A Day With Ainslie

When my niece, Ainslie, was about a month old, I took her brother, Alex to the Marriott Lincolnshire for a “vacation”.  We spent a night at the hotel and went to the children’s theatre the next morning.  Alex hated the theatre.

Last weekend I took Ainslie, now age four, on a similar excursion. The first thing that happened was the hotel sent us to our room with a gift:


I am pretty sure this is what status gets you.  Snacks + flat screen + coloring books = Ainslie is not moving.  She wanted pizza from room service.  People I would have started blogging right there, except the Marriott charges $12.95 for Internet.  Ridiculous.

Our dinner arrived.  She had the pizza, which was actually a flatbread with marinara and cheese.  I had..some kind of pasta dish.  And I ordered an apple cobbler to share for dessert.  It came with one of those cute little cups of ice cream.  So I ate the cobbler and she ate the ice cream.

By the time she finished, Ainslie was a complete mess.  So she announced that she needed a bath.

A bath?  I was not expecting this.

Me:           Um..ok, Ainslie.  There is a tub in the bathroom.  But we don’t have any toys.

Ainslie:    That’s ok.

Me:            Well..do you want to take a shower or sit in the tub?

Ainslie:     Sit in the tub.  (walks into the bathroom and starts undressing)

Me:            (turning on the water)  Ok..do you want me to wash your hair?  (pleasenopleasenopleaseno)

Ainslie:     No.  Just sit in the tub.

Me:             (breathing)

I opened the hotel bath soap and handed it to her.  By some miracle, I got the water temperature right and she told me how deep the water should be.  I picked her up and set her in the tub.

Ainslie:      We don’t have toys, so I will play with the soap until I am ready to wash.

Me:              That is fine.  Um..Ainslie..I don’t want to invade your privacy or anything, but I am pretty sure I am not supposed to leave children in the bathtub all by themselves.  So I am going to step out, but you keep talking and I will poke my head in to be sure you’re ok.

She didn’t even roll her eyes.  So then I texted my brother.  Apparently, this is not entirely unusual behavior.  And she was serious.  I could see her getting all soaped up for real.

About the third time I popped in to check in on her, Ainslie said, “I’m fine!  You go get my ‘jamas!”

Ok, then.  She had a major fit of giggles after drying off,  and when I inquired as to what was so funny, she said, “You forgot my underpants!”

Laugh it up, kid.  I had your four-year-old butt into pajamas at 7pm.  And because she had one of those nightlight on the ceiling toys, she asked for light out at 8:46.

The next morning, we came to the dreaded moment of What Am I Going to Do With Her Hair?  My sister-in-law, Becky, generally pulls Ainslie’s hair off of her face in top-notch pigtails of some sort.  I had no faith in my ability to set a straight part in her hair, let alone create even pigtails.  So I attempted my first french braid in 20 years:


Not bad, but it didn’t hold.  I wasn’t about to use product on her, and I made the mistake of braiding it while she was still in her pajamas.  She was pleased with this pic, though.  We got dressed and headed downstairs.  I had been disappointed that the Marriott didn’t do

At the theatre, I held my breath a bit when she rejected our third row seats and said she wanted to sit in the back.  Luckily, there were plenty of seats available.  I had another moment, when the show didn’t start exactly on time and she started to whine.  But when it finally started, Ainslie clapped in all the right places and seemed to enjoy herself.

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