One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight | Epilogue | Acknowledgements
Chapter Seven: One More Time Around the Park
Dinner was in the Cafe restaurant again, and it was Lynne's chance to feed him a new treat from the Gerber vault. It was fun to watch, rarely does someone seem so enthusiastic about food that they rush their mouth to meet the spoon. He also had a tendency to bite down on the spoon (testing those jaw muscles) such that we couldn't remove the spoon after the latest load of Spring Squash had been deposited. I kept expecting a magician to enter and balance something on the end of the spoon as part of a stage show.
No early evening was needed this time, as we had no appointments the next morning. However, the tide of emotion and adrenaline was catching up with us, and we still crashed a short time after dinner. A quiet night this time, Paden actually slept through the night. I couldn't wait to brag to my parent friends about Paden's nine-hour bouts of sleep.
The next morning, we rose when Paden chose to awake, and another bath in the sink was the second order of the day, the first being a fine breakfast of rice cereal. He was also guzzling formula like a frat boy at a kegger, barely pausing long enough between swallows to take in or let out a breath. He almost seemed to be panting in his effort to drink the formula as fast as possible. Chug! Chug!
Being Valentine's Day, Paden had somehow managed to sneek off and buy a Valentine's Day card for his new Mom. I should be careful with my credit cards! It was presented to Mom by Dad, as Paden was occupied by the current toy of the hour. A smile from Mom is the best way to start a day.
Breakfast for Mom and Dad was a little less furious and fanatical than Paden's, I dined on croissants and fruit again, and Lynne had cereal and juice. Paden went after some Cheerios again, and we were so embarassed about the huge pile of dropped kibble that we swept up what we could by hand before we left.
Diaper bag to the ready, we braved outside and walked back along the area where we had been before after our arrival in Taipei. Paden took it all in, keeping his two eyes on the million things moving all around him. We visited the New York, New York store, browsing through the different sections for souvenirs to purchase that would remark on our time here. Some interesting things were for sale here, including refridgerators with as many as five outside doors, one for each temperature-controlled area. There were slim, efficient, and very cool-looking!
An great deal of walking later, and we wound up back at Mitsukoshi, the department store we visited when we first arrived in Taipei. We looked around at some of the baby clothes, but, for the most part, they were a bit too pricey for our taste. In addition, what we bought would have to be packed and bundled back with us, so unless it was very special or unique to Taiwan, we chose not to buy it. We did find some books, however, including a Chinese translation of a Harry Potter book, and a couple other odds and ends.
Since it was lunch time but we were not overly hungry, we went down to the food court and had sandwiches at "Au Bon Pain". Paden had formula and tried some bread from the sandwiches, which he (or course!) liked. This kid will be so easy to please at the dinner table! The sandwiches were filling and tasty, and we headed back out to the street with our stomachs full.
We were close to the park that Lynne and I first discovered on Monday. Already, it seemed like more than a week later, but it had only been a scant four days. We walked for a while, until we discovered that one of us had chosen to fall asleep in the meantime! Paden was sound asleep and very secure in his mother's arms. So a brief fifteen-minute recess on a bench in the park was ordered, and we took in the sights, sounds, and smells of the city of Taipei for the last time.
We returned to our hotel and got ready to go home, Paden donned his Hawaiian shirt, as did Dad. It's was hard to tell where one stopped and the other started! Then we squeezed, jumped on, and squashed our suitcases as tight as we could. Thank goodness for wheels on suitcases; we left our forklift back home. These bags were as packed as could be, and resembled sausages straining at the seams. Calling a bellboy, we had them taken down to the front entrance while I checked out of the hotel.
The ride to the airport was very comfortable in the back of the hotel's sedan; we hoped Paden would not leave too many breadstick crumbs on the nice leather seats. Fortunately, he was distracted by all the cars and trucks on the highway, and was good for the hour-long trip in the Taiwan rush-hour traffic. We arrived two hours ahead of the flight time, and settled in for the wait in the gate.
Actually, this was one of the points of the trip we had been dreading. While adults can deal with an eleven-hour-long plane flight, it's a different story for babies. We were also fighting the possibility of having a baby who was as yet unfamiliar with his new parents, and we kept waiting for the "Who the heck are you?" explosion. With all the sensory input the airport had to provide, Paden was fairly occupied in the terminal, but we worried about the plane flight when he would be confined to the view from his car seat. In addition, the fact that he had never actually sat in his car seat might prove to be our downfall. In retrospect, we should probably tested him in it first, but we were too busy just looking at him for the last four days.
So we put him in the seat in the lobby, and he squirmed a bit until we whipped out another new flavor from the Land of Gerber for him to try. You could hear the air whoosh by as he inhaled the food, as usual. Not long afterwards, we were boarding the flight. And, true to my prediction, we were allowed to board before anyone else. Boy, that was fun!
I got the seat belted into the middle plane seat and made sure it was secure. Then we put Paden in, who was not too happy about this sudden new arraingment. We were going to give him Benadryl to make him a bit sleepy on the flight, but we wanted to wait until we were in the air so that we could also give him a bottle to help with equalizing his ears on the altitude change. So we endured the squirming protests for a few minutes until the flight took off, and then the Wonder Drug, Benadryl made it's appearance. An eighth-teaspoon and a five-ounce bottle later, and Mr. Wiggles was sound asleep. Could this last for the whole flight?