Yesterday was my last day of vacation staycation off. I just don’t know what to call it. It’s probably no secret that a vacation with two kids 3 and under is hardly restful, so while calling it a vacation is wrong, even the “-cation” part of staycation just rubs me the wrong way. Here are some handy reminders that I may need to review when planning our next trip to ensure sanity next time around:
- If at all possible, avoid making the first day of your time off a 19 hour day of packing, travel with the two kids 3 & under, trying to coax the two kids to sleep in unfamiliar beds and surroundings, and picking up all members of the party.
- When hiking, make sure none of the children goes too far ahead, potentially selecting the wrong trailhead. You know, that one that goes 600 miles to the Mexican border? Avoid that happening.
- Keep in mind that all sightseeing road trips are for everyone else. You will be spending every stop feeding a child, calming a child, or helping a child use the bathroom.
- But fear not! You will have plenty of time to sightsee blue skies and trees from inside while you man your station at the kitchen sink, where you will be stranded doing dishes for 9 people, 4 of whom graze throughout the day, requiring an endless supply of clean dishes.
- Be sure and eat out as much as possible at restaurants you’ve been dying to try. Because restaurants are tons of fun with kids 3 & under, am I right?! You may not get to eat the food you ordered your Better Half selects for you (because you’re not given the chance to read a menu nor are you around when orders are taken) until hours later but you’ll be sure to enjoy the ambiance of the potties, on account of the parade of children who decide one after another, but never simultaneously, that a trip to the potty is necessary.
- Bring a bottomless supply of coffee because you will get no naps. None.
- And/Or bring benadryl for the children.
- And/Or BYOB. So you can doctor up your coffee so you can prevent yourself from becoming a total witch to your family. You won’t be going anywhere most days anyway.
- The day your time off ends, you will get to go to bed at 6:00 p.m., though and sleep a glorious 11 hours. And it will not be enough.
As I mentioned a couple of days ago, every year I reach my breaking point. When I am just completely out of patience with the heat. By mid to late September every year I find myself thinking “Where in the HELL has summer gone?” as darkness falls earlier every day. But then I quickly realize “Oh wait. It was here.” It’s just that what I think of as summer – a season designed to spend as much time outdoors as possible – stopped by here way back in February or March. Then it just gets too hot to leave the air conditioning.
But finally, things have turned. (Shhhh! I don’t want the sun to hear me and plot its final revenge of the year). This week the highs are below 100 for the first time in months.
Sh*t. I think it did hear me, because as I looked up the forecast to confirm that’s still the case, the weekend highs are over 100, but just barely, so I’m still going to tentatively mark this one in the win column.
Still. Last night, we went for the first of many nightly walks (now that it’s not blisteringly hot), we found that EVERYONE has been going stircrazy with staying indoors. Normally, even once it gets dark, I’ll see AT MOST 2 other people out & about at the park – usually walking their dog quickly before retreating back indoors. But last night, we saw no fewer than 38 people at our humble little neighborhood park. THIRTY EIGHT. A soccer game, a father teaching his son to throw a football, a family throwing a frisbee around, a family grilling some burgers, little ones playing on the playground equipment, and people just out having a nice night. In other words: all the activities I associate with summer, and always will, despite where I happen to live now, where the summer months are associated only with alternating between complaining about the heat and making a game of who can stay indoors more or log more hours floating around endlessly in a pool.
So if you’re looking for me, Baby & I will be in the park. Or out on a walk. Or off on a bike ride. Anything we can do to be outdoors until next summer arrives. Which, I expect to be around next February.
Baby & I went for our nightly walk around the ‘hood last night and, when we got to the park about 7:00, we stopped for a few minutes to watch a girls’ soccer team practice.
This morning, we just got back from our morning walk around the ‘hood and found the exact same soccer team practicing. 13 hours+ later. Same uniforms, same mom cars, same coaches. Wow that is one long practice!
I used to spend my lunch hour going for walks. I no longer am afforded that luxury because, unless I want to stay 10 hours a day (and I don’t!), I gotta use all my break time for pumping. But today I had to run across campus for something, and it is a spectacularly beautiful day. It may be February elsewhere, but right now it’s a blissful 75 degrees and sunny here. That’s not what I’m here to talk about, though. I would’ve had to forge across campus even if it were cloudy and a brisk 65. In my errand, I walked past the office building across the street and what I saw stopped me dead in my tracks.
They have windows.
It is absolutely criminal that any of us should have to be inside on a day like today anyway. Especially given that our faces will be melting under the death star very soon. But an office with windows that OPEN?! I have never even conceived of such an enviable fringe benefit before that moment. I mean, anyone can have a window in their office cube. I have even had a window in my office before. Sure, it looked out on a dingy poorly-lit hallway, but still. But a window that functions?
Mind. blown. Then I thought, um, hello? This is not novel. The only thing that made this moment noteworthy whatsoever is that I’m unfortunate enough to work in an environment controlled entirely by someone else. Redoubling my efforts to work on my own business plan.
I am exhausted. Despite baby sleeping longer and longer at night, I am about to face plant into my keyboard. Baby is super alert during the day, which is not necessarily new or tiring in and of itself, but she also requires something NEW. Every. 10. Minutes. That toy? I’ve played with it before. That cute baby in the mirror? What, like I’ve never seen my reflection before? That book? I’ve CHEWED IT ALREADY. WHAT ELSE YOU GOT?
One of the few activities that distracts her from the same old, same old is going for a walk. Maybe it’s because a walk is different every time. Even though I have established markers to hit – the school, the park, the other park, the fancy ‘hood with the horses & ostriches – I just take whatever street suits me, going whichever way something catches my eye as long as it advances us towards one of the markers. Maybe she, too, notes something different every time we go around the neighborhood even if the highlights are usually the same. The good news is it buys me some time – whatever time is spent walking is time I don’t have to be coming up with some new game, activity, or destination. So we go for walk after walk on the weekends, especially. Certainly it could be worse. It’s beautiful outside. Not too hot, not too cold, and it’s nice to get some fresh air & exercise. Besides, we gotta compress our enjoyment of the outdoors while we can – before long I’ll be bitching about how it’s too goddamned hot to put on pants.
The bad news is it requires me to be both awake and moving. Don’t think I haven’t questioned at least one of those requirements – somehow strapping her stroller to the treadmill and turning it on while I go take a nap, but I think that kind of “walk” wouldn’t have nearly the same effect on her. So til I figure out a way around the whole awake AND moving at the same time thing means that I am very, very tired.
Is it wrong that what bothers me about what I found on my morning walk is the poor grammar?