Maggie was quite a challenge this past weekend when we attended a family reunion in the small German town of Hermann, Missouri. We think that much of her odd behavior stemmed from the trains that regularly made their way through town and were especially loud at my parents’ house on the hill. Maggie, afraid of the trains and their whistles, hardly touched her feet to the ground all weekend. She clung to us, especially when a train came by. She covered her ears and buried her face in the chest of the person holding her. She mostly clung to my Aunt Bev (a total softie, if you ask me), but she even leapt into the arms of other family members who, until appearing minutes beforehand, had been total strangers!
Anyhow, wherever Maggie goes, “Dolly” (an American Girl “Bitty Baby”) goes too. Maggie has to have her with her for bed, naps, and just about any other time of the day. My mom even made a special Fourth of July outfit for Dolly since she was joining us at the reunion.
Maggie pushed Dolly around in a stroller all day Sunday on the deck when she was finally acting a little more normal. Later, my Uncle Mike was trying to be helpful and cleaned up the kids’ toys. He placed Dolly, still in the stroller of course, on the back porch with other toys my mom (“Omi”) brought. Thus we overlooked Dolly when we packed up and left.
Mom called with the horrific news after Bret and the kids and I had already driven about halfway back to MIchigan. Mom and Dad (Omi and Opa) were instructed to Fed-Ex, UPS, USPS, or WHATEVER that doll back to Michigan ASAP. And I asked for Uncle Mike’s cell phone number, fully intending to call him in the middle of the night when Maggie woke up screaming for the blasted doll!
The following email and pictures are Dad’s and his cohort’s crafty response to the situation. They will definitely go in Maggie’s scrapbook.
Mon., Jul 6, 2009 at 12:33
Dolly is having a good time here in Hermann, Mo. Omi and I are so glad you let her stay for a few days. We are sending her back on Amtrak, although she may not like to hear the sound of the train whistles. Omi and I will see you in two weeks.
Fortunately, Maggie and Dolly were reunited three days later via Priority Mail. I almost kissed the mailman!