BB is back. Nine days she was gone sailing. It was Captain, my in-laws, BB and her menagerie of stuffed animals.
Day 1: Bon voyage! I’m excited for her and glad to send her on her way.
Day 2: All appears well.
Day 3: Do I need to go get her? Day 4 is the last day she can bail. If not day 4, then it would be day 9, whether or not anyone decided on day 5 that that was a mistake.
Day 4: It’s a sailor’s life for BB; she’s committed to the duration of the trip. Block Island here they come. Captain says sometimes she acts “silly.” My interpretation of that is he’s glossing over bad behavior, but that’s on him. See you in 5 days!
Day 5: I’m poring over their photos. Can’t get enough.
RB is a lost soul without BB and our usual beach crew. She keeps attaching herself to random kids whether they want her or not. And when they refuse to make eye contact she walks closer to them, waves and yells,
RB’s standard volume is a 7 out of 10. When she feels strongly about something, anything, like making friends or being all done with breakfast, it’s a 10. The kids still don’t make eye contact. I try to drag her away. She refuses to acknowledge subtle social signals.
I redirect her back toward our stuff. There’s a new family setting up next to us with a fellow toddler. I think we’re in luck.
RB heads straight for them. I hover nearby. She takes a peek in one of their buckets. I’m hoping to make eye contact with the mom. Maybe share a smile, offer some of our toys, I see a bright future for poor RB who is desperate to socialize.
The mom really won’t make eye contact. I move closer. She moves the bucket away from RB.
Not so subtle. I make one last ditch glance for eye contact and I drag RB away for a swim. When we walk by later, the dad says,
“You’re welcome to play!”
I really don’t think we are.
Day 6: I miss BB.
Day 7: I really miss BB.
Day 8: I fall asleep creating all the unlikely catastrophes that can happen to anyone anywhere at anytime. A little bit like how when either kiddo sleeps 30 minutes later than usual I assume they’re dead.
Day 9: I’m reunited with a very-much alive, tan, instantly grown-up, sailor BB.
She spends the first hour of the hour-and-a-half drive home regaling me with stories. Stops. Says,
“Mom, I can’t tell you everything.”
And that was that.
She did tell me,
“I had one fight.” (with my MIL)
“She wanted me to use the bathroom and I didn’t want to.”
I assume it was because BB didn’t have to go, but it turns out it was more of an issue than that. Captain tells me,
“She didn’t want to use any bathrooms besides the one on the boat.”
“Any? What did you do?”
“She went outside.”
“Outside? Like everywhere?! All the time?! Even at restaurants?!”
“Well a lot, yeah, there was grass.”
BB returned with an additional stuffed animal, “Shiny the Block Island unicorn,” who was added to her already crowded bed. I tucked her in with 4 bunnies, 1 puppy, 1 caticorn, and Shiny. She said,
“There are a lot of people in here.”
“I wish I had someone to sleep with.”
Did nine days of her sleeping with Captain doom my summer? I remind her,
“What about all the people in your bed?”
“What about your long-lost sister?”
“How about I check on you later?”
And I make my escape. Turns out there are limits on how much I missed her.