The Cutter family had quite a busy Easter weekend. Here is our tale:
Good Friday? How about “Got better as the day went on Friday?”
Good Friday did not start out in a particularly good fashion. It started out with a hangover.
I had been feeling sick for a week or so. I’m not sure what the cause of it was. Mrs. Cutter insisted that it was just allergies, but it definitely felt worse than mere allergies. Either that, or I was REALLY allergic to something.
Regardless of the cause, I required regular doses of ibuprofen to reduce the swelling in my throat. I had developed a cough that for some reason only came out at night and kept me from sleeping peacefully.
On Thursday afternoon, I couldn’t tell if I was actually improving or I had just grown accustomed to feeling crappy. Either way, I felt somewhat better, so I went down to the National Mall for kickball.
Our team didn’t have a game that week, but instead we had to serve as refs. As a result, we were given free beer. Not being one to pass up free beer, I may have overdone it a little. I had a nasty case of hiccups when I got home, so I laid down on the couch until they passed.
When I woke up at 6:00 in the morning, I was still on the couch, and I knew I might be in some trouble. I was feeling all the early signs of a quickly oncoming hangover. I quickly downed my usual hangover remedy – bismuth, Cheerios, and ibuprofen – and hoped for the best.
I was a little out of it, but we had a plane to catch. There was no time to sit around and recover, as I had to get the Cutlet ready to go, and deal with Mrs. Cutter. Mrs. Cutter is unfortunately from New York, which means she has an ingrained fear of arriving at the airport late. My reassurances that we don’t have to take the Van Wyck fall on deaf ears.
I managed to get us on the road in time, but as we started to drive, my head really began to hurt, and I wasn’t sure if my stomach was going to hold up. Mrs. Cutter kept glaring at me and threatening horrible things if I threw up in the car. To try to make up for it, I promised her that the next time we had to go to the airport, I would leave when she wanted to, and not fight her on it.
I somehow held it together, and felt somewhat better once we got to the airport and I was able to walk around.
I had been hungover on a plane once before and it was an utterly horrible experience. That time, we were flying back from LAX, and I had the pleasure of utilizing the friendly air sickness bags they provide. This time, I wasn’t nearly that bad, but I also had a toddler with me, and that is always a precarious situation.
Fortunately, it was not a full flight, so the Cutlet was able to have her own seat. Thanks to the magic of books and an iPad, she was in good spirits throughout the flight.
After finally getting to Grandma’s house, I was able to sit down, eat lunch, and take a nap. After that, I felt much better.
With free babysitting in the form of Grandma and Grandpa, Mrs. Cutter and I were able to go out by ourselves, so we went to see The Hunger Games.
I liked the movie. It was well done, and captured the main points of the book. Mrs. Cutter said she was emotionally affected by it, but for some reason, it didn’t get to me at all. Does this mean I’m dead inside? Probably.
Meanwhile, Grandma and Grandpa decided to take the Cutlet to Chuck E. Cheese.
We weren’t sure how this would go. We knew that if people came out dressed in animal costumes, they would have an unhappy child on their hands. The Cutlet is not a fan of people in animal costumes as we discovered a couple of weeks earlier.
We had taken her to the mall to get a picture with the Easter Bunny. Last year’s picture featured her crying on the Bunny’s lap. This year, as soon as we brought her near the Bunny, she erupted into tears and tightly clung to her mother.
I tried sitting with the Bunny to show her that there was nothing to be afraid of. It didn’t matter. She was terrified and didn’t calm down until we were far away from the Bunny.
Fortunately, there was nobody in costume at Chuck E. Cheese. She enjoyed her pizza, but the only ride she wanted to go on was the one where they pretend to drive. She was wary of all of the others.
But fortunately she had no major breakdowns or freak outs. So that’s good.
Macaroni and cake?
We ate an early supper on Saturday, which seemed to throw the Cutlet off a bit, and she refused to eat most of her dinner. However, when dessert came out, and a piece of cake was presented to her, she didn’t seem to have any reluctance in going after it.
Not wanting her dinner to consist of just cake, I tried to give her some macaroni and cheese. Naturally, she ignored the macaroni and continued to eat the cake. Knowing that she often likes to mix her foods together, I came up with the brilliant idea of mixing the macaroni with the cake.
Everyone seemed to think that this was the most disgusting thing they had ever seen. I pointed out that they all had eaten both macaroni and cake within an hour of each other, so it really wasn’t all that different. Besides, this was the same child who once asked for her peanut butter and broccoli to be mixed together.
Of course, the Cutlet promptly picked the macaroni out of the mix and continued eating the cake. At least she did have some fruit later on, so she got some nutritional value out of the meal.
After dinner was complete, the Cutlet got to go around the living room and pick up plastic Easter eggs that were “hidden” for her. Once that was complete, it was time for the annual dyeing of Easter eggs.
For some reason, this year’s Paas kit did not include the usual wax pencil, so I was unable to do my standard Phillies egg where I draw the P with the pencil and then dye it red. Very disappointing.
There was a slight argument between my mother-in-law and myself over the proper technique to dye an egg two different colors. She didn’t think it mattered in what order the colors were done, but I said that the lighter color had to be done first, because the darker color would always overpower the lighter. And I was right!
The Cutlet helped us drop the eggs into the dye, and she enjoyed putting stickers on the eggs. At one point she almost tipped over one of the glasses of dye, but we fortunately were able to grab it in time. Disaster averted.
Easter Sunday with the cousins
On Easter Sunday, we spent the day with Mrs. Cutter’s father’s family, and the Cutlet got to see her two cousins. Her older cousin brought along her own iPad, complete with a Hello Kitty case. Naturally, the Cutlet was captivated by this, and the two of them spent some time playing on the iPad together.
Later on, we held an Easter egg hunt. Basically, plastic eggs were scattered throughout the yard, and the kids ran around picking them up. In the process of running towards the next egg, they usually dropped all of the eggs they already had in their baskets. But this simply meant that they got to find them again!
Mrs. Cutter and I certainly enjoyed the hunt as we got to eat all of the candy that was hidden inside the eggs.
I might have needed to eat that candy, since every year at Easter, it is unknown if I’ll actually have something I can eat.
Since they are Italian, Mrs. Cutter’s family is incapable of making food without pig in it. And the Cutter does not eat pig, not even on vacation. Normally, I can work around this, but since Easter and Passover often coincide, this means that pasta is also off the menu for me.
Sadly, Mrs. Cutter’s father had made stuffed shells for my benefit, which I had to turn down. He is now convinced more than ever that I just don’t like his cooking.
Fortunately, there was some salad, plain chicken (which almost got entirely devoured before I could take a piece) and chicken fried rice. So I did not leave hungry. If anything, it kept me from the overeating that usually goes on at holiday meals.
The napless Cutlet
Unfortunately, due to the events of the day, the Cutlet didn’t get in her usual nap. She did sleep for about 45 minutes or so in the car, but we were still a little wary of how she’d react as the day went on.
One thing that didn’t help was people remarking on how good she was being. DON”T JINX IT! Until she is asleep in her crib, a day can not be classified as good or bad.
Making matters worse was that we had a late flight that evening. So after not napping, we’d then be throwing her off her schedule and keeping her up later than usual. But thankfully, despite all of this, the Cutlet was rather well-behaved on the plane.
“We’re going to go see Obama!”
When she awoke on Monday morning, Mrs. Cutter instantly became more sympathetic to the illness that I had been suffering from. While I was feeling considerably better, she was now feeling sick. I’m pretty sure she no longer attributes it to allergies.
Sick or not, we had big plans for the day: We were going to the White House for the Easter Egg Roll!
We had told the Cutlet about the trip, and although she might not have known exactly what was going to happen, she did seem excited to see “Obama” and “White House.”
Naturally, the process of getting access to the White House lawn is not a quick one. There was a decent amount of time spent in line and security, but finally we made our way onto the grounds.
Once inside, we saw the tail end of the Sesame Street performance. The Cutlet seemed surprised to actually see Elmo and Abby up on stage singing. But she seemed to be enjoying the show.
After that, we walked around the grounds for a while. Sadly, the Cutlet was still too young to partake in some of the activities, but we still managed to find plenty to do.
We saw Obama as he gave his speech from the front of the White House. We pointed him out to the Cutlet, but she didn’t seem particularly impressed. I’m just thankful she didn’t notice (or at least didn’t pay attention to) the guy in the Easter Bunny outfit standing right next to him. How high (or low) do you have to be in the Secret Service hierarchy to get to wear the Easter Bunny costume?
They had several costumed characters greeting people. We knew that the Cutlet hated people in costume, but we thought if she was familiar with the character, she might be more inclined. “Ooh look, there’s the Cat in the Hat! Do you want to see the Cat in the Hat?”
At first she said that she did, but I don’t think she entirely understood what was going on. When she came to see the giant Cat in the Hat in front of her, she once again recoiled in fear. I really don’t blame her. This was an especially creepy looking Cat in the Hat.
Later on, she did actually go up to and get her picture taken with someone in a dog costume. So some progress was made.
Our time slot was coming to a close, so we decided to head to the exits. There appeared to be a bit of a backup, and we asked what was going on. Apparently, the First Lady was walking by so they had to temporarily block the exit.
Unfortunately, this blocking lasted for a good 20+ minutes. And by that time, just about everyone was trying to get out. This resulted in a huge crowd gathered around the exit, and by the time they let people leave, we were dealing with a massive bottleneck.
Finally, we made it out (after only a few mild stroller collisions) and got our souvenir plastic egg. The Cutlet was worn out from the experience, and actually fell asleep in her stroller as we were walking around trying to find a place to eat. I can’t recall the last time she actually fell asleep in her stroller.
It was a tiring, yet memorable weekend. Perhaps in a few years, we’ll be fortunate enough to get to go back to the White House when the Cutlet will hopefully be able to appreciate it a little more. And perhaps next year we’ll even get a picture of her with the Easter Bunny. Or at least one in which she isn’t screaming in terror.