I went on down to my sister's to head out with her, my brother-in-law, the nieces, and Dad to catch a game at Wrigley. The Cubs-Mets game was hard to watch with the girls. Grace was tempermental and uncomfortable. Haley couldn't stand the noise and would plug her ears and cower with every cheer. But as time went on, Haley actually got into it, clapping and yelling, "Go Cubbies!" as though she had any idea what was going on, so her cute avoidance became her even cuter enthusiasm.
After a rain delay, we only lasted another inning before Grace was miserable enough for us all to call it a game. We headed back home, listening to the rest of the loss on the radio after the girls fell asleep to their on-board "Dora the Explorer" video. Leslie, who in her professional life has been a most ferocious advocate for children in the foster system in Illinois, then led a really interesting and at-times horrifying discussion on the state of children's affairs today, particularly problems with kids and sexual exploitation on the internet. Grim stuff. But I think it's her expertise in areas like that that make her so extraordinarily positive and pro-active in the raising of her own children.
I stuck around overnight, hanging with Dad for some of the evening until he had to leave, and giving the married couple a rare night out to dinner and a movie together. Grace was still tempermental enough to pout at Mommy's going and so went to bed before Leslie left, while Haley had warmed up more to me than I'd ever seen her before, calling out to me to look at whatever she was looking at or to play with whatever caught her fancy for the rest of the evening. Hearing her wee voice say "UN-cle MIKE?" was quality entertainment the whole evening. I even got her put down without any crying: just a trembled lip after a story and lullaby, and a slow wave of her fingertips as I said goodnight.
In the morning she was possessed by all the demons of childhood.
Now Haley was unwilling to speak or even look at me without screaming and crying. I snuck out during the tail end of her second or third tantrum, saying goodbye to everyone, and leaving Leslie looking forward to another day of patience. Back here the un-air-conditioned Ledge is still nasty as midnight approaches, so I'm going to go sit squarely in front of the fan. Raynor Library isn't open 24/7 during the summer term, so I'm slightly tempted to go camp out in the computer building for the night. I wonder if security would wake me up if I'm asleep with a book on my chest? I'm trying to get diurnal so that I'm not quite so awfully jetlagged by Wednesday's flight to Geneva.