Wednesday, August 29, 2012

How NOT to Start Your Family Vacation

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1. Forget your luggage.  Tony got home late on Thursday – we had planned to load up and get out of town around 4, but he couldn’t get out of the office until 5:45.  Hungry, tired, and all packed except for our suitcase, which was sitting on the floor of our bedroom waiting for Tony to get home, change, and check to make sure he had all he wanted in it before lugging it downstairs to the truck, I was focused on the kids and keeping them from killing each other or me.  Tony packed everything else into the bed of the truck and I assumed that included our suitcase, but it did not.  Woe.


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We didn’t figure it out until we got to my parents’ house around 11:30 pm.  Tony started trucking stuff in as I changed Jamie’s diaper and then he stopped, looked at me, and asked, “where’s our suitcase?”  My stomach did that droppy thing where you just know, without knowing for sure, that something has gone to shit.  And sure enough, no suitcase.  No clean clothes for me, no pajamas or glasses or toothbrush.  I’ll admit that I was upset.  Very upset. 


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My mom did our laundry and I borrowed some shorts and a shirt from her to sleep in.  I squinted around the next morning until I felt awake enough to put my contacts in.  I wore the same clothes two days in a row, but since I had gone many hundreds of miles to a new destination, I’m pretty sure no one noticed.  Sure, they weren’t beach clothes, but we got by.


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And, fortunately for us, I knew someone who was headed to the kite festival Friday night, so I hitched a ride for our luggage with them.  Tony met them and grabbed our suitcase, on a dark and foggy road near midnight, 24 hours after we figured out it was missing.


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2. Forget to pack pants for your child(ren).  I think the men in my family (ho! That’s everyone but me!) missed the “packing” gene.  Charles, if given the choice, would pack only books for every trip.  PJs?  Toothbrush?  Underwear?  Unnecessary.  This is why, at three years old, he needs help packing.  Unfortunately, between Tony and Charles packing his small Lightning McQueen suitcase for the weekend, no pants or shorts were added to the bag.  Charles wore pajamas until our luggage could be delivered.  I’m doing all the packing, including staging of suitcases by the car, from now on.


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3. Get a migraine.  Why did I get a migraine?  Well, I spent the whole ride down - six hours - in the back seat so that the dog could have the bench seat in the front of the truck to stretch out (the DOG.  Oh my God, I am ridiculous.  He rode in the back seat on the way home).  The truck has a really stiff suspension.  I don’t get enough sleep.  I ate all sorts of junk at the kite festival on Friday, including an entire maple-drenched elephant ear BY MYSELF.  Because Tony and Charles, the HEATHENS, didn’t understand that MAPLE IS THE ONLY FLAVOR and so they got strawberry jam or some junk and then I had no one to share with so I ATE IT ALL. 


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And also, how horrible is this, I was expecting my period and I routinely get a migraine the day before my period.  Usually, it isn’t so bad that I spend the day in bed, but this time I did.  I holed up in bed all day Saturday, barely able to move, unable to eat.  It’s a cruel twist of hormones that by mid-day Saturday I was begging for the discomfort and inconvenience of bleeding for five days just to deliver me from the agony of my brains trying to explode out my eyes. 


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4. Wean your baby. Waaaaaah!  Oh, it was time.  Jamie is 14 months old.  But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t bittersweet, that it isn’t sad that this last, exclusive bond between us in now broken.  And a vacation, a departure from our routine (look at us!  Everyone still up at 9:30 pm watching The Muppets!  This would never fly at home!) was the perfect time to do it.  Jamie clearly has no issue at this point… it is only my lingering sadness.


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The trip wasn’t a total waste, of course, it just started out pretty rocky.  We had a good Friday.  The boys enjoyed themselves Saturday without me.  Sunday it rained, but no matter.  It does that sometimes in Coastal Washington.  Monday I ran 5 miles and went for a bike ride with my dad and went to the beach with the dogs and Tuesday I got to see an old friend (she’s not old, but our friendship is) on the way home and it all just turned out fine. 


But I don’t recommend doing it that way.

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