Friday, August 1, 2008


Elijah loves cousins. If you happen to share blood with him and walk into a room, he goes ape. He jumps up and down. He shrieks with glee. He stumbles over and smashes into you with linebacker-like abandon.

Needless to say, Eli was whipped up the whole time we were in Wisconsin. The downside? It broke his sleeping. No, that’s inaccurate. It destroyed his sleeping. Smashed it into a thousand pieces and then ran over it with a steamroller and flushed it down the toilet.

The first night we were there, Eli stayed up wayyy past his bedtime shoving macaroni and cheese into his face at Famous Dave’s. He passed out on the way home and Diana and I cooed at how adorable he was.

Cut to 3am. Eli started screaming like I’ve never heard him before. It sounded like someone threw a rabid ferret into his crib.

Now, the cabins we were staying at were duplexes and happened to have paper thin walls. How do I know? Because I got to hear the intimate details of the family next door. “Where my cellphone at? Gimmie one of them beers. Don’t eat that off the floor you idgit.” It goes on from there.

So we were understandably worried that Eli’s howling would wake our Pabst Blue Ribbon neighbors. We turned the light on and saw that Eli had barfed a gallon of macaroni onto every surface within a ten foot radius. I rushed to the kitchenette to bring a single napkin to wipe up the gallon (idgit) and Eli proceeded to barf another gallon onto Diana.

By the time we settled him down, it was almost light. Di and I looked at each other and said, “Well, it can’t get worse than that.”

Cut to the next night. Same thing. Eli started screaming like Lulu was eating him alive at 3am. No barf this time, but we could not calm him down. Finally, Diana suggested I put him in the car and drive around downtown Wisconsin Dells.

He instantly calmed down. Probably because downtown Wisconsin Dells is awesomely spooky at 3:30am. They should charge to drive through the darkened water slides and shadowy mannequins. Aside from dodging the occasional drunk driver, we had the place to ourselves. I ended up parking in an abandoned motel, complete with smashed windows and bent vacancy sign. It suddenly dawned on me that Eli and I had parked right in the middle of a zombie movie and we high tailed it back to our cabin.

As soon as we put him back in his crib, he started screaming again. I checked his crib to make sure we didn’t accidentally throw broken glass in it. But there was no calming him down. And I started to hear our neighbors stir.

So Diana suggested we go sit in the car again. So I dragged Eli and Lulu to the cabin parking lot and put him in the seat. He fell instantly asleep. I groaned, “Of course…” So I put the seat back and stared out the window. I must have dozed off because Eli was chattering at 6am with Lulu and the sun was up, baking the car.

I brought him back inside and passed him off to Diana and went to sleep. I awoke to the sound of Eli happily shrieking in the other room and thought, “The cousins are back.”

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