I always think it’s funny when people act like things won’t change a single bit once they have kids. You hear these yupster couples, talking at dinner parties over sushi and flippant conversation that they will be different when they have kids. Life won’t change for them. Vacations will still be all about wine tasting and relaxing during couple’s massages and shit. Their kids will just backpack through Europe with them.
Not for us, though. For us there were no flippant conversations or unrealistic expectations about just how much having little terrors around would change things. We knew that children meant an entirely different way of life – with everything. Including vacations.
See this? This is me. I’m not the bear, though. I’m the fish inside the bear’s mouth. The bear is my Pookies; and after just three days of vacation I’m done fighting for my little, fishy life. Maybe it’s because my husband was not along for this one.
Or perhaps it’s that children really do change the way our lives are, whether we wanted it to or not.
Vacation After Kids: Constant Talking
Whether you have one kid or twenty kids (although, if you have twenty kids, you are a fucking moron if you take them anywhere), when kids come on vacation with you it involves a nonstop stream of chatter, prattle, and bickering. The bickering is the worst, especially when you are in a restaurant in a strange place, trying to enjoy yourself, and your little angel decides to bicker with you about whether or not s/he is going to eat what is on the table.
We have been on vacation for three days and in that time there has been not one singular moment of silence. At one point yesterday, I thought about feeding Pookies to the ostriches at Ostrich Land in hopes for just a little bit of silence.
Vacation After Kids: All Sorts of Eating (Not for you, though)
Vacation is – for many people – about eating. The thing is: you are in a new place and have the opportunity to savor the local cuisine, so to speak. And who doesn’t enjoy the opportunity to have every meal cooked for them by someone else?
But not when you have kids; no sir-ee-motherfuckin-bob. When you have kids, you will sit there and argue about what you ordered for them off the kid’s menu. Then they will destroy what is on their plate, making it totally sticky and inedible. And finally they’ll turn to your plate and eat everything on it, instead.
Yesterday I ordered Danish pancakes for myself and got one bite. Then at dinner I had a chicken salad, only none of my chicken was left after Pookies got a hold of it. Today I just said “screw it” and split a meal. I am sure it will be no surprise when I say I got very little of my half.
Vacation After Kids: What Adult Activities?
There was a time when my husband and I were able to go on a trip and do adult things. I don’t mean sex. We never did that. I mean massages. Gambling. Wine tasting.
Now if we want to do anything like that, we have to call the babysitter to come to wherever we are, or else we aren’t doing it. On New Years Eve, I was telling my in-laws all about the trip we were going on this week and they asked if I was going to gamble. Did I miss something? Do they allow children in casinos now? Is that cool on the ol’ Indian Res these days, to bring minors in to a smoke-filled establishment where I will no doubt lose every penny I came in with?
No. No it’s not OK. There will be no gambling or excessive drinking or massages. There will be ponies and ostriches and bickering and stealing the food off my plate. That’s about it.
Vacation After Kids: I Never Want To Go Home
Whenever I see friends post after a vacation on Facebook, I can usually tell if they have kids or not based on the following: are they happy to be home, or praying for death upon reentering their house and normal life?
My logic isn’t going to go how you think it is on this one.
People that don’t have kids are happy to come home. They come home feeling relaxed. They come home wanting their own bed. They love going back to their daily existence, that is oh so posh and urban, and fulfilling. And after they have kids, it will still be that way. Because we’ll be different, right?
People that do have kids pray for death upon reentering their house and normal life. Maybe it’s just as a stay at home mom, whose life is confined to the walls around her and the slobber and puke she spends her days cleaning up, that gives me that perspective. Or maybe it’s because vacation provides no (or very little) relaxation after you have kids.
Whatever the case may be, regardless of how un-relaxing, unnerving, and un-adultlike vacations can be as a parent, it is still a break from the prison cell that is the daily grind. And back to my own bed? You mean the one where I constantly have a child’s foot wedged up my asshole, as opposed to vacation where the concept of a hotel bed keeps the Pookie foot out of my bed, and subsequent nether-region?
I always feel a little depressed when I get home to the same-old, same-old.
The next time one of your friends is sitting at a sushi bar, hair combed back perfectly and entirely free of Cheerios or vomit; and s/he says to you that children will not change a thing about life, tell them to take your kid(s) on vacation for a few days. I guarantee they’ll feel like a fish in the bear’s mouth too. Chomped at the bit and ready to fold.