Since I never followed up on this: we had fun with Dave’s dad and stepmom. This was the first time Catie’s gotten to meet this set of grandparents, and she had a great time getting acquainted with her Granddad and Grandma Sue.
For that matter, so did I, since this was my first time meeting them as well.
Oh, and I now have a pretty good idea of what Dave is going to look like in about 25 years.
It was a little creepy, to be honest. My father-in-law looks uncannily like Dave, but his mannerisms and the way he speaks are exactly like Steve, Dave’s brother. It was cool to witness it, but also totally bizarre.
We left Yorkshire and drove back to Carlisle on Christmas Eve. It was not anywhere close to being on par with our other marathon drives, it only took about two hours. Catie fell asleep a few minutes after we started driving, and she woke up as we pulled into the driveway. We told her that we were back at Grandma & Grandpa Roger’s house, and she applauded and yelled “YAAAYYY!!!” Ah, if only all road trips were that easy.
That night, we left our treats by the fireplace.
Mince pies and milk for Santa, carrots for his reindeer. Naturally.
The next day, we opened presents.
(Confession: I cut Catie’s bangs myself. I know they’re uneven and awful. I usually do a good job on her bangs, but I didn’t have the right scissors and she kept jerking her head away from me. The good news is that her hair grows insanely fast, so it won’t look bad for long.)
The only thing Catie asked Santa for was a stuffed reindeer that she saw at the grocery store. When she opened her presents and saw her reindeer, she exclaimed, “Hey, it’s the reindeer from Food Lion!” Yes, sweetie, I guess Santa knows where to shop.
Santa also brought her a metric crap-ton of other stuff that she didn’t ask for, which Mommy and Daddy are going to be frantically trying to cram into our suitcases for the trip home. I’m currently thanking my lucky stars that I decided to bring along an extra empty duffel bag in my suitcase. I suspected that it was going to come in handy.
Then we had our huuuuuuge Christmas dinner, courtesy of my mother-in-law, who is such an amazing chef that she should really have her own restaurant or something. That was fantastic.
And you know, no proper British Christmas would be complete without a flaming Christmas pudding.
(And no, I don’t know why they call things pudding that are decidedly NOT pudding. Like, Yorkshire pudding is essentially a bread roll, and Christmas pudding is a type of fruitcake. I don’t get that at all.)
So, yes, it was a really great Christmas. Even though Dave and I are both still sick as dogs with this sinus infection/flu/tuberculosis/coughing-sickness-of-DOOM, we managed to rally for most of the day, and have a good time in between all the coughing fits and nose blowings. Getting to watch Catie enjoy the whole Santa Claus experience and open all of her presents was really the best part of the whole day. Although the fantastic meal didn’t hurt either.
Tomorrow we’ll be driving down to London (300 miles, not looking forward to that), where we’ll spend the night in a hotel, and catch an early flight out on Monday morning. Of course, because of that jackass terrorist, we’ve been warned that we should allow extra time for going through security, and that everyone should expect to be fully searched before getting on the plane, so “keep carry-on items to a minimum” (which, guess what? That’s pretty much impossible when traveling with a toddler!). So, yeah. Thanks a lot, a-hole.
Oh, and when I told Catie that we’d be driving down to London tomorrow, and flying back home the next day? She started to cry, and said, “No, I stay here wit’ my doggies!”
Sorry, kiddo, you’re not getting a dog. If there’s one thing your Mommy doesn’t need in her life, it’s another thing whose poop she has to clean up. If we bring one more pooping creature into our house, it’s going to be because I gave birth to it.
(And no, that wasn’t a hint that I might be pregnant. Not even a little. Being in a thin-walled house with one’s parents across the hall does not inspire The Romance. Neither does the feeling that both you and your spouse might hack up a lung at any given moment. So, no. No announcements here. But who knows what lies ahead in 2010?)