In any event, we continued to R.'s sister's house in a nearby town for dinner and chatting with the substantial fraction of the crowd which arrived on Wednesday. The kids did sleep at the hotel (which was nice, if not tremendously conveniently located for our purposes), which was wonderful. Breakfast was a little dodgy and done in stages because for once, A. slept in until 8 a.m.
We were early arrivals back at R.'s sister's house where I got my breakfast and we continued to fail to successfully feed A. She ate some, but not enough. This was a theme. I'm really regretting that we didn't bring a high chair. R. took T. on a couple walks; we took both kids on a walk; I took T. on a fourth walk. There was a fair amount of scribbling in the scribble pad with the new markers (double sided crayolas; very exciting) and some other recreating. A. had a great deal of fun harassing the dogs (who were very tolerant), playing with a soccer ball, and hiding in the mud room with A Lot of Shoes. Turkey happened with all the fixings (I believe 20 people participated, but I only overheard the count, so I am not reliable.), and very shortly after dinner, T. decided it was Time To Go. He had attempted to leave the hotel at bedtime the night before in an effort to return to home (faux home being unsatisfactory, apparently, or at least not home). We knew T. wanted to go home, because he packed up all of his various items (scribble pad, markers, assorted toys, some clothing, spare shoes) in his bag, asked for help (not verbally) closing it, and then started rolling it out to the van. I stalled him a while by recruiting him to then collect everything else we had, Carlin-routine-style, distributed around the house and getting that out to the van and then I said he had to go in and say bye.
Here's the stunner of the evening: he _did_. He waved at the house, then ran in, found the crowd of relatives, said bye (!!!), waved, then turned around to depart. Despite being utterly flabbergasted (after all, both his parents, B., and a wide variety of professionals have been attempting to get him to exhibit this _exact_ behavior for weeks and we still hadn't seen it in action), I pointed out that he said bye and waved in an effort to catch everyone else up to T.'s warp speed departure routine. I asked him to kiss people bye, and he kissed grandma and aunt A., and that was that. We bid a hasty adieu and returned to the hotel to, continuing the Carlin theme, retrieve the rest of our stuff, check out and drive home.
We started the drive at 6ish, which was dicey, since A. had slept in the van on the drive back to the hotel and while I was loading up the (once again conveniently available) luggage rack. There was some crying. T. slept for a chunk of the ride. We visited some McDonald's drive thrus to get decaf coffees and fries. We changed diapers. Eventually, we returned home, where the once sad and/or crying children (T. was keeping it under control; he _knew_ he was getting what he wanted) were suddenly all woohoo! home! toys! They played briefly, and then went to bed without substantial further complaint.
Must remember to tell people at the school about the bye-wave-etc. thing.