7:00 am: What am I doing up? My room never properly cooled off, so I didn’t sleep well. And at some point the rubber band fell out of my hair, so I spent the last hour or two of semi-sleep flipping my whole head whenever I changed position. I know I should stay awake but I don’t think it’s going to happen. One of my eyes feels swollen. I’m whiny and cranky.
7:15 am: Andrew is up. Guess he doesn’t need to change his schedule after all.
8:00 am: Feed animals. Start feeding Sprite half of a tiny can of food twice a day. She eats it with her body as far away from the bowl as possible like she’s stealing it.
It’s hotter downstairs than upstairs, which actually feels pretty good now. I find another rubber band and pile my hair on top of my head. Screw this noise, I’m going back to bed. I’ll start changing my schedule tomorrow.
11:45 am: Wake up permanently. I am ashamed. What time should I tell the blogosphere I woke up? 11:00? 10:30?
12:15 pm: Call Jessica to arrange pick-up. I tell her about the nightmare I had that her dad started a Nazi-like religious cult and locked a couple hundred people inside, including his family and me.
12:30 pm: Shelly calls. She had been looking forward to seeing the San Diego Mission, but her parents got into a big fight so they are coming home instead. At some point, though, they calmed down and decided to make it up to her, so now she’s calling from the Mission San Luis Rey. Next stop is Mission San Juan Capistrano. That’s the one the swallows come back to. Bug Bunny said so all the time, remember?
1:00 pm: Shelly calls three times in a row while I’m in the bathroom. I call her back and get voicemail. I call Mom. “Why did you call Janine?” she asks Shelly.
“To complain!” I hear her say.
“Oh.” I can hear my mom roll her eyes. Shelly put her purse down to take a picture and forgot about it. She didn’t realize it was missing until they had toured the whole mission. She and Mom scour the place, but it’s gone. Shelly wants to come home right now.
An old friend of Shelly’s, Janice (rhymes with Bernice), shows up with her mini offspring while I’m on the phone. They are 2 and 5, and tiny even for their ages. They’ve had a long day already. Janice makes them lunch then pulls out her cell phone to make some calls. The kids bring a bowl of Cheetos upstairs to my room, exploring and chatting while I type. One of them finds a purple plastic Easter egg and oh, it is on and crackin’ now!
Our stairs are steep and treacherous, so the five-year-old bounces down them on her tush for safety. She starts playing one-man fetch: she throws the egg down the stairs as hard as she can to break it in half, then retrieves it. Each time she descends, she tries to muster the courage to walk it. Eventually she gets it. “Look! Come quick!” she calls. “I can use my feet now!”
2:30 pm: Make the Friday Night Switch: Drive to Monrovia, pick up Jess, drop off Drew. The drive makes me extremely nervous considering my illegal car, but Drew’s face would probably melt off if he missed a Friday night at the weekly street fair. I leave a pile of picture books for Janice and the kids.
Finally stop at the market for the odds and ends I really need now. I feel so accomplished.
4:00 pm: Wipe spilled juice and unidentifiable sticky off the books while the kids are still napping.
When they wake up they end up back in my room. I bring out my wooden treasure chest for them to scrounge through, a leftover from the pirate-themed surprise party my family threw for me a few years ago. I let them each keep a plastic gemstone ring, a string of party beads, and a plastic cocktail pick shaped like a sword. They try to con me out of more. I make a mental note to stock it with more give-away trinkets.
5:30 pm: Shelly posts on Facebook that they are at her aunt’s house. They are definitely on their way home.
7:00 pm: Warm eggplant and goat cheese sandwiches with broccoli slaw for dinner. Jess posts on Facebook that it’s the best vegetarian meal she’s ever had, EVER!
7:15 pm: Shelly calls. They’re in Arcadia, one city away.
8:00 pm: The intrepid vacationers arrive home. They’ve tied their record for shortest summer vacation ever. Mom still has another week off of work.
10:00 pm: Reverse the Friday Night Switch: drop off Jess, pick up Drew.
And thus ends Noncation 2013.