Not So Lazy Days
The Snoozing Mama. That’s what my husband and bachelor brother have taken to calling me lately because I haven’t posted in awhile. But I needed a break. I needed to unplug and spend some quality summer time with my kids that would put me at the playground and the beach instead of the office and the computer screen.
That was the theory anyway. The reality, of course, is somewhat different.
You see my husband has the privilege of managing the turfgrass at a nearby golf facility. (Translation: he grows really nice—like scientifically nice—grass for those who are golf obsessed.)
As a result, I am something of a seasonal single mom. Because Matt cannot stray far from those needy green blades, I pack up the two toddlers myself, convinced that dragging them to an unfamiliar surround will be relaxing for all of us. I am determined to savor the blessed-yet-numbered days of summer.
The first day of my vacation goes a little something like this:
- Out of bed at 5 a.m. (hmm…just like a work day) to finish laundry.
- Drop kids at daycare for a few hours and zip home to pack and run errands.
- Pack bag for Tessa: diapers, wipes, shoes, socks, pants, shirts, shorts, t-shirts, and a sweatshirt because you just never know about the weather.
- Pack bag for Ethan: repeat above and don’t forget “Lovey,” “Grammy blanket,” favorite Thomas trains and wooden track with 18 pieces, Play-Doh, water table, and the floating penguin that goes with it.
- Pack bag for me: whatever fits and happens to be clean and maybe some workout clothes for running because if I pack them I’ll force myself to use them, right? (Wrong. But I do it anyway.)
- Load 2 pack ’n plays, 2 strollers, 3 bags, toys, Jose Cuervo, Cointreau, and Margarita mix (this is vacation after all) into car.
- Begin pre-vacation errands: return birthday presents that don’t fit; get cash for the week; attempt to get pedicure but realize that I didn’t make an appointment and if I wait I will get stuck in holiday traffic.
- Return home; inhale turkey sandwich with questionable turkey because I didn’t buy new cold cuts that would spoil while we’re away (confident that Matt will survive on diet of Wendy’s and Chinese buffet now that I am not here to veto).
- Pick up kids from daycare directly after lunch with the assumption that they will nap in the car during the hour-plus drive to my parents’ house.
- Drive 10 minutes to highway and merge into bumper-to-bumper holiday traffic. Tessa commence crying because she’s past naptime and can’t fall asleep when we’re not moving. Ethan commence whining because he “wants to get out” and feels the need to inform me—approximately every 30 seconds—that Tessa is crying.
Eventually, we arrive safely at our destination and unload (this time with help!). From there, our summer days are filled with exhausting fun.
Of course, I love the precious moments with the kids—like the mornings when they shout to each other from their respective pack ’n plays (because we’re all in one room) in an attempt to wake me up (not so precious is the fact that they refuse to sleep later than 6 a.m.).
But I experience the “what was I thinking” moments as well. Like the beach outing, for example. While a million other kids splash and romp in surf and sand, my Princess Tessa won’t leave my lap because she doesn’t like the way the sand feels on her toes, and my Sir Ethan is “all done” because it’s hot and he doesn’t like the ocean. Excellent.
When I finally pull back into the driveway of home-sweet-home at the end of the week, I unload the kids and the car and collapse on the couch while the two of them gleefully rush their abandoned toys and trash the living room.
A few hours later, Matt returns from work and I tell him I need to go upstairs and relax for just a minute…a minute that turns into a 2.5-hour nap for a mama in desperate need of a serious snoozing.
Now that’s vacation.