For Memorial Day we flew to Joseph, Utah to meet up with Dave's family for a reunion. The town was about three hours south of Salt Lake and the birthplace of his paternal grandmother. We visited the home she was born in and the one she grew up in, and because she wrote a book about her experiences growing up, Dave's father was able to share a lot of rich family history with us that was fascinating and poignant.
We flew up on Thursday to visit and stay with some of my dear friends from Simi in Elk Ridge, Utah for a day before the reunion started on Friday. The baby was perfect on the plane. Dave and I laid her in the middle seat between us and she fell asleep very quickly with her head on Dave's lap, where she spent most of that leg of the flight. UNTIL. A certain horrible flight attendant came walking by after about an hour and told us she couldn't lay like that. We stared at her dumbfounded.
"You'll have to buckle her into a seat belt or hold her on your lap," she informed Dave. Um. She's a teeny baby. She can't be buckled into a seat belt. And picking her up and putting her on Dave's lap would mean waking her up and was this woman mad? We just continued to stare at her and she stared right back, not moving away. We kept staring at her, waiting for her to leave, Dave apparently planning to follow her instructions but trying to figure out how to best maneuver the baby; me planning to tell Dave to do no such thing.
Finally she snapped at Dave, "Babies can splatter just like the rest of us, you know!"
Dave didn't hear her and said, "What?"
Clearly nuts and on a power trip, she shoved her face toward him.
"SPLATTER! SPLATTER!" she bellowed while smashing her fist with each word into the overhead compartment to emphasize her point. The smashes made everyone around us leap into the air with fright and Annalise and her light-sleeping habits were no match for the nasty noise. She woke right up and started crying while I had to suppress the urge to smash my own fist into something. Something wearing a too-tight polyester pantsuit.
It was great to see everyone, but Thursday Annalise was not feeling herself and had a high fever by bedtime. She had a pretty bad cold the whole time we were there and her extremely vehement feelings towards the cleansing of her facial region resulted in a repulsively crusty-faced kid for most of the trip. Being sick the whole time meant she nursed but ate about NOTHING (save a few bites of ice cream that I willingly encouraged Dave to tempt her with) for four days and made her have about as much interest in letting anyone else hold her as she did in having her face scrubbed. So she spent her time enjoying her cousins from afar and howling like the house was on fire if anyone tried to touch her. Also if they smiled at her. Or made eye contact. The only possible good thing about it though was that someone started throwing up the first day and by the end of the long weekend that flu had passed itself around to 10 of the 22 family members. So at least Annalise's antisocial ways kept her away from germs. We hope. We thought Dave had avoided it too but he's been to the bathroom to throw up five separate times just since I've started typing this.
Aside from how sick everyone got, it was truly so much fun to have everyone get together. We had a photographer come to take a family photo and he assured me that though Annalise was screaming horribly throughout the shoot it looked like she was laughing. Um, nice try.
I'm so happy Annalise has so many sweet cousins to love and be friends with as she grows up. We talked with his more-experienced sisters and watched old home movies and remembered that people do actually get through the hard baby-stages of family life and come out the other side. We accepted that perhaps we will someday procreate again. You know. Maybe.
On the Southwest flight home we employed all our best maneuvering tactics and SCORED the only free seat on the plane between us! Very pleased with ourselves, we then experienced every parent's worst flying nightmare. A kid that screamed worse than anything I've ever heard and for longer than I knew any kid could keep it up. Thank THE HEAVENS it wasn't our kid. She really put Annalise's past antics to shame. I felt so bad for the parents. Their baby girl looked the same age as ours and her hour-long fit was so severe that it was worse than Annalise has ever done, on a plane or at home or anywhere. She has certainly never carried on at that intensity for longer than a few minutes. This kid was definitely impressive in her miserable fury.At one point her parents asked the stewardess if they could just take the baby in the bathroom and let her scream in there. So for the good of the plane the dad just held his apoplectic infant in the tiny room where she lost her mind at a much more manageable decibel for the rest of us. Annalise, on the other hand, cried a bit to begin with but then settled down and slept soundly for most of the flight.
Annalise is now the owner of a tiny blue t-shirt that says Fuhriman Family 2010. She looked so cute matching all the big kids that I wanted to gnaw on her face. I think she is pleased I refrained.