No, I’m not referring to writing these blog posts, though that would be appropriate, which stinks because we’ve done a lot in that time.  Since my last post I think we’ve had Thanksgiving in Rougemont with my parents and my brother, gone to Richlands, gone to Greenville for more Thanksgiving, taken Milly and Callie to see Frozen (after the two conspired during Grow Zone to make it happen), signed up for new insurance to the tune of saving about $450 a month, hosted an early Christmas party with the Warkentiens and the Masons (because most of the Warkentiens will be out of town for several weeks), dropped the Jetta off for routine maintenance only to find expensive repairs needed to be done, gone to Richlands again for Amanda’s grandma’s birthday, watched Duke get stomped by Florida State in the ACC football championship (glad they made it though), seen some pretty good basketball games, had a really good playtime with Milly and her toys, gone to Kevin Millard’s birthday party, taken Max (the Warkentiens’ dog) into our home for a time and dealt with several hacked websites.

The last one there is not totally finished yet.

No, the title of this blog article has to do with what I heard tonight from a number of adults at Penelope and Adeline Davis’s birthday party.  It was held at Scooters, a skating rink.  But let me back up and tell you about the whole day.

Let’s start with last night.  I was exhausted from a particularly stressful day of cleaning up hacked websites (many of which were not terribly difficult to fix, though the last few are more so) and I fell asleep on the couch while Amanda was watching The Sing Off (the return of which makes her joyous).

I had a couple bad dreams.  In the first one, Amanda, Milly and I were in an airplane.  It was having trouble taking off and when it finally did get a little off the ground, it was basically just flailing around until the tail and one of the wings hit the tarmac and broke apart.  Fortunately nobody was hurt.

The next dream started with me and Amanda and a few people we didn’t really know in a well-stocked station wagon during the early days of a zombie apocalypse.  There were woods to our right and a small, grassy (tall and yellow, but not quite a wheat field) hill in front of us and to the left, and beyond that that lay some more woods.  We were on what could generously be called a dirt path and we knew that there were zombies on the way.

You’ll notice Milly was not with us.  We had been separated at some point, but as we were going over the hill we saw a scattered group of kids.  At first we thought one might be her, but figured we were getting our hopes up.  After we passed them, we realized she was actually among the kids!  So we turned back and picked her up, and we picked up a few other kids, but we didn’t have room for many and had to leave them, which was awful.

There was also some impression that the kids had been kept together by a person with bad intentions, if you know what I mean, which was also awful.  As we sped back into the safety (why it was safe I do not know) of the woods we were aware of the zombies coming down the path behind us.  The only solace we took was that the person who had taken Milly (or found her?) was there for them to eat.

I woke up after that dream and thought I heard Milly calling me, so I ran upstairs only to find her asleep.

I told her all of that (well, I glossed over a lot of it) this morning.  She patted my hand and said reassuringly, “You know, Dad, bad dreams are not real.”

That was so sweet.  She was less sweet later on though, when she went upstairs to get a little blanket to watch Zig and Sharko (her new favorite cartoon) during her 10:30 snack of Goldfish.  I had gotten the show ready on Netflix and was wandering around when I walked to the guest room and saw another little blanket.  I grabbed it and tossed it on the couch and when she came downstairs she freaked out about it.  She started crying and going on about how she was supposed to get the little blanket and she only wanted one little blanket and on and on.

My day had already been stressful enough, so I let her have it about how ridiculous she was being and about how the other little blanket was not hurting anything and how she had NO reason to cry about it.  I eventually decided she should go take a rest, figuring she was tired (that’s tired four-year-old behavior, is it not?), took her upstairs and told her she had to stay in there for ten minutes.  Usually she’ll fall asleep in that time.

Not this time.

I can’t remember the order, but she called me up once to make sure I hadn’t already started Zig and Sharko.  She called me up another time to tell me she wasn’t crying anymore and wanted to get up.  She called me up one more time to ask me what time it was or something.  After the third time I told her she was not to call me up there for anything other than being hurt, which I said wouldn’t happen because she’d be in bed the whole time, or an emergency.  She called me up a few minutes later to tell me that she’d fallen out of bed and hurt her elbow.  Despite it being obvious BS, I kissed the elbow and pointed out that she’d never fallen out of bed before.

Obviously, that all spanned more than ten minutes.  I did eventually let her up without her falling asleep though.  Things were better after that though.

Amanda came home and took Milly to dance then she got changed and I took her to Penelope’s birthday party.  Amanda stayed home to work on treats for small group, since she wouldn’t be able to do it tomorrow.  On top of that, her ankle has still been bothering her to the point that she’s still wearing the brace when she gets home.

I read the wrong time and we were an hour early.  I tried not to think about how much more (emergency) work I’d be getting done and instead tried to think of something fun to occupy Milly’s time.  Since the place was in that part of town, I took her by the house we lived in when we first moved to Wilmington.  After that I decided to take her to Greenfield Lake.

It was a windy and overcast day, so it wasn’t terribly warm, but we had fun.  Milly ran down the boardwalk and scared all the ducks and gulls into taking flight or jumping in the water, which she found hilarious.  After that we went to the playground where she was Anna and I was Kristoff (from Frozen, which is what she wants to play all the time now).  We snuck around wolves on the playground then went on an adventure along a walkway and looked at maps and special instructions on stones then avoided falling trees as we ran back to the sleigh.

Then we went to the birthday party.  Milly told both me and Amanda that she didn’t want to skate, but almost as soon as we got there Milly told me she wanted to get some skates.  And we were the first people there aside from the birthday girls and their parents.  Penelope was on a scooter (which most of the kids ended up doing- I didn’t know that was an option), so it wasn’t peer pressure that prompted it.

Milly did pretty well.  By the end of the night she was going off on her own, though she was more walking on the skates than actually skating.  I skated with her a good bit, and despite being wobbly, I never fell.  Do you hear that, Melissa?  That time you saw me getting up was because Milly wanted me to act like I fell down.  Honestly!

I asked Matt via text earlier today what the girls were into, and one of the things he said was Disney Princesses.  I asked if they’d seen Frozen and they had, so Milly (perhaps with a little coaxing) came up with the idea of getting Elsa, the older sister, for Penelope and Anna, the younger one, for Adeline.  She and Amanda picked them up on the way home from dance.

Milly’s favorite thing, which we did at the very end of the night, was for me to hold her by the armpits or hands and let her lean back to roll around.  It was all dead weight, as she didn’t learn how to bend her knees to roll, so my back and arms are feeling it.

We got home and I gave Milly a bath as Amanda was still finishing up on the chocolate ball things she was fixing for small group tomorrow night.  Milly went to bed after that and we watched a couple shows.

And now you’re caught up, pretty much, on the last couple weeks.

Zach Dotsey