We’re in Texas! [Edited to add: No we’re not! We’re in Tennessee now, on Tucker’s boat ‘Gipsea’ preparing her for the trip downriver and back home to Texas.] That of course does not explain the inexcusable absense of new posts recently… That can only be attributed by my general lameness. I feel like I am so busy but there never seems to be anything accomplished. Maybe a load of laundry done, maybe a trip to the store to get half and half (but forgetting the coffee filters). That is a pretty typical day for me now.
We had a reasonably decent travel experience, considering that we were toting along a wildly unpredictable little monkey in the throes of sprouting canines. It took all day starting the moment we got up in the morning (which, shall I say, is rarely a leisurely hour) and ending when we got to Tucker’s house in Rockport at 11pm. Happily, we had no screaming tantrums ON the plane nor did she poop on any of the unfortunate passengers we had trapped in the window seat. In the airport terminal however, she threw a whopper of a shrieking rolling flailer and bashed around in a blind rage practically in the boarding line. Prudently we decided to wait this one out instead of preboarding with the other docile, drowsy babies. Our fellow passengers danced gingerly around her, the whites of their eyes showing as they shuddered and sent off a plea to please please do not let this be their air travel fate. The ticket checker gave us the eye and bade us a solemn “good luck” as we wrestled Ronin down the chute. Miraculously, she stopped freaking out the moment she entered the plane and was relatively genial for the entirety of the flight.
[Jeff getting Quetzal (Condor 30) ready for the race.]
The day after we arrived, Joshua left on his father’s sailboat with the majority of the friends and relatives to Galveston for the Harvest Moon regata (offshore race from Galveston to Port Aransas) and I soloed with Ronin for four days at Grandpa Tucker’s house. Ronin did super well really, with only the usual antics. I had it in my head that I would try to potty train her when we were here because since it is so warm, I could just let her run about naked all the time. Unfortunately, Joshua’s grandfather’s house is carpeted (not to mention populated with thousands of antique, breakable, irreplacable, heirloom, valuable, delicate, and entirely reachable articles—but that’s another story) and I imagine that Tucker wouldn’t exactly be happy with mysterious puddles or unexpected surprises on his upholstery. I did take her for a long walk the other day after a norther came through (and the weather changed from hot, mosquitoey, and humid-humid-humid to deliciously cool and dry); I put a long T-shirt on her and let her run amok about the streets bottomless. When we got back to the house, we wandered around the downstairs garage area and I took her into the bathrooom, set her on the toilet, told her to pee, and SHE DID! I was so happy and made a huge to-do out of it, let her flush, did some celebratory dances, etc. We shut the lights off and exited back into the garage. As I was about to step down onto the main level, I spotted a … thing. It was scary looking and I bent closer thinking it was perhaps some freaky sort of bug larva. A big larva. It seriously looked like something that would mutate into a face-eating parasite and holy shit, I had better alert the authorities! Ronin came over to help me investigate. “Poop,” she said. And right she was. Somehow in the split second I left her alone she managed to poop in the middle of the garage floor. Oh well. I was still happy about the pee.
[Ro’s preferred spot for drawing. Between teething and solo parenting, I gave in and let her have her nap (the pacifier—she calls it the ‘nap’—which she usually only gets when sleeping) when she found it. She has been super manic about the thing lately and we have been trying to summon the fortitude to take it away from her. I will feel bad about it though; she is so fantastically happy when she finds it and pops it into her mouth.]
We had a good time hanging out with Grandpa Tucker, went to the beach every day to splash around in the water and play on the playground equipment, we went kayaking with Ann-Marie (Ronin promptly fell asleep on my lap), and had some good dinners with Tom, Ann-Marie, and Keely. Ronin was very excited when Dada and Grandpa Jeff came back on the boat. Sadly, they broke the main halyard about 50 miles from the finish and were having trouble with steering, so they didn’t finish and returned home. In addition, Bill (Wing and a Prayer) and John (Gimme Samoa) didn’t make it either. Bill’s motor broke en route to the start and John was dismasted during the start. They had wind on the nose the entire way up the ditch (ICW) to Galveston and then on the nose for the race back—that is, until they got the screaming norther at 4am and had to mince along all reefed up with the sideways rain stinging in their faces. I’m glad I wasn’t invited, let’s just say.
Ronin has totally turned into a little girl when we weren’t looking (actually, we were watching but it’s still rather mind-blowing). She sings and talks nonstop (often not coherent) and now that I got her some markers, she likes to draw on everything. (Before, we always had crayons but she doesn’t like to push very hard so her marks were always faint and unimpressive. Markers are dark and bold and she’s into that.) The markers are washable, which I think belongs in the Best Inventions Ever hall of fame since I’ve been washing marker marks out of everything lately. She’s tall and runs, not walks, everywhere.
[We got to meet cousin Danielle and Heath’s little boy, Hoss Roquette. He is eight months old and quite the big-eyed charmer.]
Anyway, now we’re on the boat in Tennessee. To get here, we drove nonstop all night long (Ronin dislikes car travel and so we decided it would be the least painful to do it when she was likely to sleep). It was mostly a success. We got here at any rate and she spent the day in a manic freak out (didn’t nap after the night of poor sleep), crawling all over the boat and trying to kill herself by flinging herself down the stairs to the V-berth. Today is better and she seems to understand that climbing up onto the rails makes everyone freak right out and she’s only fallen down to the V-berth once today. Now my major concern is that she’ll drop Nigel overboard. We fashioned a lifejacked for him out of a can wrap and he’ll wear that on deck when Ronin has to wear hers.
The weather is a startling difference from Texas; it’s been cool and drizzly. This is mostly tolerable but as a boat is generally a damp experience overall what with the water underneath, water being tracked in, water in the bilge, water trying its damndest to get into the bedding, etc., having water also falling out of the sky doesn’t make things any easier. So far everything seems to be in working order, including, I’m overjoyed to report, the head.