Abby pressed a kiss into the deliciously chubby folds of her daughter's neck and slipped her into the high chair at the table. She busied herself fastening the safety harness and scattered a few Cheerios onto the tray as she glanced over the papers Luka was poring over. He had maps and an atlas, his cell phone, a calculator and a legal pad with pages of notations.
"What are you doing?" she asked as she bent a little closer to see what he was writing.
"I'm planning our summer vacation," he said as he slipped an arm over the pad he had been writing on.
"Really?" she asked and sat in the chair across from him. "And where are we going?"
"Uh...can it be a surprise?" He tried a smile. Abby frowned and glanced at Lauren, who was concentrating on picking up a cereal bit and putting it in her mouth.
"You like my surprises," Luka whined playfully. Abby glanced at the maps suspiciously.
"Another road trip?" she asked. Luka shook his head.
"Not really. I am making reservations at a state park in Michigan," he said.
"Uh huh. Wisconsin was closer but I thought we needed a Great Lake between us to keep your mother away." Abby chuckled.
"Good point. And we are staying in a...?" Luka grinned wider.
"A tent!" Abby's face fell slightly.
"A tent...with a baby? An eleven month old baby?"
"Oh, she'll be fine," Luka grinned and tweaked his daughter's button nose. "We'll just keep her warm and dry...and fed." He popped a Cheerio into his mouth and leaned forward so Lauren could add another one to his lips. She chortled and clapped her hands as Luka made a funny face and ate the cereal. Abby grinned as she watched them. They were quite a pair...a mutual adoration society. She had pulled Lauren's long hair into a pony tail top knot with a strawberry clip. Luka reached out to play with the silky, straight hair and pressed a kiss to his daughter's cheek.
"What about bugs...and snakes?" Abby shivered.
"There are no snakes in state parks," he scoffed. "They...uh... put...uh... special plants around the camp sites to keep them away." Abby regarded him suspiciously and then shrugged.
"Okay," she said. "I did have a lot of fun on the last road trip so I will keep an open mind about this one." She stood up and patted Lauren's head as she walked by and kissed Luka.
"She's ready and I need a shower before we go into work," she said. "Can you pack her diaper bag for the daycare center?" Luka nodded and began stacking his vacation materials into a pile as Abby headed up the stairs. He leaned over and winked his eye at Lauren. She leaned closer and batted her long dark lashes. 'Lukalashes', Abby called them. He suppressed a grin.
"What she doesn't know, won't hurt her," he whispered to her.
"I heard that!" Abby called from the stairs. Luka grimaced and grinned.