In short, Chicago

I could just sit down for two hours – if I had two hours – and spew out a spool of words about our long weekend in Chicago, but I think I need to use my editorial function a bit more wisely than that. Here, then, are the posts you might or might not be seeing in the future, in no particular order:

The one about how small children don’t like going from mild to cold weather in the space of a 40-minute train trip, and will continue to refuse to wear a coat, even when they already have a cough that sounds like one hound of Hell, for days afterwards because if they do not bow to outside influences like parents, what chance does Weather have?

The one with all the photos.

The one about six-and-a-half and whether that’s a thing or not, the way three-and-a-half and four-and-a-half are recognised Horrible Stages, because I hope to God this here thing with the 6.5-year-old is a Thing because it’s Horrible and it’s as if I’ve just been handed an entirely new child whose ways I have to figure out double-quick before he kills us all or vice versa, which I was not expecting, frankly.

The one about how we nearly didn’t go at all because Dash nearly had croup, and then on Saturday night I was convinced that instead of supporting the marathon runner the next morning we’d probably be busy taking Mabel to the emergency room because she coughed twice and that was enough, but it all turned out okay in the end except for that one other little coughing fit that made the nice airline lady come and tell me about her granddaughter who had a cough that sounded exactly like that and it turned out to be pneumonia, and then I felt like I was the one getting pneumonia for the next hour, but then she didn’t cough again and now they’re both back at school praise be to the holy deities.

The one about how getting a suite instead of just a room with two beds really didn’t make any difference because Dash refused to sleep with Mabel so it was still one adult and one child to a bed and the door in between was quite pointless though I suppose maybe I was spared some sounds of snoring, perhaps.

The one about how your priorities have to change from getting decent food into them to getting any sort of food into them because when you’re away from home and held hostage to the hotel restaurant and the crappy little hotel gift shop full of cookies and dollar-fifty apples you just need the children to eat and suddenly a plate of french fries sounds like a perfectly good dinner option if he would only damn well eat it when it’s there rather than refusing it and getting hungry half an hour later.

The one about how parenthood changes you because when the small child asks you if there’s a bathroom on this train, instead of holding her out at arm’s length, you hold her closer on your lap and wonder how bad your jeans will look if they get soaked with pee; but how happy I was – I cannot express just how happy – that she managed to hold it in every time and make it to the bathroom so my jeans were unscathed and so was Chicago’s public transport system.

The one about how all American cities look the same at first until you look a little closer and get to know them, but all airports really do occupy the same unchanging point in time and space and it makes no difference where you are because it’s like being in a vortex of expensive food choices and pleasingly sanitary bathrooms until you finally get to leave. But Mabel won’t keep her shoes on there either.


I think I’ll just do the photos.

One thought on “In short, Chicago

  1. bethany actually

    1. Annalie at age 6.5 nearly KILLED ME. It was a rough, rough few months. Around her 7th birthday she magically returned to the sweet, thoughtful, caring child of old. Six and a half is definitely a thing. Hang in there.

    2. I totally used to refuse to sleep with my brother in hotel rooms too! (He’s 17 months younger than I am.) Good times.


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