The Parents Pista have a closet full of toys that has been emptied onto their living room floor. The PBG is introduced to Kendrick Fairfax and Fae Clarissa, Cabbage Patch Kids who are now in their 30s, yet look eternally youthful.
The PBG licks Kendrick's bald head, maybe recognizing a similarity in their features. He just might be her first boyfriend.
Worlds collide, man. Worlds collide.
I forgot to pack glasses and I have just enough contacts to get me through the trip. But I can only wear contacts for about 8 hours at a time. LensCrafters ends up crafting me emergency lenses.
We wait it out in what was once a dismal diner with amazing omelettes that just oozed with Velveeta. Now it's been rebranded as a cute cafe so I have Lemon Ricotta Hot Cakes.
It has just begun to snow. Ma Pista studies the Peace Plaza.
"There's this sculpture over there that from this angle looks like ..."
"It looks like ..."
I get up to check out her view.
"A pregnant lady with a weinie?" I ask.
"You don't have to say it so loud," she shushes.
Chuck looks out the window at snowflakes the size of a lazy man's confetti.
"I have a case of The Shinings," he says.
"Me too," I say. "We can go back into the world tomorrow."
"Tomorrow will be too late," he says. "I'll already be chasing you with an axe by then."
We go for a walk in a thick and wet snowfall. Branches bend beneath the weight of snow. A woman assumes that since we're out walking, we've abandoned our car. A man motions for us to walk on his freshly blown sidewalk. This is good because we almost got hit by a bus a half hour earlier.
Chuck points to a willow tree.
"If we were in 'Lord of the Rings,' that tree would chase us," he says.
The power goes out in the middle of "Jamberry" so I slam the book shut with a triumphant "THE END." I put the baby to bed by the light of a cellphone. Chuck and Ma Pista have lit everything in the house that has a wick.
Chuck and I belly up to the bar, crack into some wine, toast electricity and play a few rounds of War.
"She's the comeback kid!" I sing, the voice of a sports announcer, when I turn six cards into victory.
When the bottle is cashed, Chuck invents a drink that tastes like chocolate cake using the Parents Pista's Narnian liquor cabinet.
Ma Pista had resigned herself to not seeing as much of the bambino as she would want. She planned to beat the streets home after work for some QT. Then she got back-to-back snow days.
Why? Because she's a lucky sunofagun.
I suggest she buy a lottery ticket, but she's revealed herself to be unworthy of large monetary prizes.
"I'd only need a million," she crazy talks.
"A million. That's nothing," Chuck says. "If I won a million I'd give it back."
Chuck and I spend three hours on Friday trying to clear relatively few inches off my parents' driveway.
"Did you know we can fit at least 8 cars on that driveway?" Ma Pista asks.
My back and shoulders scream: "Yes."
There is a fluffy top layer that is a decorative powder over a solid underlayer. One must push, chisel and scoop.
The problem with volunteering for this gig: my dad isn't a half-assed sort of guy. If we start clearing the driveway, we should finish.
Instead we get a rock stuck in the snowblower, rendering it useless, and leave behind a quadrant of snow.
Then we eat burgers at Newt's. Mine has guacamole and tortilla chips.
On Saturday morning the PBG takes her weird little jagged baby teeth and bites my nipple. Hard. I yelp, which you aren't supposed to do according to The Moms Of The Internet.
I tell her not to do that. She does it again. I growl. I look down into my sweet baby's face to gently remove her from the tap and she is SMILING.
I close up shop, sacrificing a few layers of nip skin in the process.
This comes on the heels of other bad nursing behavior.
1. Scratching at my aereola with her talons. She picks, like it's a scab. The answer came from an outside, certainly inexperienced source.
"Put her socks on her hands" Pa Pista suggests.
2. She claws at my face and tried to a) rip off my lips, b) scratch my teeth.
My Pavlovian response to breast feeding, right now, is a full body quake.
Note: She hasn't bit me again.
We give ourselves an extra two hours to get home, but as we merge onto the highway less than 2 miles from my parents' house, I suspect it's not enough.
There is at least an inch of hard snow covering the highway. Everyone is driving 20-30 miles per hour. Every few miles there is a car embedded in a ditch, usually facing traffic.
I've got a death grip on the wheel and some choice words for tailgaters. Then, like magic, the world opens up. North of Canon Falls is smooth sailing, but I keep the death grip intact in case things lean shitty again.
I breastfeed in the parking lot of Jimmy John's.
We return home to a mystery: Where exactly did Hal pee? Main level, yes. Near the steps, seemingly. But there is no telltale puddle.
(This will not be solved by the time this post goes live).
But the bed feels good.
I have witnessed the second-cutest thing in the world: a baby who has just learned to clap.
First cutest: a baby who has just learned to clap clapping with her feet.
And with that, vacation over.