Friday, May 15, 2009

Little Baby's Santa Cruz Adventure

The thing about doulas is they are right and you should do what they tell you to do. Even when you had your baby almost two and a half years ago. When I wrote about Adriana's favorite doll last month, our doula, Pam, commented on the post, telling me to have a spare or two. But did I listen to her? Of course not.

On Saturday we went to Santa Cruz for the day. We ate at Walnut Avenue Cafe, walked around downtown, rode the carousel, played on the beach, and stuffed ourselves with sweets. It wasn't until we were getting in the car at the end of the day that I noticed that Little Baby was no longer with us. We hadn't taken the doll to the Boardwalk or the beach, so I assumed that it been left in the restaurant that morning, and since the restaurant was closed, I figured I had no choice but to head home and call in the morning to see if they had it. I worried about it all the way home, rolling my eyes at Brian when he asked, "Am I a jerk because I don't think this is such a big deal?"

After a bath and a story, I laid down with Adriana to nurse her to sleep and she asked, suddenly, "Little Baby?" (Well, more like "Yih bee?")

"Little Baby decided to stay in Santa Cruz and play a little more. She wanted more pancakes, and to ride on the merry-go-round some more. She'll be home in a couple of days," I lied, without even thinking about it. I watched Adriana's face crumple and she reached toward me for a hug. "Little Baby," she wailed in my arms. It was funny to realize that for the most part she cries because she is angry, frustrated, or hurt. When she cried out of sadness it was a very different thing. I assured her over and over again that Little Baby was having a grand time in Santa Cruz, and finally Adriana settled down to nurse.

It was when we were lying there in bed that I realized that I had seen the baby after brunch: we had walked down to the end of Pacific Avenue to show Adriana how to whisper at the Parabola. She had set Little Baby down on the bench there while we were playing. Since we'd gone from there to the car to head to the Boardwalk, that was where the doll had to be.

Last known sighting of Little Baby.

As soon as Adriana was asleep, I was on the phone to the Jamba Juice right there by the bench. A young man told me that no one had brought the doll into the store, and then he humored me by going out to check, but the doll was no longer there. I gave Lulu Carpenter's a quick call too, but no one had brought the doll inside there, either.

What was I to do? C'mon, I clearly had only one choice: I went online and ordered an identical doll and checked the box for two-day shipping.

For the next couple of days, Adriana would ask for Little Baby, and we would tell her stories about what her doll was doing: eating more mouse-shaped pancakes at Walnut Avenue; riding the carousel at the Boardwalk, eating ice cream and candy at Marini's, and building (and stomping on) sand castles at the beach. "She'll be home in a few days," we promised. Soon Adriana was telling us about what Little Baby was doing.

When we got home from our playdate on Wednesday afternoon, there was a small box in front of the door. Adriana ignored it and went inside to play. I slyly opened it in the kitchen, put the doll back out on the doormat, and then knocked loudly on the door. Adriana came with me to see who it was, and when I opened the door she cried, "Little Baby!" She grabbed the doll, and carried her into the house with glee. She sat on the floor to study the doll, which is when I noticed that this doll's eyes were blue instead of brown. Adriana didn't seem to care though; she was just pleased that the baby had found a new hat while she was on her adventures, since her old one had been lost months ago.

We went out to dinner that night, and Little Baby came along with us, although I was nervous the whole time that she'd get lost again. But Adriana was so glad to have her lovey back, that I couldn't say no, especially when she kept saying, "My Little Baby come back!" She was so happy , and I was so pleased that I had pulled it off, that she thought this was really her favorite doll, back after a little adventure in Santa Cruz.

After she'd had her bath and we'd read a couple of books that night, we settled into her bed.

"Want my new little baby," she told me, searching for her doll among the blankets. Maybe I'm not as sly as I thought.