Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Eat, play, roll, sleep, repeat: weekend fun and drama

Eat, play, roll, sleep, repeat: That just about sums up our weekend, where we relaxed, built sand castles, pigged out and I had a mini Max discipline crisis over a baggage cart.

We were down at the Jersey Shore, in the Cape May area. It's a beautiful spot filled with families, a boardwalk, cute stores, great restaurants, lots of mini golf and ice-cream and plenty to do. My sister, Judy, and her family came, too (Max still loves to call her Judy Doodie, my preferred name for her from childhood). The days fell into that familiar beach rhythm: breakfast, swim, lunch, swim, shower, dinner, boardwalk fun.

Sabrina in training to become Thumb Wrestling Champ of the world.

Requisite stunning sunset 

One night, we conned Judy into babysitting (OK, we just asked nicely) and Dave and I headed to the famed Ebbitt Room in Cape May, at The Virginia Hotel. It was elegant (but in a chill sort of way), romantic and amazingly delicious. Much of the produce and inspiration for dishes comes from the hotel's Beach Plum Farm, so even The Lettuce salad with a variety of greens and pickled carrots is simply wonderful. I don't think I've ever tasted flounder so good, and all the chef did was rub it with pepper and salt (he's into sea salt, even in the butter—OMG).

Gourmet deviled eggs with caviar, salmon and prosciutto = new addiction

Sabrina and I had some nice alone time; we like to wake up early and collect shells on the beach. Dave, Max and my brother-in-law and niece headed to the zoo one afternoon, and Max gave them the grand tour—he's been there a lot and when he's comfortable someplace, he's in peak form. The challenge of the weekend: the baggage carts at the place where we stay. Max loves to wheel those babies around, and anytime he can get his hands on one he will roll it to his heart's content. As you can imagine, this has made us very popular in hotels. 

This time, Max wanted to wheel the luggage cart around the garage, a sprawling space beneath the building. What the heck, Dave figured; he could do it once. But then Max wanted to go again and again; he kept doing this circular motion with his hand and saying "Eeese!" ("Please!"). When Dave said "No! I can't do it anymore, I'm allergic to it!" Max didn't believe him one bit.

Please? Pretty please? 

Max has loved to push things around since forever. When he was learning to walk, he'd push around a play shopping cart loaded with cans to weigh it down so it would give him support. Even today, he'll happily wheel around toy strollers when we visit friends' with younger kids. Going to the supermarket and pushing the cart is one of his favorite activities ever.

So this wasn't surprising, exactly, except that he kept insisting on going around the garage. Not exactly the fresh-air experience I wanted Max to enjoy at the beach, or the sort of thing I'd be proud to program into the Weekend Activities category on his speech app, to share with his class. Also: baggage carts aren't toys. The biggest issue at hand, though, was whether or not to give in to this quirk. It's something I struggle with a lot, as happened with Max's purple-centric birthday party.

But making like Mario Andretti with the baggage cart is Max's idea of a good time, same as thumb wrestling is for Sabrina. And we were on vacation. And so I partially caved, and I was very clear about limits. "Max, we can go around once a day, and that's it," I told him. He agreed, and that's what we did. Although when a handyman stopped by our house one afternoon, Max made that round-and-round motion and looked hopefully at the guy–he wanted him to accompany him on a spin around the garage.

So now I am amazingly familiar with the interior of the garage, Max is more adept than ever at steering luggage carts, and we all had a generally great long weekend. As I write, we're driving home in the dark and Max has been happily babbling away in the back seat for an hour now. It's a beautiful sound.


  1. I can picture my kids deciding to spend an entire weekend playing with a luggage cart.

    Glad you all had a nice vacation!

  2. I live in Jersey but haven't been to the shore yet ~ and I've never ever been to Cape May. But it looks fantastic. Glad you guys had a good time - luggage carts and all! :)

  3. You didn't cave -- you just set limits and followed through (which is the hard part!) And it sounds like Max did just fine with it. Way to go Mom!!!

  4. Just think - Max had fun and maybe even got in some good training for a job while he's in college! :) Sounds like a great time for all of you!

  5. Our daughter is going through an Elmo obsession. It reminds me of Max and Cars 2.

  6. We all had a great time hanging out with you guys this weekend!! Max can call me whatever he wants, and we enjoyed babysitting for your cutie pies. Margo loved going to the zoo with Max and riding the train there with him.


Thanks for sharing!

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