.  In the kindest, comfiest way we could--with cartoons and pillows.  It was so comfy that she promptly fell asleep.

When she woke up a little later, Shaggy explored her arm some more and assured me that it wasn't broken and there was no swelling of any kind.  I can't count how many times his EMT training and experience have saved me from a useless trip to the doctor. 

B's arm didn't seem to bother her much when it was kept still, so we pulled out the trusty bandanas that Aunt S had made for the family reunion (yep, that one that we bailed on).  She was nice enough to send them with Grandma so we could pick them up on our way through Chicago.  They were the perfect size for a toddler sling.  And though we hated seeing her in any pain, we figured that her condition might actually work in our favor during sightseeing (veteran parent mindset, here).  She wanted to stay in the stroller.  She was content to avoid all of her regular shenanigans.  If it was sprained, as we were beginning to suspect, there wouldn't really be any benefit from waiting all day in some ER or spending the day trying to find a doctor in the area.  So we loaded up and headed out.  B didn't like the jostling that it took to get in and out of her carseat, but once she was snugly buckled in, she was good to go, even if she was abnormally mellow.
I wanted to go back to Arlington Cemetery because we never made it to the Tomb of the Unknown  last week.  I remember what an impact it had on me when I visited it as a teenager, so I was hoping my girls would catch some of the gratitute, reverance and patriotism that you can find just floating in the air at places like this.  Sadly, the heat and their impatience seemed to interfere with my plan.  They didn't want to wait to watch the next full changing of the guards.  So they wandered off with Shaggy to go look at some other memorials while I waited patiently at the tomb.  It was probably for the best, my youngest three would never have been able to keep their traps shut during the somber ceremony and would have likely ruined the moment for everyone present. 
When we found each other again, we spent some time admiring the architechture and the more elaborate headstones.  I loved how some of the gravestones had rocks placed on top, as if to say, "I was here.  I remember you."  It seems that more of mainstream society is adopting that ancient Jewish tradition.  Good for them.
Next, we went to West Potomac Park to check out the George Mason memorial.  This guy was pretty extraordinary, plus he was a Virginian which automatically gives him bonus points in our book.  He was looked up to by such giants as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, so that really says something.  He wrote the Virginia Declaration of Rights, which inspired a whole lot of things including the Declaration of Independence.  And he was a widower and was raising nine children while he was busy helping mold the thinking of a wanna-be fledgling nation.  Pretty impressive.
And since we were so close to it, we walked over to the Jefferson Memorial.  I've never been to this one, so it was a real treat.  There really is a reverence in the air at these sites.  I am so glad that we revere these men from the past and respect their enormous contributions to our present day freedoms.  It's mostly impossible to be grateful for what we have now without some understanding of our past.
It was a good day, all except for B's injury which almost derailed our last day as tourists.  Oh, and R's complete meltdown when Daddy went in the elevator without her, not even knowing that she wanted to go in the elevator with him.
 So sad.  And loud--very, very loud.  It was her own fault.  She was busy trying to climb the giant's steps with K when Shaggy made his exit. 
But he heard her crying (along with everyone else at the memorial), and came back. So after a big Daddy hug, all was well again.
And we made the long trek back to the van, having some good old-fashioned family fun along the way.
I told them to do something goofy, other than bunny ears which is their go-to goofy pose.  This is what they came up with.  They're super creative like that.
But they're so lucky to be sisters.
And to have this little character in their lives, meldowns and all.
We'll see what tomorrow brings, because we're not there yet.

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