(As in: everything makes you want to, and your kids do nothing but)

Category Archives: Family vacation

My kids don’t do anything half-assed.

If they’re going to fall, they will throw themselves to the ground with wild abandon and shriek as if they’re being pummeled by a giant.

If they get into a toddler scuffle, there’s likely to be eye-gouging and kidney shots.

huck fightalma fight

My son came down with a severe case of the pukes last week. This was not a “poor baby has a tummy ache and let loose a little white vomit” situation.

sick huck

This was gallons of putrid, spoiled milk projectile vomited across beds, couches and clothes. This was five loads of laundry, five baths and google searching for hazmat gear.

This was no sleep for the entire night and the stench trapped deep in my nostrils for the following day.

Like I said, they go all balls out, these kids.

Once the vomiting stops, there’s another two days of explosive diarrhea accompanied by a Gitmo-level hunger strike.

I got to use a vacation day in order to stay home with him because my husband was out of town.

Then on Saturday, I got to spend an entire day with both kids as my husband played golf “for business” in Naples. (I only use the quotes because I envy any job where playing a sport outdoors qualifies as work.)

I thought I was in the clear when I took the kids to the playground in our neighborhood. Alma rode her scooter. Huck rode his tricycle.

Huck was beaming as I pushed him higher and higher on the swing. I must not have realized that glowing grin was hiding the smirk of a secret shit.

I smelled it as soon as I pulled him out of the swing. I went to pull his shorts back to double check and lo-and-behold, there was shit all the way up his back to his hairline.

I found myself so overwhelmed by this bowel movement that I sat stunned for several seconds on the park bench.

Where do you begin? I have one more diaper. No, wait… it just got shit-coated during the diaper change. No change of clothes. What do I do? Thank God there is a trash can.

The end result: Huck riding home topless with a poop-crusted waist-band and undies.

huck bike

We don’t just poop in this family. We EXPLODE!

We also don’t just get a cold. We get a stomach flu, that morphs into an ear ache. (That was Huck over the past several days.)

Alma avoids the bug and instead gets Fifth Disease. (Why name a relatively innocuous virus something that sounds like the plague?) She looks like she just got double bitch-slapped and it spread into a face rash. Got some very interesting looks while schlepping her around the Marshalls.

rosy cheeks

This was when her cheeks were BETTER.

I catch the stomach flu and end up rushing home from work after being there for about an hour. (Monday)

Everyone is finally starting to recover, so Alma gets pink eye. (Today)

We don’t get sick, we nearly DIE. For DAYS.

As a random aside, I thoroughly enjoy reading a colleague mom’s blog about the Pros and Cons of a Disney cruise. (After writing a blog about the fact that a Disney trip is one long list of CONS.)

My kids don’t just ruin a vacation. They make you decide that you will NEVER VACATION AGAIN.

I try to see the silver lining. The kids really do give everything their all.

I asked Alma to draw me a lion and I got…

liger

a liger! Score!

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Every parent imagines the day they can make their child’s greatest dream come true.

It’s the last wish of dying children.

It’s the first thing quarterbacks do after the big Super Bowl win.

Commercials, cartoons and movies have been subversively, subconsciously training us our entire lives to put the annoying mouse with the pre-pubescent girl voice on a pedestal.

After our highly-anticipated trip to Disney this past week, I consider those hidden messages from the “happiest place on Earth” to be more evil than the secret satanic messages when a song is played backwards.

Over the past month, we used Disney as a way to threaten our son into trying to use the potty.

We used Disney to get our daughter to stop whining.

I drew Mickey Mouse hats on our family portrait on the kid’s white board.

Abuela bought them luggage with Elsa and Anna and Teenage Mutant Engine Turtles on it especially for the trip. (I meant to say “Engine.” It’s what the kids still call them.)

None of this adequately prepared me for one of the most hellish vacations of my life.

Let’s start with boarding a bus packed with pale, sweaty, overweight tourists. Standing room only, elbowing pot-bellies and stepping on the slippered toes of white trash girls wearing Elsa dresses and Koolaid stain smiles.

The driver got lost, so we were bumping and jerking along the winding roads near the Magic Kingdom for an extra 20 minutes.

We finally arrived, battered and already sweating.

We were able to see the welcome train roll in with all the famous Disney characters onboard. I was glowing with joy watching my son shout, “Goofy! Pluto!” (While secretly wondering how many of the “actors” are actually pedophiles and whether the princesses have coffee breath.)

first pic

Before we knew what was coming.

We enjoyed the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse.

The Jungle Cruise was tolerable, despite sitting next to the bellowing Broadway-voiced failed comedian “guide.”

My daughter plugged her ears for the duration of It’s a Small World and that should’ve been the first clue that things were about to go terribly awry.

Shortly after, as we were preparing to go on the Peter Pan ride she said, “I want to go home.”

alma pouting

After much badgering, prying and film noir interrogation, I figured out that she had to pee and didn’t want to use the public restroom.

It was about 10 a.m.

Oh hell no! After the amount of money we paid to go on this magical, cancer-kid dream trip, you’re going to throw a fit because you prefer the comfort of a familiar toilet?

I dragged her screaming to the bathroom, where she proceeded to humiliate me by shouting, “I don’t have to go pee pee! It’s not coming out!” (Which is a crock of shit, but makes me appear abusive to all of the parents in neighboring stalls.)

alma crying

The real reason why she refuses to go is because, “The potty is too loud.” She’s always had an aversion to any noise above a reasonable “inside voice.” Fireworks, loud music, loud movies in the theater… but nothing is more traumatic than a growling, loud potty.

Cruise ships are out of the question.

Airplane potties, never gonna happen.

Those toilets could suck out your intestines with a flick of the flusher.

We spent the next hour and a half trying to convince her to use a bathroom, dragging her to different potties, her berating me and bawling. She’s screaming, “Is the potty loud? The potty is loud!!”

The only thing that eventually worked was promising to immediately buy her a toy upon urination.

The children survived going to the haunted house, but only because we called it the “Hotel Transylvania.” (They LOVE that movie)

Instead, Alma was terrified of going on the Buzz Lightyear ride. She also had some kind of irrational fear that the People Mover was going to transform into Space Mountain.

Breakfast and lunch, both kids were on hunger strike. I resisted the urge to shout, “This shitty mass produced meal cost us 10 bucks per kid! You WILL eat it.”

tons of food

So, here we are sweating and grunting our way through Walt’s version of wonderland while our children barely crack a smile. My feet hurt, I’ve sweat through my underwear and there is NO BEER. Don’t they realize that without a little bit of liquid CALM, parents are highly likely to resort to homicidal violence?

At one point, some self-important , acne-pocked UCF student is telling us we need to relocate our stroller because we are in the “dancing zone” of the Incredibles. Seriously, we’re interfering with the bubble-muscled Mr. Freeze’s electric slide with our inconvenient children.

kids disney1

Time to buy another 5 dollar bottle of water and daydream it’s vodka!

While planning the trip, I had visions of the kids passing out after watching the parade and fireworks, sleeping with satisfied smiles in the stroller.

Instead, my daughter is plugging her ears and frowning while the characters perform outside Cinderella’s castle. (The one that she’s pissed off about because we can’t go inside.)

huck sleeping

We’re hightailing it to the bus before sunset, back to the resort so we can go out to dinner at a normal place where the shitty food doesn’t cost a fortune.

At Olive Garden, it’s our son’s turn to be a complete D-bag. He’s whining for no apparent reason, border line crying for the ENTIRE TIME. I end up taking a bunch of food back to the hotel room only to realize there’s no microwave. (duh)

In a lame attempt to salvage the “vacation” we get up in the morning and watch the kids pick at their pricey breakfast and then rent a two-person bike. So, we shred our calves and drip sweat along a path around the resort so the kids can argue over who gets to ring the ridiculous bell.

kids bike

We go to the Arcade with our card for free games only to learn it has a total of 100 points on it. Each game costs about 40 points or more. Air hockey? 100 points.

It’s cloudy, but we brave the pool anyway. The unheated-freezing from all of the rain-pool. The pool with the bar that’s not open.

poolside misery

Miserable.

Later, the bar opens! We grab a couple of drinks and shuttle the kids to the “kiddie pool.” My son promptly tries to drown himself, twice. In the mad dash to rescue him before CPR becomes necessary, my husband knocks over his entire alcoholic beverage. (You know, the one that costs more than a year of college tuition.)

We finally bail when the sweet New Orleans jazz music is being drowned out by some kid-friendly club shit. (Not to mention the chattering of my son’s teeth.)

We decide to take the kids to the Rainforest Cafe for another authentic theme park experience. My daughter is plugging her ears and cowering every time the fake gorillas start to scream. She is still on hunger strike. The meal is super expensive and I will be tasting the garlic for days.

rainforest cafe2

Don’t let them fool you.

I can’t catch a buzz.

rainforest cafe

We can’t catch a break.

We pack up and leave for Tampa. We had another full night booked at the resort.

Money flushed down the toilet. The very loud, evil toilet.


All Corsa vacations are preceded by a moderate disaster.

One time we had to rush our French Bulldog to the emergency vet for a costly, time-consuming overnight visit that resulted in a diagnosis of “bad gas.”

frankie

Another night before leaving on a trip, my husband’s car stopped working.

Stomach bugs, pink eye, even a massive “bomb” dropping onto the hood of my car from the monkey puzzle tree in front of our old bungalow. It never fails.

the bombthe dent

This time, I take the dogs to get their vaccines so they will be up to date for a week at “camp” and the vet notices my Boston Terrier has a hematoma on his ear that will need to be drained.

poor sick del

Tack on 300 more bucks to what was already a hefty bill and my last day before vacation will be spent rushing him to and from the vet. (not to mention he will be wearing the cone of shame while being humped by strange dogs. Double shame.)

That night I also get ridiculously sick. So sick I call in to work at 3am. Yet, my boss text messages me at 6 in the morning and basically begs me to come in anyway.

I do.

I am miserable.

I haven’t washed my hair.

I can’t speak.

I end up leaving early to go to an after-hours clinic for a Z-pack.

While in recovery, I somehow develop a massive swollen gum in the space where my 4th wisdom tooth would’ve been… if I had one there. (but, I don’t) Now, I am kicking off my vacation with wicked jaw pain.

We’re on Cuban time, so my husband and I race around packing and dressing the kids (no small feat) (they have small feet) but then have to sit around wasting time for hours until the rest of the clan is ready to go.

Even then, we must depart in a group.

We’re going in separate cars, but it’s the soldier’s creed. No man left behind.

Anna Maria Island is beautiful and quaint, the vacation house ideal.

beach house

There’s a lagoon-like pool with a sometimes operable waterfall and a minimal amount of beach sand collected on the bottom.

waterfall alma

We are two blocks from the beach.

This should be a great vacation, except for my aching jaw, endless stream of snot and the sensation I have plummeted instantaneously into the 1950’s.

I end up trapped in a bedroom with two insane children hopped up on VACATION, jumping around the bed we’re all expected to share while my husband is downstairs watching the World Cup.

kids in bed

Maybe it was the fear that this was going to become the anticipated routine.

Maybe it was the burgeoning revelation that the entire trip was secretly orchestrated to coincide with the World Cup in order to torture me.

Maybe it was all I could do to keep myself from racing through the home with a burning bra, but I stormed downstairs and demanded the keys to the car to go for a drive.

BRA BURNING

The next morning after being pummeled all night long by bony elbows and knees, awoken by the sound of my son grinding his teeth in his sleep and the pain in my whole face… I’m still ready to tackle my pre-women’s suffrage duties and help cook breakfast for the house of 12. (My family, my in-laws, my sister-in-law and her boyfriend, her two kids, his two kids and one teenage friend of her son)

I remember that they cook their scrambled eggs with oil while I opt for butter or butter spray so they’ll probably find mine bland and inedible. I decide to go for the bacon and start to get the pan when my mother-in-law says, “You need to put it in the microwave first.”

bacon

I mentally throw my hands up and avoid cooking bacon for the rest of the trip.

The next day at the beach, Mother Nature valiantly came to my rescue.

I am obsessed with sharks. Terrified of them, adore them, secretly hope and dread for encounters with them.

The very first time I am watching my mother-in-law wade in the water with my daughter on her hip, I spot something unusual a couple of yards behind them. It looked like something pointy and dark sticking up out of the water.

Then there were two.

Then three.

They were moving.

I walked toward abuela Corsa and made a hand motion for her to come toward me.

I could see clearly now there were at least two, possibly three sharks in the water.

I didn’t want to be “that guy” that shouts “SHARK!” and terrifies everyone at the beach. But, then again my mother-in-law is embracing my precious cargo and this scenario is like an unimaginable nightmare.

I remain calm even as my mother-in-law continues to demand to know why I am telling her to come to shore.

Other people see them too, so I have confirmation. These were not dolphins. I know what dolphins are. In fact, we saw some of those later in the day. Completely different swimming behavior.

The same day, we also watched a manatee lumbering along in the shallows.

Late afternoon, the summer storms roll in and I am watching them from our balcony. Billowing, fast-moving, dark clouds. Swirling, hinting at circulation. Palm trees whipping around like witches on broomsticks.

storms

NO FILTER

God bless you Mother Nature, you have shaken me from my stress-induced stupor.

The days that followed were filled with moments of joy, stress, hilarity and a healthy dose of awkward.

Perfect example of the latter: One of the said extraneous children along for the trip is about 9 years old.

He’s soft-spoken to the point of being irritating and even more bizarre than I was as a child.

He’s also a bit sneaky.

He and his sister appear to have some kind of arrangement that allows them to cheat and win at card games, hide each others’ crimes and possibly bury bodies in the backyard unnoticed.

At one point, my mother-in-law shouted that she saved me a piece of cheesecake.

Within a matter of seconds, I watched the boy grab the last piece and stick it inside an orange Dixie Cup so nobody would know he did it.

The night before I watched him go for some cheesecake in the freezer and when he saw me watching him, he rushed to open the freezer and put it back but his chicken-like arms were too weak to open the door.

He squeaked out a strange animalistic cry of frustration, like someone squeezed a rabbit REALLY hard.

screaming bunny

To add insult to injury, a short while after he purloined MY piece of cheesecake, he shit it back out in the bathroom ATTACHED to our bedroom.

He is a Junior, so they call him “Tito.”

He shall henceforth be known as Cheesecake Tito to me.

Here’s another good one: In the afternoon, my husband was on the beach mercilessly teasing my sister-in-law and mother-in-law because they have decided they believe mermaids exist. Their scientific proof was viewed on a television show.

mermaids

That night we’re playing Apples to Apples with the whole family with the exception of my sister-in-law’s boyfriend. He’s apparently holding some kind of grudge because he lost a game years ago to me over the definition of “The Big Bang Theory.”

apples to apples

So, while we’re playing we hear the sound of harmonious singing pouring from the open door to his room. It was like the bewitching melodies belted out by sirens, the ones who lure sailors to their deaths. The mermaids!

So, my husband says “He’s in there, unfurling his mermaid tail.”

I don’t know why, but this made me laugh so hard I almost peed my pants.

I am a chortler. Maybe the occasional guffaw slips out. I NEVER laugh that hard.

I was crying, I was speaking in tongues, I was HAVING FUN.

Then there was the moment we were waiting for the trolley near a church and the truly Cuban members of the family decided to pose for a picture.

immigrants

We ended up in Downtown Anna Maria Island, which for the record, does not exist. We were meandering down neighborhood streets looking like lost Okies drenched in sweat.

But, there were magical moments.

I watched my daughter discover the joy of being slammed by waves, overcoming her perpetual fear of the ocean.

kids beach

I saw my son kick around a soccer ball with the big boys until sweat was dripping off his little melon head.

huck soccer ball

I saw sharks, I laughed until I cried and I drank more beer than seems humanly possible.

Yes, I was impaled nightly by little kid limbs. I spent much time trapped in bed watching PBS kid shows on the lousy cable while everyone else screamed about the World Cup downstairs.

little kid limbs

I got a sun rash and gained five pounds. (my weird tooth issue resolved itself after days of gargling salt water)

But, it’s still the best vacation we’ve had with the kids since they were born. Good enough that my poor son is still grieving.

huck depressed

Huck is pouting under that blanket.

I am too.

 


It was a huge weekend, anticipated for weeks.

Nana was coming to visit.

I asked Alma repeatedly what she wanted to do with Nana when she came to stay with us for a couple of days. She said “she’ll give me bunny ears.”

The chick has a memory like an elephant. (What exactly is it that elephants remember? That their life is boring? That bathing is still unnecessary although you smell that foul?)

elephant

She actually remembers that Nana gave her and Huck bunny ears around this time last year for Easter. She was 2 then.

A Nana visit means great anticipation.

Not for Alma. She has to be reminded about how many days are left. She still thinks anytime after today is “tomorrow.”

Huck has no concept of time, particularly when it comes to when it is appropriate to wake up screaming and demanding milk.

A Nana visit means I am counting down the days until I have a spare moment alone with my husband.

I count down the days until I can have a conversation with my mother that’s not over the phone and interrupted by her News Director looming over her at the top of the 5 o’clock newscast. (she also works in this Godforsaken business)

So, when I get the text message from my mother saying her flight has been delayed by an hour I immediately feel a lump swell up in my throat like a rock.

Then I get all weirdly hypochondriacal and convince myself the cramp in my calf is a blood clot and I am about to die without seeing my mom one last time and my children will grow up motherless and turn into drug addicts.

blood clot

She still arrived in time to see the kids before they went to bed.

We still got to go to dinner.

It was probably just a leg cramp.

We had a wonderful visit with one exception. It’s those damn expectations that destroy everything.

We made plans to go to the beach on Sunday, just my mom and me and the kidlets. (My husband can feign feeling left out, but we all know he gets the best part of that deal)

We started by swinging by McDonald’s to get the kids something quick to eat. My mom totally freaked out while I was driving because Alma’s egg white was sliding out of her sandwich. Like… full on crisis mode.

egg white mcmuffin

Huck’s oatmeal was too hot and had chunks of fruit that could pose a choking hazard.

So, we ended up sitting in the Target parking lot waiting for an eternity for the kids to finish their food.

I think my mother underestimated just how long it takes my daughter to consume even a small portion of food. Even without television to distract her, each individual bite comes with a 3-4 minutes pause in between. It’s like she has to digest each morsel before moving on to the next.

So, we eventually make it inside the Target where I spend the college funds we were never going to start buying a bunch of crap for the beach.

Got a cooler, umbrella, weird screw shaped thingie to get the umbrella into the ground, sunscreen (which is ridiculously expensive… and is probably just lotion with ZERO SPF… and we’re all gonna die of cancer anyway) and fruit, cheese and juice.

Oh, and Minnie Mouse flip flops because Alma refused to leave the house without wearing her pink cowgirl boots.

We find parking at the beach despite it being Spring Break. I wait in line at the parking pay station for some dipshit with a million quarters to pay. Seriously, are you really going to stay at the beach until TOMORROW?

That dipshit is followed by another dipshit who doesn’t understand which buttons to push.

That dipshit is followed by another dipshit who doesn’t remember what their parking space number was. So, they just keep trying endless combinations like they’re trying to crack a safe filled with cash.

Finally, we pay and start to load up our gear. We managed to find a way to carry all of our crap, without realizing that we also have to schlep two small human beings across a busy parking lot.

Like two pack mules with midgets, we wobble across the boardwalk to the beach.

pack mules

On the other side, we’re immediately slammed in the face by gale force winds, pelted by sheets of sand. The kids burst into tears simultaneously, cowering and grabbing at the beach chairs I’m holding. The strap is digging into my shoulder like a scythe.

Alma is screaming that her flip flops are digging into her feet.

But, we keep moving. There has been much to do about this beach day. The last cancellation of a beach day led to a wild tantrum by my daughter that could’ve gotten her Baker Acted.

child straight jacket

We end up trying to set up shop behind a sand dune, but we were being sandblasted. The kids were terrified. It was Lawrence of Arabia dermabrasion for babies.

lawrence of arabia

So, we find a way to gather up our enormous haul and drag the screaming kids back to the car.

Poor things had sand in their eyes.

My mother and I were chewing grit for the rest of the day.

The inside of my purse could fill an hourglass and then some.

We ended up trying to salvage the day by heading to a park. I had to sit and watch our stuff because Lord knows that even in St. Pete some crackhead will steal your purse. My mother was watching the kids on the playground and had the revelation that it’s impossible to keep them both safe.

Alma is ideal for snatching and Huxley is hell-bent on playground suicide.

The wind was just as strong. Check out my kids speeding down a raceway. Or just sitting in a stationary car.

race car

My mom had the genius idea of filling their buckets with ice from the cooler so they could play with it like sand. Note to self and to any Florida moms. Ice is cheap or free and won’t get stuck in anyone’s crevices.

ice buckets

This is the kind of afternoon that leads to what we refer to as the “cruise ship effect.” There is much consumption of alcohol followed by big evening plans that turn into an unusually early bedtime.

It’s like, “Let’s hit the midnight buffet! Yeah!” Then, you wake up drooling at 2:30am.

I actually caught my mom snoring during “The Road.” And she loves Viggo Yellow Rice Mortensen.

the road

I had a great time, but it was no day at the beach.


Our second vacation with the kids, we decided it made more sense to drive. We wanted to save money and didn’t want to deal with whole airport fiasco like the last time. The drive from Tampa to North Carolina wasn’t so bad. We drove overnight so the kids could sleep and they mostly did. We got there in the morning and the plan was for my husband to take a nap as soon as we got there.

Within hours, he started to feel sick to his stomach.

Then the puking began.

He was laid up in bed for 24 hours, periodically rising from the dead to give the potty a long embrace.

Shortly after midnight, the virus wrapped its slimy tentacles around my daughter. She destroyed a comforter, so we relocated to another bed in the house where she proceeded to puke all over again. She would puke, cry, I would comfort her, start laundry, relocate and then the whole process would begin again. Eventually, we ran out of unused sheets and beds and opted for a towel on a bare mattress.

Shortly after breakfast, it got me.

My son is apparently some kind of mutant soldier or machine. Never got it. (little S.O.B.) (Wait, that means I’m the “B”… nevermind)

soldier huck

At least somebody had fun.

So, it was pretty much 3 days quarantined in a guest house, sleeping and puking.

By the time we got to my mom’s in South Carolina, everyone had recovered. By the last day of the trip, it hit my mother like a brick wall. Her joyfully insane boyfriend was setting off fireworks in the backyard while Alma screamed in terror and my mom kept shouting “STOP IT!” from her bed in between vomiting in a bucket with her loyal dog by her side.

That was the night we drove home. My son screamed the entire way home. Think I’m kidding? I’m not. I silently cried so much that there were no more tears by the time we got home.

Pulling into the driveway, my husband and I nearly said simultaneously, “We are never going on vacation again.”

Our kids? Well, they promptly fell peacefully asleep the second we arrived home.

sleeping alma

sleeping huck
We are masochists, stupid enough to envision our children prancing through wildflowers while we picnic and drink wine, dozing in the sun.

flowers prancing

Gorgeous, right? Taken from the side of the road after stepping out of a car. Nope, no fun was had here.

Why can’t we just picture the reality of screaming children, endless vomiting and a nervous breakdown and STAY HOME? Maybe because all of the rest of you hide your misery, post awesome pics from Disney and the beach, preferring to say you had a fantastic, relaxing vacation.

You’re all full of shit though, right? Right???


Here’s me before having kids:

barcelona-beaches“I’m not going to be one of those parents who won’t travel because it’s too difficult with children. I’ll just take an umbrella stroller, a Baby Bjorn and we’ll hop a flight to Barcelona.”

Sounds like a joke, but it’s not. We seriously considered taking a trip to Spain the year our daughter was born. We checked out hotels with cribs you can rent and planned day trips to a beach nearby.

We weren’t just naive.  We were morons.

Our first trip with our daughter was stressful, but tolerable. We simply visited my mother in South Carolina and drove to see my Dad and his wife in North Carolina and then flew back home.

We weren’t anticipating conceiving our second child with so much ease, so that was the last relatively simple trip we will EVER take in our LIFE.

The next vacation was to Key West with the entire Cuban Cluster. (See previous post)

We figured if we just packed like champs, it would be a breeze.  The Cluster drove.  It’s just a short flight from St. Pete to the Keys.  We figured that would be better than driving for several hours with screaming, miserable kids, right?

Wrong.

We found ourselves in the airport parking lot, what seems like miles from the terminal with two small children, two hulking car seats, one massive stroller and three big bags packed with all of the crap you could possibly need. What could you need during a four-day trip to Key West? Diapers, wipes, formula, sunscreen, tons of clothes because they will destroy them all with vomit, pee and poop, medicine, (because all children inevitably get sick the day huck-planebefore a vacation) books, toys and blankets.  By the time we figured out the logistics of just checking in, which was nearly impossible, I was drenched in sweat, my blood pressure was through the roof and I just wanted to go back to work.

Even if your kids don’t scream and cry on the flight, they will wiggle, kick and even laugh too loudly. They will want food and milk and the one toy you forgot to pack.

Key West was sweltering and you have to walk everywhere.  Slather the kids in sunscreen, walk a marathon and then you can’t even get blitzed because you’re with your whole family and oh, yeah …  the kids are there.  Nothing like watching the whole rest of the world have a blast on vacation while you suffer.

While middle-aged women with frosted hair are guzzling Mojitos, you’re in a muddy bathroom without A/C trying to change a diaper on the floor because restaurants just assume nobody would be stupid enough to bring a baby to Key West.

huck-nightOur children simply can’t hang with the idea of sleeping somewhere different.  My son was probably six months old at the time.  If he could’ve talked he would’ve been saying, “This f&^ing Pack ‘N Play is a bunchabullshit.”  He woke up every single hour.  We took turns, but when it’s that frequent ain’t NOBODY sleepin’.

My daughter slept in bed with us, but only when we would sleep with her.  It was an 8 p.m. curfew, the next two hours spent staring at the ceiling, getting kicked repeatedly and wondering why we ever had children.

Cheetohs, snot & in need of a nap

Cheetohs, snot & in need of a nap

Trips around town were strung together by a series of meltdowns.  A store accused my daughter of breaking a maraca that probably cost .10 cents to make.  My husband and I took turns consoling my hysterical son during dinner at a fancy restaurant.  A lunch was ruined by my daughter screaming for no apparent reason.

My amazing mother-in-law did watch the kids for an afternoon, so the rest of us could go snorkeling.  I had a blast, but my husband and sister-in-law nearly barfed on the ride back to shore.

But, that all didn’t stop us from trying to go on vacation with the kids again.  And we decided to drive!

That’s a story for another time.