One of the not so nice things about family vacation (among all the really, really nice, wonderful things which have already been documented here), is the way your whole family gets to witness you totally lose your everloving mind every single night when it is time to put the kids to bed.
Today was no exception. After it took three people more than two hours to get Wes to stay in his bed last night (instead of under the bed, under the other bed, in Charlie's bed, or leaning his entire upper body out the second floor window), he finally gave in around 10:00 only to have James get up at quarter till five in the morning.
The sun comes up here between four and five, which meant that after James had his breakfast in bed, he refused to go back to sleep in his crib. He wouldn't stop shrieking and trilling and I was worried he'd wake everyone else so we went outside to watch the tide come in from a lawn chair in the front yard. And then we played on the porch. And then he had two breakfasts (one yogurt, one banana). We had a lot of time to kill.
Once we got rolling (post-coffee, naturally) we had a really nice day filled with swimming and playgrounds and walks to the store for French Toast Muffins. Charlie passed an hour in the back yard jumping on a piece of bubble wrap the size of a beach towel. I read two pages of a novel I'm enjoying before losing consciousness on the couch for an unknown amount of time (ten-ish minutes? It wasn't long but there was drool.). My aunt made a yummy dinner for us all.
And then around 6:00 my blood pressure began to creep up in preparation for bedtime.
And then we couldn't find Phent.
Despite my encouragement to please go back to the porch and relax, the whole family was involved in the search. We opened drawers and cabinets, we stripped all the upstairs beds, we overturned laundry baskets and looked under every single piece of furniture. All the while James was getting passed from person to person and fussing and crying because he was tired (because he got up at FIVE O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING) and I was trying, unsuccessfully, to hold it the hell together because to normal people, Phent is just a stuffed animal.
I am not a normal person, however, and I was starting to freak out a little. Charlie's the good sleeper. THAT CANNOT CHANGE. Also, I have already decided that I will keep Phent in my own nightstand after Charlie outgrows him (WHICH WILL NEVER HAPPEN).
We searched every nook and cranny of the not-very-big house with no luck and I told Charlie that we would have to look again in the morning for Phent because we couldn't find him. He laid facedown on his bed with his legs on the floor and refused to move.
When I'd finally coaxed him into bed to read a story, Phent appeared on the landing. My mom poked her head into the room. "I prayed to St. Anthony," she said "he was behind the laundry basket in the bathroom." She tossed Phent to Charlie, who scooped him up and kissed him tenderly on the trunk over and over again until I finished changing Wes into his PJs.
We read a long book about a boy who gets to go out on a fishing boat and everyone was asleep by eight thirty.