Posted by Gina Perkins, Pre-School Mommie | Posted in Gina Perkins, The Preschool Mommy | Posted on 21-08-2012
It seems like we just got back from our spontaneous trip to Disneyland – but that was already two weeks ago. Time flies, huh? Anyhow, seems as though we just unpacked our suitcases, and decided to do it all over again. Not the Disneyland part – but the weekend away part.
One of our best friends turned 40 on Friday, and his amazing wife arranged for a weekend-long surprise party for him at the Seascape Resort in Aptos. We were lucky enough to be included on the guest list amongst family and other close friends. We were really thrilled about a beach getaway, especially one so close to home. I mean, if we could survive a 10 hour road trip home from Anaheim – surely a jaunt to Santa Cruz would be a piece of cake.
But, here’s the thing. Traveling with kids is never a piece of cake – in fact, it’s more like a root canal from eating too much cake. It’s the packing….clothes, diapers, food, toys, medicine (just in case), sunscreen, blankets, strollers, car-seats, etc. that gets you. It’s imagining a quick getaway, and then being faced with hours of organizing the car to ensure it all fits, that sucks the life right out of you. And then there’s the “My belly hurts” from the back seat, peppered with the “Are we there yet’s?” along with baby cries (wails) along the way that really enrich the experience. Needless to say, nothing is quite as sweet as reaching your final destination when kids are in tow.
When we checked into our hotel and unpacked the car, both my husband and I breathed a huge sigh of relief as DJ jumped from bed to bed and Bitzy rolled around on the couch. Our first night there was great – until bedtime of course. I spent the night listening to my husband snore while I kept a watchful eye on DJ, who almost rolled out of her bed a dozen times. When the clock struck morning, I was already counting down the hours till nap-time.
And then, when the clock struck nap-time, DJ completely revolted (I can only hope she carries this much conviction into her future – I’m sure it will serve her well, when it’s not directly affecting me). I laid down in between her and Bitzy (who fell right to sleep), and tried ever so sweetly to calm her down. I stroked DJ’s hair, gently tickled her face, rubbed her back, covered the flashing clock with my husband’s t-shirt, played white noise from my iPhone, sang to her, left her alone completely – ignoring her wiggling body and made-up songs. Nothing was working. Hours were passing.
I started to get mad. I was losing patience very quickly. Not only was I exhausted, but I was super stressed out anticipating her future meltdown – likely to occur as we reconnected with the broader group and sat down for dinner. With each movement of her overtired body, my skin crawled more. I felt the tears surfacing and I felt the words climbing up my throat, “FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, GO TO SLEEP!” Nothing like a calm mother to evoke a deep sense of serenity, right? My husband, who was wisely keeping quiet, sat up quickly, and looking like a deer in headlights. He glared at me, and I knew I had lost it. My cool, that is. I handed Bitzy over to him and marched toward the bathroom. I said “I’m going to take a shower. I HAVE to have some time alone.” I know that he would’ve said it if I didn’t first.
I slammed the bathroom door and stripped out of my clothes. The tears began to well up inside, and in a split second, I realized that my kids were going to think of their Mom acting like a complete lunatic on their first beach getaway. That made my tears fall even heavier. In an instant, I knew I had to pull it together.
I opened up the bathroom door, peered right at DJ and asked, “Who wants to go swimming?” My husband looked suspicious of my quick change of heart, but DJ jumped with joy! The four of us quickly got suited up and played in the pool for an hour before meeting up with our friends. While the water play definitely compounded our exhaustion, it was a memory that we’ll never forget – Bitzy’s first time in a pool. The laughter from both of our kids was well worth the 9:00pm meltdown later that evening.
That’s what vacation is all about, and what memories are made of….insane Moms who begrudgingly lead their families down the path of least resistance.