Wow. Dare I say it? The end of summer is fast approaching. I remember fondly looking forward to our August vacation week at a Lake house in NH, but thinking it would mean the beginning of the end of summer. The good news is I now have enough material for my first Parenting Guidebook called: "Never Ever take your children, husband, parents or in-laws with you on vacation."
Let's start with the ride up...we were three cars following each other and me, hubs and Maddy were the lead car. My mother was driving the second car because my Dad had fever, chills, runs (and why was he even going you wonder? I wondered the same, but he was fine later). Speed limit was 65, we were barely doing 60 in the right lane and my mother was about 100 miles behind us. Rolly looks at me and says, "Ahhh, I can't do this the whole way." No worries hubby, only moments later we were doing 5 mph in bumper to bumper traffic on 95. I found this quite annoying, as I thought I was the only one headed North for vacation this week. There were two cars using GPS (each GPS leading us a different way) and we all had printed directions from mapquest that brought us to the wrong place. There is a lot to be said for the old-fashioned way. Note to self: next time ask for directions from the owner of the damn place OR, how's this idea - try a MAP ! (wait, will there BE a next time!??!)
As we got settled in, everyone quickly assumed their "roles" for the week:
My Mom: Nervous Nelly (aka: the slowest driver on this side of the Mississippi)
Nervous Nelly reported for breakfast the first morning and told us that she couldn't sleep the night before because there was a noise in her room. A noise she couldn't quite figure out, but she thought perhaps it was a spider spinning it's web. You know those noisy web spinners keeping everyone up in the woods at night. Then THAT night she couldn't go to sleep because we had a fire in the fire pit. She waited until every last ember faded out. She wanted to float in the raft in the lake but was worried she'd float away (on a lake as still as a mirror). And what? We'd all just sit there and and wave good-bye. Around dinner time on the last night at the house my mother asked me if we had the little side rail on the twin bed Ava was sleeping in. My friends and I all laughed at this, "WHAT!?!?!? She's SIX!!! She hasn't had that side bar thing in at least three years!!! She's FINE!" Don't you know -- at about 2 in the morning I heard THUMP and then crying....Ava fell out of the bed. Lesson learned: Mom is always right.
Mother In Law (MIL): The Planner
The planner started making lists of what we needed to bring to the lake house about 6 months ago. I think I was brushing snow off my car in January and she was asking me how many rolls of paper towels we should bring with us for our August vacation. Last time I checked we had 4 written lists going....
1)what we needed to bring
2)what supplies she had already that she was bringing
3) what we would buy when we got there
4) and questions to ask my poor friend who rents this place every year and has been badgered with questions ever since (thanks Jenn!)
We also had 2 mental lists going which we had continuous conversations about....how we would pack the cars AND most importantly -- what we were going to eat on which nights. The end result: thanks to the planner, we had EVERYTHING we needed right down to jewelry cleaner. But we learned that for some things you just have to "go with the flow" as they say. I don't think there was one night that we ate what/when/where we originally thought we'd eat but it all worked out.
Maddy: the all-nighter
This will be chapter one of my parenting guidebook. Never take your two year old somewhere for a week and think they will nap, sleep through the night or sleep at all for that matter. She would not lay down and go to sleep and kept saying, "No like it, no like it." We had to drive in the car for naps and rock her to sleep in her carriage at night and in the wee hours of the morning on the first night she climbed out of her pack n'play and got wedged between the pack n'play and the bed. So the rest of the week she slept in bed with someone. The night my mother-in-law slept with her, one of my friends and I were out in the living room on the sleep sofa. We were awoken by Maddy around 2 and she was up until about 4:30 talking, laughing, singing at the top of her lungs, to the point you had to wonder if she was smoking crack in there. She sang Twinkle Twinkle, Happy Birthday, she growled like a tiger, at one point she told my MIL, "See you wayter, I go Mahket Bahket (market basket)." I thought for sure she would never sleep again even when we got home, but so far so good with that. Oh, and let's not forget to mention the fact that instead of spending Tuesday at Story Land....we spent it at Wolfeboro Pediatrics and then Rite Aid because Madelyn (who has not had an ear infection in 18 months) got an ear infection.
My Dad: The Army Cook
This name fits him so perfectly. He was in the army. He always cooks as if he were feeding an army. And he acts like a drill Sargent around the grill. God forbid anyone should ask how many burgers or hot dogs to cook, because although we are trying not to be wasteful of food he finds this question very insulting, as if we were bring stingy with the meat. One day we were all sitting at the table, we had already finished eating lunch, and he was at the grill with 12 hot dogs and 7 burgers cooking at 600 degrees (if you turn the gas down he will say something grouchy and sarcastic like, "Did you want to eat this burger sometime in the next 6 to 8 weeks?") Then we wrap it all up only to be thrown away days later (although, he will eat a reheated burger, I have to give him credit). The poor starving children in Ethiopia.
You know, I could go on and on about the people on this trip (except for me of course, I'm a pleasure to vacation with!) ;) But the truth is, we had a great time and a lot of memories to last a lifetime. I am so grateful my children have both sets of grandparents who are young and active and able to vacation with us. So I'll have to change the title of my book after all.