Our clan is going on a family vacation! I’m actually a little reluctant to call it a vacation since I’m bringing my kids along.
I’ll be at the beach, but I don’t know how much relaxation will be happening, as that word is not exactly either of my kids’ middle name. (One kid’s middle name is actually “GET THE F*** DOWN FROM THERE YOU’RE GOING TO KILL YOURSELF!”)
Typically, on vacation I’d spend most of my time sleeping in and reading and drinking and eating. But this is a so-called “family vacation,” so the things one would typically do become, if not entirely impossible, then altered beyond all recognition.
Here’s a quick list of ways I suspect my vacation won’t actually be all that much of a vacation.
- Reading – My wife and I made a handful of last-minute book purchases from Amazon, and I swear when I hit “check out,” I could hear my computer laughing at me. The odds of us having time to lounge around reading books on the beach are about 8 million to one. Pretty sure most of the reading I’ll be doing will involve GPS directions and stories about talking trains.
- Sleeping – The computer isn’t laughing at me this time, one of my sons is. He has settled firmly into a 6:30AM wake-up routine, and it doesn’t matter if it’s Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday, or he’s sleeping in one of those space-tubes in the Alien movies. The kid’s internal clock is my eternal nemesis. It doesn’t know from vacation and why would it? My son’s whole life is vacation.
- Relaxing – Lately my son’s favorite pastime is disobeying us. His second favorite pastime is being hyper. Combine those two delightful tendencies with the fact that, although he’s smart enough to talk back and lie, he’s still toddler-stupid enough to spin in circles in the middle of a busy street. Relaxation is not really in the cards.
- Drinking – Oh, there will be drinking. Tons of drinking. Most of it will be squeezed into that precious three-hour window between the kids finally falling asleep and us suddenly passing out, but it will happen. Belee dat.
- Miscellaneous – What else do people do on trips? Go to the movies? Kids. Go out to dinner? Toddler. Have lots of sex? Kids. Play mini-golf? That will probably actually happen, though “play” may be a strong term.
I’m not saying we won’t have fun. It will be fun. I’m excited for it. But a family vacation is not the same thing as a vacation without kids.
Oh, well. At least I’ll be less hung over.
A version of this first appeared on Dad and Buried.