Wednesday, August 12, 2009

We went on vacation! To Michigan! And to say I was terrified that going on vacation would disrupt the perfect schedule we'd managed to carve out with our kids would be an understatement. I think I've emphasized in this blog how much I like my sleep, my sweet, sweet uninterrupted sleep. I'm one of those people who needs something more in the neighborhood of nine hours a night to feel refreshed and sprightly. Any less, and I'm a baggy eyed, droopy faced gollum. So the fact that a mere seven months after Sam's birth found us with two children who went to bed by 7 p.m. and slept at least eleven solid hours, leaving me free to while away the evening on facebook and turn in for the night without fear of being awoken...well, it was wonderful.

Every parent knows that vacations ruin everything. You'd think we were talking about some kind of horrid forced exodus or something when parents talk, in gloomy, foreboding tones, about how they're preparing for their upcoming family trip. "Well," we'll say, "we're going to pack the white noise machine, and the rotary fan, you know, just in case, and the security blanket and stuffed bear. And we thought we'd bring the sheets from his bed at home, and probably an extra pair of curtains for the window in her room." *anguished sigh* "We just hope it won't disrupt things too much."

"But...are you looking forward to your trip to Barbados?"

*crickets chirp*

The thought of enjoying a vacation doesn't really occur to parents of small children. The hope is for the least impact, the most minimal damage to the tentative balance parents have managed to eke out. And, perhaps, a few tropical drinks beachside.

But the thing is, we actually did enjoy our vacation! I mean, yes, it was stressful at times. Flying with two children under the age of four is not fun and relaxing. But they were troopers. In fact, they were troopers the whole trip. They shared a room for the first time in their short lives, and it went...okay. They woke each other up a couple of times, and both got up way too early, but we managed. Plus, the one thing I forget about vacationing with family/at the home of family members is that your family is there. That means people will be waiting, like a fleet of benchwarmers, to be called into the game, handed a baby or toddler and sent out into left field. I think that metaphor got confusing. What I mean is, I barely saw my daughter all week. She was a tow-headed blur running down the hall, chasing the family dog, followed closely by a grandparent or aunt or uncle. And my son spent a lot of time getting his ample thighs massaged by various family members, who were also only too eager to help support the further growth of those thighs by plying him with pureed Gerber goodness while I relaxed in the hammock. I had the use of both of my arms this past week for most of the time. I've gotten so used to doing things one-handed, to picking up dropped items with my toes and opening jars with my knees (not really) that I hardly knew what to do with my spare hand. Mostly I used it to hold a beer.

As you can probably tell from the many pictures I posted to flickr, we were kept busy with activities, more busy than my poor home-bound children are used to. Charlotte has been quite let down since we've gotten back. "What will be in the morning?" she asks plaintively every night. And instead of promises of the beach or a boat ride or a trip to the orchard I have to say "You get to help mama sort laundry!" It's a hard sell.

So we're back, and I'm in GTA (graduate teaching assistant) training this week, and then next week classes start. And I can hardly believe it, but I'm really excited. And at the end of the month, Charlotte starts preschool. And then before we know it, Sam will be coming home with his first paycheck or something.

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