Friday, August 15, 2008

Heading North

Everyone knows that, when you're a parent (especially a mom, and especially ESPECIALLY a stay-at-home-mom) of very young children, there's no such thing as a family vacation; there is only a "trip," which involves doing all the work you normally do on a daily basis, only in different surroundings and with children who probably won't sleep while you're there. If one more person tells me to go and "enjoy [my] vacation!" or "have a relaxing trip!" or "have a nice break!", I will personally kidnap that person, take him or her along with me up north tomorrow, and force him or her to take over all my childcare-and-family-management duties for the next week while I go to the movies, sip iced coffee on cafe patios, and read novels.

That said, I am glad that my family's summer trip to visit the relatives is back on, after a marathon week of last-minute job-hire wrangling and nonstop chaos control--if only because my girls deserve to see their grandparents for more than a day and a half at a time every few months, and because my spouse and I deserve at least one evening of (free) babysitting every two to four years.

Sometimes the bare facts of my extended-family-less life depress me to no end.

It's been a tough, stressful summer, which makes me really sad because I had high hopes for it--these glorious months of being able to go outdoors every single day, no boots and snowpants, no cheek-chapping windchill. We have had fun, of course, and I'm grateful for every park-and-friend-filled morning, every day we colored with sidewalk chalk and took stroller walks for 90 sunny minutes at a time. But the many challenges and tantrums and isolated daytime moments of no help and no company have taken their toll, and now all I really want is to not be the mom for awhile. Put my feet up and let the babies run wild while someone else worries about it. Get away for an entire afternoon. You know.

I'm heading north. Pray for me that the babes sleep while we're there. And that our pediatrician was right when she said this morning, "Genevieve will start learning to listen to you soon. Little by little you'll be able to reason with her a bit more; she'll communicate better and won't feel the need to scream bloody murder about every little happening in her world. And it will get easier."

Maybe there IS hope. Tonight at bedtime, after all, Genevieve came back in the room after refusing to kiss and hug me goodnight, in order to stand in the doorway with a smile on her face and say, "Duh woo. Dood dight, Mama." (Love you. Goodnight, Mama.)

So maybe I'll survive after all--up north, down south, wherever we happen to be with our tired minds and our full hearts. Right?


Rob Hardy said...

We just got back from being up north with extended family, including my niece, Clara, who as a toddler was astonishingly difficult. She had long fits (her father called them "Claroxysms") if, for example, she didn't like the look of her piece of toast. Now she may be the sweetest twenty-year old on the planet.

Mnmom said...

Yes, you will survive. Same way I'll survive these teen years. It's just a different sort of survival.

"Claroxysms" - that describes it exactly.