Riley has been bugging us for a couple of months now to go spend the night with Papa and Grandma (Charles’ parents). She has stayed overnight with them before and loved every minute of it! They have tons of toys for her to play with and even have a train set that she can put together and play with for hours.
So, over Christmas, we all decided that Riley would spend the Sunday and Monday night before New Year’s with them. Riley argued for three nights instead of two, but finally relented. The plan was for us to drive down Sunday afternoon, drop Riley off, and then have Papa and Grandma bring her back to our house on Tuesday for our annual New Year’s Day dinner. Charles and I were so excited–two nights without Riley! We planned on going to a movie (something we haven’t done in about six months) and out to dinner–just the two of us–at least one of those nights. We figured we’d do something fun on New Year’s Eve, even if it was just sitting around the house until midnight and enjoying each other’s company.
Sunday afternoon, we arrived at Papa and Grandma’s house as planned and had a great lunch and visited for a couple of hours. As we prepared to leave and catch a movie at a local theater, Riley suddenly decided she didn’t want to stay–didn’t want to make “jiggly jello” or play with the trains or help Grandma redecorate her childhood doll house! She just kept repeating, “I just want to go home! I just want to go home!”
We were confused, but tried our best to remind her that this was her idea and that just a couple of hours before, she was excited about the prospect of spending a couple of days with her grandparents getting spoiled rotten. What had happened? We asked her the reason she didn’t want to stay and the only response her confusing, yet awe-inspiring, little brain could come up with is: “Because Snowy (Papa and Grandma’s dog) always bites me!” Okay, just to clarify, Snowy has never in his life bitten Riley–at worst, he’s licked her to death. I guess that’s just the excuse she came upon and she decided to stick with it.
Needless to say, Charles and I became extremely frustrated. We had just driven 45 minutes in the rain and cold weather to drop our daughter off for a child-free, fun-filled, sleeping-in-late weekend and all our hopes had just been dashed. No movie, no nice dinner out, no sleeping past 7:00 am! Things began to deteriorate fast…suddenly, everyone was in a bad mood and voices were raised and the crying (hers and ours) ensued.
We scooped her up, re-packed all her bags, and shuffled her off to the car for the 45 minute drive back home. It was a very quite car ride aside from a few sniffles from Riley and muffled sobs from me!
When we got home, Charles took a photo of Riley and, oddly enough, something very strange appeared in the picture…
There is a little good news to add to the story, though. Charles and I decided not to let this incident ruin the night so we loaded ourselves back in the car and went to eat at a great Japanese restaurant called Mo Mo Ya. We had planned on going there (minus Riley) anyway, so we figured we’d press our luck and take her with us in an attempt to salvage what was left of the day. Amazingly, we had a wonderful time! Riley was enthralled with the chef who made everything right in front of her and loved watching him perform and toss food for us to catch in our mouths. She tried almost everything and made a new friend with a young girl who sat across from the table from us. It was a fun and relaxing evening. Here’s proof…
We had a wonderful New Year’s Eve watching TV and playing with Riley and had a delicious New Year’s Day dinner with Papa and Grandma–a great start to 2008! We hope all of you had a marvelous beginning to the New Year as well!
Happy New Year!