What can I say, the Billygoat was awesome once again. Though I had a slightly different perspective than usual.
After various briefings, and game plans, and what-ifs, and "Alli, you are taking your cell phone just in case, right?" the event was on, but starting a little early, about 10:40 rather than the usual 11:00 BG start. Because 10:40 is when Boris and Alli headed off to the start and I was left with sole custody of Inara, age 27 months, and Barney, the amazing hound, exact age unknown but certainly no youngster.
Barney demonstrated his continued high self-esteem after boot camp in Sunderland in late January, in this case by peeing on three adjacent cars in short order and then settling into the back seat to his unique "live snooze" (his eyes are wide open and he looks awake, but there is no sign of any brain activity). This was good, because I needed to focus on Inara.
And it was clear she wasn't ecstatic about stuck with the old man --
So time for some charm, let her drink from the grown-up water bottle --
In fact, let her do whatever she wanted as long as it kept a screaming meltdown at bay. Hence her consumption of three bags of jelly beans. She'd ask for more beans, I'd find some more beans. Was that so wrong?
And then Lukas showed up (rumor was a speeding ticket on I-89 had delayed his arrival). And that was good because Inara now had a playmate --
Though maybe that wasn't good, because next thing I knew they were playing in the mud --
But I thought, isn't that what kids are supposed to do? So I didn't interfere, though I was worried that she'd slip and fall --
And I was looking at the big clock, damn, the race has only been going 20 minutes and it'll be another 90 minutes before Boris shows up. Oh, dear.
At this point I seemed to have stopped taking photos.
She was getting rather muddy, and her hands were real muddy, and she wanted me to clean them. Took care of that by finding a clean spots on her tights (good thinking, right?). And, yup, she was happy again. And ready to head back to the car.
Her destination was the back seat, right side (Barney was on the left side). Her route was in the driver's door, climbed over that seat, tromped over various things on the way to the back seat, leaving a nice trail of mud. Oh, well, she's happy.
This is when when the beans really started to flow. Also when we worked on a book, not too many words, lots of pictures. We did it at a rate of about 2 beans a page. About halfway through there were no more beans and Inara lost interest.
Time for another outing. She wanted to be carried. Headed off to the BG finish area, about 50 yards away, because Lex was there, and Lex is a mom and right then a mom would be a good thing to have nearby.
And it didn't take long before Lex determined that Inara was soaking wet from her butt down to her feet. And apparently that was not good. How was I supposed to know?
But Lex knew, and she knew what to do, which was good, because I didn't. I carried Inara back to the car. My back was not happy. She may look dainty, but she does not feel dainty when you have to carry her. Especially if you are old and frail.
So Lex looked around for some dry clothes and found a pair of socks, and gave them to me to deal with. So I took off her wet ones and put the dry ones on, one on each foot, rather pleased with myself with how well I was doing. Expect Lex seemed to think I had done a pretty poor job, so she went zip-zip, and now the socks were actually on straight, and no wrinkles. Again, how was I to know?
But having been judged deficient in one aspect in reclothing Inara, I was loathe to take on more duties. Which was good, because Lex is, as said, a mom, and I guess you don't forget stuff when you're a mom. And pretty quick Inara had a dry bottom and dry pants, and another pairs of pants because it was chilly, and dry boots. And all was good in the world. Except I couldn't find any more beans. And Inara was getting a little antsy, and even a nice potato chip or two didn't interest her. And there weren't any adult beverages I could give her a sip or two of.
What was I going to do now, other than make sure I keep her away from the mud puddles?
And then the angel of mercy arrived in the form of Alli. Though not all was well in her world, her plan to stay with a compatible group on the BG having been disrupted by a phone call, no, not from me, but from her sister, wishing her a Happy Mother's Day. Talk about bad timing. So Alli was on her own and a bit discombobulated, and after a while it was clear that she wasn't going to make it around in 3.5 hours because Burnt Mountain is, to use the technical term, fucking hard.
And so she wasn't so happy. But I was ecstatic.
Not that my duties were over. The was still the hound. And the hound needed some exercise.
So I got a map, and the hound and I headed off to find a BG control, #22 to be precise. The hound needed some encouragement early on, but pretty soon he got with the program. My navigation was excellent, and Barney did his share, and before long we were at #22 and Barney had peed, or attempted to pee, on about a dozen trees. This is apparently a male dog thing, though it may be a male human thing too and I am just clueless.
#22 was quite sociable. Got to see AJ and Keegan leaving. Got to meet Cristina who was bailing. Got to see real orienteering in live action as Francis arrived, stopped just out of sight of the control, studied his map some, looked around, studied his map some more, looked around some more, once more to the map and then casually trotted over to the control. It was super exciting. And you could tell Barney was really into it too.
And then, well, time to head back, Barney, like the horse smelling the barn, pulling me along as fast as he could.
It wasn't long before Boris was in, and then my duties were officially over. Barney went to sleep. Inara did renditions of various versions of the terrible 2's. And I, no longer on the hook for anything, could just watch and wonder, How in the world do parents do it?