August 15, 2007 by Marj Hatzell
Yes, I am insane. Why do you ask?
The thing is this: Bugaboo likes consistency. Bugaboo does not like surprises. Bugaboo does better in his own house, in his own bed with his own routine. Taking Bugaboo out of that routine can have disastrous results. Our last vacation (Christmas Holidays, trip to Tennessee) found him sleeping no more than six hours a night, taking naps at funky times and eating a multitude of new things (which I will take, by the way). It also took him A MONTH to get back on track.
Bug Boy also gets “all kinds of crazy” (his words) on vacation. They just don’t know if they are coming or going or already been there. And us? Well, let’s just say that a vacation is not a vacation for DG. I have to do my same job, twenty-four hours a day, stuck in a two-room cabin (which is lovely and cozy, but still!) for a week, with no diversions such as television, computer, phone or video games. Yes, we make schedules on vacation and attempt to stick to them. No, I cannot bring therapists with us to help. Yes, I wish we could bring people with us to help watch the kids so we could get SOME SORT OF BREAK. No, no one is crazy enough to want to go on vacation with us to watch our children. Now I know why rich people hire nannies.
In other words, my real parenting skills come into play. Like, I have to pay attention to them and all.
But in all seriousness, I am stressed out about this vacation. I have no idea how I am going to pack with Bugaboo under foot for the next two days. He is off (starting at one o’clock) today for an entire month. I have to pack food and clothing for four people, plus a dog and her stuff, plus extra stuff because my kids pee, special food for their dietary issues, medications, toiletries, bathing suits and towels, a few matchbox cars and buses for times when the boys need things to do, plus jackets when it gets cool (55-60 at night this week!) plus the stroller, camera, sunblock, bug spray (it is bug city at the cabin), hats (to ward off ticks), grubby sneakers for everyone (because of the farm smell, trust me, they HAVE to be throw-away sneakers!), books to read if it rains, Bugaboo’s special cup, linens (so we don’t have to get grandmom to wash anything), bedrails (so the boys don’t fall off the beds onto the hardwood floor. It’s a long fall) and a few other things I cannot think of at this particular moment because I AM REALLY DREADING THIS VACATION.
Last night when Darling and I were discussing the details I let him know how anxious I was about it. I just do not want to go. I know I need to get away, but I will not get any rest. In fact, I will no doubt return here more stressed out than when we left. I am not trying to set myself up for failure and I really do want to try to enjoy this. But look at it this way: We have a non-verbal nearly-five-year-old who is not toileted and we are going to a cabin in the middle of nowhere, forty miles from a hospital (a crummy one that doesn’t see kids, the kids hospital is nearly two hours away), no fence, no locks, no deadbolts, no alarms on the doors and no way to contain him should he get the urge to wake up in the middle of the night and take a walk in the woods. Losing him up there is a very real possibility. I am not just over reacting. It takes the dog two seconds to disappear up there but she has receptive language skills and knows to come back when called. Bugaboo is a totally different story. Although the one thing we have going for us is that he chirps like a bird so it could make it easier to find him…