“I have a bug in my ear,” says Madeleine.
“You’ll have to eat it.”
“Now there’s a monster in here!” she cries.
We’re driving home from Sesame Place. Earlier, Madeleine had been slightly traumatized by Cookie Monster. It was self-inflicted though, to be fair to Cookie Monster. The sight of a wooden cut-out of him provoked an absolute sob-fest, during which she squirmed away from me while I was putting sunscreen on her and she tried to hop over the back seat of the car. We were only in the parking lot at that point.
“There are no monsters in here. You’re safe,” Michael reassures her.
“It’s Cookie Monster!” she says, with genuine concern.
On the Belt Parkway? I doubt that.
“Let me check under my seat,” I say. “Nope, not in there.”
Giggles from the backseat.
“Oh wait, I didn’t check in Daddy’s armpit,” I peek into Michael’s shirt. “Nope, no monsters in Daddy’s armpit. What a relief.”
Madeleine is laughing and it becomes a game. “There’s no Elmo in my armpit! No B-Dird in my armpit!” (B-Dird is actually Big Bird.) She makes sure she includes every muppet on Sesame Street in the armpit game.
Luke is watching Transformers cartoons on Michael’s iPad. He looks up periodically to growl if we’re making too much noise. Yes, he growls at us.
“Look, Luke, we’re passing the city. See the bulidings?” Michael says.
Madeleine is now holding a half-full bottle of water. “Can I bring my bottle to the new city?”
She turns the bottle over.
“Madeleine’s spilling water all over the place,” Luke says.
“I guess the backseat is soaked,” Michael says.
“Where’s my Tinkerbell glasses?” Madeleine asks. “What are you doing, Daddy?”
“What’s with the city?” Michael asks.
“I need another baby Snuffleupagus,” she says.
“One is enough,” I say.
“Come on, boy,” she says, making Snuffie walk across her lap. “Ohhh, I want my apple juice!”
“I think she’s delirious,” Michael says.
“Too much sun. And she’s tired.”
“Listen guys,” Michael says, “when we get home it’s tubby time and then bed.”
“I don’t want to take a tubby with Madeleine,” Luke says and returns his attention to the iPad.
“Mom, I need a couple of stickers,” Madeleine says.
Michael turns to look at her and makes a silly face, “Stop looking at me, Daddy!”
“I’m hungry. What do you feel like for dinner?” I say.
“Don’t you think something has to change?” Michael says, “This can’t be the future of car travel, all this traffic. Don’t you think?”
I’m trying to tune him out. He complains about the traffic every time we take a road trip.
“I need a baby B-Dird,” Madeleine says. “Mom…Mom, a baby B-Dird.”
“We’re almost home, guys.” Michael says.
“No! We’re going to city!” Madeleine shouts.
“We’re going home, honey,” I say.
“No! We. Go. To. City!”
Luke looks up from his cartoon, “I’m not taking a bath with Madeleine.”