|Image from Cross Canada Train Tours|
By now, my mother and sister have learned that sometimes Birdie's big plans happen, and sometimes she moves onto other things before bringing them to fruition, so they weren't much worried about Nova Scotia. After a few minutes of excited banter, Birdie moved onto a different topic, and that was the last mention of the trip on Friday. Saturday afternoon, however, Birdie started making preparations for a day of "travel by train" to the vacation wonderland that is Nova Scotia. She set up most of the top floor of our townhouse, including her bedroom, the bathroom, and the hallway, as different stops on the vacation tour. She was very proud indeed of her Nova Scotia wonderland by the time she finished Saturday at dinnertime. Everything was in place for the big event on Sunday.
Sunday morning couldn't get here quick enough for Birdie. I don't think she slept very well at all-- she was so looking forward to taking the fam on a dream vacation by train to "the most amazing part of Canada ever made."
After my sister was properly caffeinated, and Princess had eaten her breakfast, it was time for the trip to begin. My mom decided to decline the opportunity to travel on the Canadian tour train when she found out her seat was in the floor. I, for some reason, was never invited along-- not that I'm complaining. (These "events", I have learned through experience, are usually much more entertaining when observing them from outside the event.) Birdie was so excited! Having her favorite aunt, Princess, Princess's stuffed dog, and her own stuffed pet along for the trip was the perfect entourage.
The train loaded to cries of "All aboarrrrrd!" from Birdie. Once everyone boarded the Nova Scotia Express (which was nothing more than a blanket in my hallway), Birdie made each passenger put on a poncho or winter jacket "for their warmth and protection in the harsh winter weather." This may be why I wasn't invited along for the ride-- Birdie ran out of winter warmth to give other travelers. By the way, I have to tell you, seeing my sister in a knit, rainbow-striped poncho that is sized to fit my children was a wonderfully entertaining way start to this expedition! She is truly a good sport when it comes to my children's craziness.
The train arrived in Nova Scotia at lunch time, and Birdie informed her tour group that they were in for a wonderful lunch treat. She took her fellow travelers to the "finest Japanese sushi restaurant in Canada. You'll be glad to know it is also a pet-friendly place, so bring your dog along, Sissy!"
So far, so good, right?! Weeeelllll... this is where the train began to derail, if you will pardon the obvious pun.
The whole party sat down on the floor at their low table, in true Japanese style (Birdie loves to attend to the details, as you might have guessed), and prepared for their meal. Birdie asked everyone what they'd like to eat. When it was Princess's turn to place her order, she listed what she would like, and then proceded to order a "dog bone-shaped rawhide for my pup, too." Birdie very quickly let her sister know that the restaurant had "no menu items for pets. You will have to go out to the attached pet store to get your dog something."
Princess reacted to this information very badly, as you might have guessed. She began to wail. "AAAAHHHHHH! I DIDN'T KNOW! YOU SAID THIS IS A PET-FRIENDLY RESTAURANT! AAAHHHH! THAT SHOULD MEAN THAT YOU SERVE FOOD FOR PETS, SISSY!!! I DON'T LIKE THIS PLACE AT ALL!"
It wasn't sounding good in the vacation wonderland that was Nova Scotia. The screaming prompted me to head upstairs to see if my sister needed to be rescued from her nieces.
Since Princess's reaction to the unexpected news wasn't dramatic enough, Birdie decided to poke the hornets nest a bit more by saying "You know, Sissy, there's a room in the basement here where crying children are kept until they SHUT UP." She made this little jab with a smirk on her face, and with obvious glee in her heart. I was just reaching the top of the stairs as she delivered her oh-so-clever barb, and got to witness the rest of the event up close and personal. Princess's face contorted into a mask of pure fury, and I began to worry for the safety of everyone in Nova Scotia. She began to wail again, but this time the words she was shouting sounded more like death threats than disappointment. We were most certainly moments away from a full-blown nuclear meltdown, and I took it upon my self to bring the Nova Scotian travel extravaganza to a halt, before Canada-- and Birdie-- got wiped off the map entirely.
After sending Princess to her room to cool off, I told Birdie to begin packing up Nova Scotia and cancel the rest of her Canadian travel plans. She was completely devastated. "I feel like I flushed my whole life down the toilet planning this once in a lifetime trip, Mom." Dramatic much? "We didn't even make it to the hockey game! Auntie will be so disappointed!" Seriously?! It seems she may have forgotten that her snarkiness was what led to death of her travels-- wonder if I should point that out? "We didn't get to go pterodactyl spotting!" Apparently, cryptozoologists everywhere are aware of Canada's pterodactyl population. "I had also planned to go ice fishing and iceberg hiking, but you have totally destroyed that for me, too. I hope you enjoy crushing the dreams of your children, because that's what you're doing!"
That's me-- using discipline and parental power to crush the dreams of my children and children everywhere, while wearing a smile on my face. Holy Cheesus, Birdie! Sometimes it is really hard to act serious and authoritative while dealing with my children.