Should have posted this one on April Fool’s Day because I included a trick at the end!

Posted by admin on April 23rd, 2011 filed in Easter, General, Holidays, Lent, Parenting, Travel, Vacation

Have a happy Easter, the spring holiday of rebirth, renewal, and chocolate!  We dyed some eggs today, and they turned out shimmery and special.  I am, however, too tired to take or post any pictures.  The fun event will just have to live in my memory and in your imagination.

I both won and lost at Lent this year.  I wish that was a play on words, where I could tell you that I won by avoiding all junk food for the whole season and lost by losing like 30 pounds.  But no.  That’s not what happened.  I did successfully quit Coca-Cola, that most delicious of drinks that I was way too dependent upon.  I haven’t had even a sip in more than seven weeks.  The caffeine headaches have stopped.  I plan to never get back to the point of being an every day Coke drinker again.  I’m just too old for that and my body can’t take it.  I will occasionally indulge my Coca-Cola fancy by imbibing the more refined flavors of Mexican Coke.  I think I will be able to limit myself that way.  I did not stay off all junk food for all of Lent, so in that sense, I lost.  I’ve done it before, but not this year.  Even so, I managed to lose 7 pounds.  It’s not a lot, but it’s a start.

Tomorrow afternoon I’m off to Maryland’s Eastern Shore with Bert and the kids.  We’re meeting family and it should be a good time.  The kids seem to be getting over their illnesses and I am working hard to set aside my anxiety.  It’s not easy.  I feel that being a good parent means that I ensure the following things while out with kids or on vacation:

1.  I have to keep them safe.  There are lots of hazards (like the Chesapeake Bay!) and they are in unfamiliar land.  And they are EXCITED!  This one actually isn’t that hard to pull off, but it requires a watchful eye, constantly.

2.  I have to keep everything safe from them.  They are in a new place and they are EXCITED!  We’re going somewhere with a lot of expensive things.  Things that can be broken.  I don’t have especially destructive kids, but touching is a huge part of how kids experience the world, and accidents happen.  Lots of supervision helps prevent the really expensive accidents.

3.  I have to give them a chance to enjoy themselves.  You see, they are in an as-of-yet unexplored place, and they are EXCITED!  They want to go see and do everything, and to make sure that points numbers 1 and 2 happen, I have to go with them.  This takes a lot of energy.  It can be hard to strike a balance between doing kid things and adult things.  I just try to remember that it’s their vacation, as well as mine, and we all have to take turns picking the activities.

4.  The hardest one.  Kids enjoying themselves can often inhibit other people’s enjoyment.  There are a lot of parents that just don’t worry about this.  You’ve heard their kids crying for like a half hour in the grocery store, or seen the little ones throwing food at you while you’re on a date in a restaurant.  For kids, the loudest and messiest games are often the best.  This doesn’t mesh well with people who just want to relax on a peaceful vacation.  You can’t just explain this to the kids and expect it to stick, since they are in uncharted territory and they are EXCITED!  Kids at their wildest have a hard time understanding that people get upset when little feet run back and forth and back and forth and back and forth in the hall at 7am.  They forget that they are supposed to say please and thank you, and wait for everyone to finish dinner before getting up.  I’ve found that when kids are having the greatest fun, they are also capable of the most spectacular meltdowns.  Wailing kids are a huge downer on vacation.  Sadly, it’s easier to tell your child to be quiet or that they have to go to their room than it is to tell a grown up that they need to be a little more tolerant, the tyke’s on vacation and trying to have a good time, too.  Kids get put on the back burner by a lot of people (I’m speaking generally here, not about anyone specific) and what they want comes second to the desires of the adults.  In some ways this is fair – adults are the ones paying, or driving, or accepting the responsibility of childcare during said activity.  I try to make sure it doesn’t happen all the time though (see point #3).  It’s a tough one.  Keep the kids happy while making sure they don’t bother people.  And then constantly explain that “They aren’t like this at home.  They are just EXCITED!” because you want the people you love to like your kids.  My family is also Beren and Magdalena’s family.  I want their family members to love them, not be annoyed with them. This one is the most difficult to accomplish for me.  I can’t control everything, and it exhausts me to try.  I worry about it the most.

5.  All those things required by law – food, clothing, cleanliness, etc.  Yeah, that’s all the points I’m listing.

I’ll be back on Friday with some pictures and stories.  I hope you’ll all follow my adventures through Twitter and my status on Facebook.  …  …  …  Haha!  Gotcha!  You kids know by now that I don’t do those things!  You’ll just have to wait until Friday to hear the latest escapades and feats of derring-do from Ms. Danger.

2 Responses to “Should have posted this one on April Fool’s Day because I included a trick at the end!”

  1. Jo Says:

    Yes yes and yes! I worry about all those exact same things! I hope you guys all have a really great time!

  2. admin Says:

    Having kids on a trip wasn’t as hectic or intense as I thought it would be (well, except for a few certain incidents), so I am really glad we did it.