People keep asking how our fun-filled family vacation was. After all, we planned for months and told everyone we knew how excited we were.
I’m not gonna lie. RV traveling is hard with little kids (perhaps an understatement). Sounds like a bunch of fun, right? The whole family hops into the fancy RV and little tow car, ready for lots of fun and time away from the daily grind, no school, no errands… relaxation, chilling out, sight seeing… Oh my! After all, Nathan is controlled by Ritalin now (see post here), Scotty loves to play and be outdoors, the RV is running well, we have a cool little all wheel drive car to tow now, we’re both retired, we have family to visit and energy to expend. My plan (let’s just call it a fantasy) for the trip was: we all get up early and get to our destination and play and have fun, then have picnic lunches, play some more, take a walk or do a fun nature craft, barbecue some dinner and have s’mores before the kids put pajamas on and hop into bed, feeling loved, tired and maybe a little sunburned. Then Daddy and I have a quiet cocktail under the stars in our camp chairs outside before we head off to bed. Let’s not forget, we will stay on track with our CrossFit and good eating habits, continue to track our food intake, and use our newly learned parenting skills.
Reality: kids wake up yelling “Mommy! Mommy! Bubs fell out of bed! He has my blanket! Can I come lay in bed with you?” Both kids crawl into the little queen bed and proceed to jump around and compete for our attention while we attempt to try and wake up. Jeff gets up and starts coffee. I peel myself out of bed when I hear screaming, get up and pick wet cereal up off the floor. We discuss plans for the day and shower (or not). We, then, answer 100 questions about what “fun” thing we’re going to do today, and when that will commence. It takes approximately 1 hour just to load kids and stuff into the little car. We get to one destination, let’s say the pier at Pismo Beach, and look for a place to park. It’s after noon by now. Twenty minutes later we’re walking down a busy sidewalk to the pier. Five year old anxiously awaiting the “fun” part, and 1 year old wanting to run off and not be held (we didn’t bring the stroller). Oh my! That was a bust. They didn’t find the pier fun at all. So, we navigate back through the crowd and go back to the RV. Let’s grab some towels and just go to the beach, she said. It will be fun, she said. So we did. It was 4:30 by then. It’s ok. We are fun parents. It’s still warm out. Let’s go. Ok, so that part was fun. They played in the sand and the surf and got soaked and sandy. Whew Good! Some fun! Until… we smelled something awful. Bubs pooped in his swim diaper. Um, while he was sitting on daddy’s lap. Daddy picked up the chairs, I picked up Bubs and we all made it back to car, only to then realize we were both covered in the stinky mess. And of course, his car seat is still stinky too (note, I said still. Until I can launder it at home). Afterward, we went back to the RV to clean up and barbeque. I had a fun idea, Daddy will take the boys for a walk while I clean up dinner dishes, then we can have s’mores. On the walk, the 5 year old runs over daddy’s foot on his bike. Daddy yelps and says “dude!”. Yep, that is all the poor man said, “dude!”. Child runs off and won’t come back. When I go to get him, telling him he’s not I trouble and to come back (and I’d like him to apologize), he fights me. I pick him up (kicking and screaming). He is sent to time-out in the RV (for kicking mommy and not following directions). He refuses. I send him to bed (it’s well after bedtime now anyway). He screams for one hour. FYI The walls of an RV are thin, and we are parked near about 5 other RVs. Yep, people must have thought we were awful mean parents. So, outside under our awning, we proceeded to drink too much, and watched old 80’s music videos for fun, and to drown out the screaming, then went to bed. Did I mention, I got 15 mosquito bites out there because I forgot to use bug repellant? I’m still scratching like a dog. Next morning, the cranky 5 year old is up at 6am. Wakes up his brother too. Yeah!! And we, the mean parents, are hung over.
Oh yeah… Good times.
Does it get better? Yep. But you get the idea. This goes on for about 10 days. I won’t count the week we spent at Aunt Jen’s house because the kids were somewhat contained there, with grandma, TV and a swimming pool. But for the most part it was a few fun times, followed by hell.
Add to it: a child who will not stop talking EVER, and a toddler who can’t talk, but loves to scream, and climb on things and fall down RV steps. Oh, and his new favorite phrase is “shut up”. We started running out of Ritalin and had to cut Nathan’s dose. Scotty hates being in his car seat for more than about two hours (long enough for a nap and that’s it). Oh yeah… Good times.
Stress just kills my diet and exercise routine! In 17 days I’ve exercised four times, tracked my diet once, ate too much chocolate to mention, had ice cream four times and In-N-Out Burger twice.
Our 28 day plan turned into a 17 day race to get home sanely and with both children alive.