What Our "Vacation" Was Really Like

EK4A8341
EK4A8341

Recently, I sipped tea with my sister-in-law at that authentic-Eastern-in-the-midst-of-urban tea house in downtown Portland, Dobra Tea. We came to the conclusion that

Boredom is hard to come by, and is valuable. There are too many opportunities to be occupied and distracted. Like facebook.

She also said, "Facebook is full of pictures of people's kids...and people's vacations...and people's vacations with their kids..." But I assured her, if you'd ever been on vacation with kids, it's nothing to brag about.

I see tons of vacation with kids photos. And I share them, too. From the photos in this post, it looks like it was even fun! But this is how our vacation to North Conway, NH REALLY went. It was full of wins and losses. Net sum? You be the judge.

Day 1: Everything is going pretty well - sunny day, beautiful light. We stop halfway for lunch. It started out well, but ended in negotiation.

Parenting. It's how you go from all-homemade organic baby food to "Just two more French fries and you can have a bite of pudding."
Parenting. It's how you go from all-homemade organic baby food to "Just two more French fries and you can have a bite of pudding."

Husband promised I could pull over for a good photo opportunity as many times as I liked, but as soon as I did, everyone starts whining, Baby gets a nosebleed, and Toddler suddenly realizes he's without gloves. But the day ended so well at the fun, warm indoor waterpark at the hotel, except that I was going down a waterslide holding the baby and suddenly realized I had to choose between keeping her face out of the water and landing funny on my leg. So I chose Damage Leg. Ow.

Day 2: At the children's museum, I'm approached in the parking lot by the person in charge of letting everyone know the propane tank didn't get filled, so we couldn't go in because it was cold and stinky. Which was just as well, because I was limping anyway. We instead played outside (in 20-degree weather...it was short), had a spontaneous cupcake, and visited the weather museum, where Baby bit another baby's super-chunky cheek and dismantled the museum store's earring display, but was also really affectionate and loving to me. Later that night, the 1-yo woke up 4 times vomiting or trying to, with long, piercing screams after each time (poor baby had never been sick before). If you have to clean that up, it's not bad to have a hotel maid as your backup. But still. Here are the resulting photos from that day. (On facebook, it'd look fun, right?)

Sooo....hotel breakfast.
Sooo....hotel breakfast.
EK4A8468
EK4A8468
Jumping for joy for cupcakes! This place actually won Cupcake Wars on TV - pretty sweet, huh?
Jumping for joy for cupcakes! This place actually won Cupcake Wars on TV - pretty sweet, huh?
Gracy. Say Cupcake face. "Cuffcay fafe?"
Gracy. Say Cupcake face. "Cuffcay fafe?"
Hang on. I gotta change into Superman.
Hang on. I gotta change into Superman.

Day 3: We went to a covered bridge and the children's museum. Awesome day! I'm exhausted, though, from the sick night, my leg still hurts, and by 1 pm at the McDonald's, I can barely keep my eyelids open. Meanwhile, Husband is off scaling a 400-500 foot multi-pitch ice climb. The kids and I napped the rest of the day until dinnertime, when we visited an Irish pub. Upon arrival, Toddler moons everyone there without warning. Hands down, though, best food I've had in a year. We end the day with another trip to the waterpark, and no one can stay awake long enough to shower by the time we get back. Here's what facebook would see:

She's probably leaving me in search of chocolate. Or grandma.
She's probably leaving me in search of chocolate. Or grandma.
It's not all about the kids ALL the time. :) Isn't he sweet?
It's not all about the kids ALL the time. :) Isn't he sweet?
I take my camera everywhere. Yes, even to the McDonald's. There were these cool ski lift things! Well, I thought they were cool until Toddler discovered we couldn't fit Baby's high chair in them...
I take my camera everywhere. Yes, even to the McDonald's. There were these cool ski lift things! Well, I thought they were cool until Toddler discovered we couldn't fit Baby's high chair in them...
WAS THAT A BRAN MUFFIN?!
WAS THAT A BRAN MUFFIN?!

Day 4: 7 am. Husband is already gone ice climbing for the day. I wake up to the sound of Baby AND Toddler having diarrhea in their beds. After giving them a calm, loving bath and isolating their clothes, before I can clean myself up, Baby has already run into the next room and made another round. I only realize this after picking her up, so now we both need a bath (and she shampooed me with the poop when I picked her up, so I had to wash my hair). Only three hours later, we head down for hotel breakfast. I must have looked frazzled because a nice mom of elementary-aged kids offered to help. She came to our room and read to them while I packed the room while also having a coughing fit (oh yes! Toddler and I also got a cold). Then we went to the lobby to wait for a rolling dolly cart thing, during which time the kids managed to climb every piece of furniture, pull the phones off the table, climb into the breakfast room high chairs, pull cookies out of the hotel store display, and scatter postcards all over the floor. It's not too bad, but we were just down there sooo long I could only control them so well for so long. Finally, someone had mercy on me and gave me his cart, saying, "I'll make my kids carry their own stuff." (Go dad!) During the weekend, we'd been staying on a party floor, what appeared to be a family reunion of a very, very, very large family. I saw 13 kids bounce out of one room to go to the pool. But the advantage of this was the grandmothers who saw me struggling and volunteered their sons to help. Awesome. Finally, at 11:30 am, we were ready to leave (that only took 4 1/2 hours!). The heartening display of help at the Hampton Inn was what got me through the longest car trip of my life...think stark winter scenes with calming acoustic children's music and my hopeful, encouraging voice saying, "Oooh, look, ice fishing huts!" punctuated by "AHHHHHHH NO MIIIINE!" and "Ut-oh Mommy! Help!" as we drove and stopped and cleaned up diarrhea all the way home, 2 hours away. When I arrived home, snow had fallen, so I couldn't get the car in the driveway. I don't want to leave the house until spring!

After all, boredom is hard to come by.