Big! Kid! Vacation!

By Jac

Our Spring break is drawing to a close around here, and we are definitely ready for the routine of school. Particularly my husband (a teacher) who can’t wait to go back to work where he can finally have a break, already. I’m not even kidding.

But we did have a few days of “break” during our Spring Break. We left our tag-team-tiring toddlers with my Mom (THANK YOU, MOM) for two nights and took our “big” kids (G is almost 7 and E is 5 and a half) to stay in a hotel in Vancouver for two nights. It was great.

Here is some of what we did:

Went to the Vancouver Aquarium: Last time we were there, years ago, G was so scared of the 4-D movie because it sprayed water in her face that she screamed until I left the theatre with her. This time, she really did NOT want to stay because of that terrifying memory, but finally, reluctantly, she agreed to sit on my lap, whimpering, with her sweater over her head. And then she was sad because she missed the movie.
Went to Science World: It was crowded. VERY crowded. It is such an amazing place to go when it’s not busy (“Look what happens when I put the ball up there! I can watch it progress through this huge structure! Cool!”) but so annoying when it is busy (“Look what happens when I put the ball up there! Some other kid grabs it, the end.”) Science World Day was redeemed by the fact that Anton hadn’t been there in years, and he couldn’t believe how much better it is now than when he was a kid. It was also redeemed by the hour-long lunch break we took outside in the beautiful sunshine.
– Had a nap during the Omnimax movie about lemurs: Two of us did this. The adult ones.
Swam in the hotel hot tub: We did this several times. The kids didn’t have a regular shower or bath even once.
Ate in restaurants: This was not a “let’s get healthy” vacation. But we made them eat fruit at breakfast, so it’s all good.
– Slept in: The KIDS didn’t sleep in. Don’t be ridiculous. But they watched TV very well.
Listened to our children’s ridiculous stories and conversations: We were not rushed and preoccupied so we could actually focus on the big kids as much as they deserve. MORE, probably.

Our exciting hotel room visitor.

Our exciting hotel room visitor.

More importantly, here are some things we did not do:

Change a poopy diaper: As we were doing our final packing up and the littles had already been dropped off and hugged goodbye, Daddy told the kids to come up with a “Big Kid Vacation” chant. His suggestion was, “No poopy diapers! No poopy diapers!” which shows how excited we felt about a break from this little task. (They eventually settled on “Pizza! Pizza! Pizza!” because that’s what they wanted for dinner.)
Sweep the floor: I usually do this about six times a day. I’m not even exaggerating. On Big Kid Vacation, E dropped her food on the floor basically every meal, but she picked it back up herself, at least. And she never once flung everything to the floor on purpose, just to tell me she was finished.
– Say “WHAT ARE YOU EVEN CRYING ABOUT?”: I’m not saying there was no crying, or whining, or fighting, but at least the perpetrator and the victim could effectively express their feelings with words.
Look for a soother: How much of my life have I spent looking for a lost pacifier?  I don’t even want to know because it would be too depressing. Where do they GO?
Go to bed on time: Some things never change. There still wasn’t enough time to watch all the grown-up TV shows we wanted.
– Laundry. We’re making up for it now, though.
– Say, “Wait a second! You can see that I’m busy with the baby, right? Now is not the time to tell me about this! Just WAIT.” And that, right there, was the whole point of Big Kid Vacation.
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