We went on a family vacation for the long weekend. “It will be great to be away from work and the dog and the house for awhile and just hang out the three of us together,” we had said before the trip. We envisioned splashing together in the pool, fancy dinners out and relaxation. How naïve.
Let me preface this all by saying this: parenting is a joy (sometimes). There is nothing like the love between a parent and a child. Watching a child grow up is amazing. Don’t let what I’m about to say counteract all the lovely things I’ve said about Brandon and parenting in the past – that was all true, too. OK, now that all the pleasant mommisms are out of the way, let me get on with my story.
A vacation with a 15-month-old is not a vacation. If you have an infant and want a vacation, get a sitter. Brandon is mostly a good kid. But he’s rambunctious and exploratory and destructive all the time. Getting a hotel in the past has been a nice get-away. But with a baby, you have to pack up everything and the kitchen sink. Then, the room is not big enough. And it’s not baby proofed. He gets into the mini fridge constantly. So you take him out of the hotel – then he gets sick of being in the car. He won’t eat at places he doesn’t like and he wriggles out of his high chair first, then my arms.
There is no rest, no relaxation. He whines, and then I whine. We are bad for each other. Toxic, at times. I try to pacify him and take him to the pool. The water is freezing. He’s afraid of his blow-up inner tube. So I turn on TV for him. They don’t have Sprout. So we take him down to the lobby. He cries in the elevator. He doesn’t like new things. He is a creature of habit. At least he liked the water fountain.
We went to an outlet mall which is my favorite part about Kansas City. Brandon drinks a whole sippy cup of apple juice and then pees through his diaper, through his outfit, and then through my shirt. We buy new clothes to change into. We wait in line in a two-stall bathroom, smelling up the joint the way only urine can. Nobody says anything (to our faces), and don’t even seem to notice when we come out in new clothes. Ignorance is bliss.
There are good times, of course, too. I’m just so cranky that I don’t realize they were good until they’re over. So now that I’m back home I can look through my pictures and smile. Brandon loved that duck he saw at the 4th of July parade. He watched Baby Einstein on the portable DVD player with dad at the hotel. He got to see four of his cousins. He learned from dad how to make a long mustache with a straw. Like I said before, parenting is a joy (sometimes).
You don’t see pictures of bad times in a photo album. But it’s getting through those hard times that get you from one happy photo to the next. ~ “Just Married” movie