4/11/11

A Weekend Away...With Kids

A big part of being a happy parent is learning to adjust your expectations. If you expect life after you give birth to be the same, just with an extra little person and lot more laundry, you’ll be sorely disappointed.

I say this, and yet here I am almost 5 years in and I still get bummed out when the weekend comes and there’s no happy hour, sleeping in till noon, or late-night dinners and dancing. Huh?! You mean I still have to change diapers and cut up grapes on Saturday AND Sunday? No more HGTV or E! marathons, flopped on the couch all day? No more leisurely brunches at restaurants without high chairs? Whose idea WAS this having-kids thing?! (See “Weekends: Then & Now” for more on this theme.)

Because I’m home all week with my boys, I sure as heck don’t want to spend my weekends the same way as my weekdays (mainly, breaking up fights over who had Doc Hudson first and cleaning up spilled milk and crushed Goldfish). Especially if Dad’s not around. So when C. had a weekend conference an hour away, we decided to join him at his hotel for the night. It would be fun! Or at least different. Let’s keep our expectations in check here.

So the boys and I piled into the car with the Pack ‘n’ Play, blankies, CDs, and enough snacks to fuel an Olympic rowing team. C. had showed me how to use the GPS on my smartphone. Good thing, because driving in DC/Northern Virginia is as confusing as trying to understand why Kanye West is invited to the royal wedding. (Seriously, WHY?)

We get most of the way there just fine, but disembodied GPS lady kept calling roads by their route numbers instead of the names I knew them by. So before I knew it, I had exited the Rock Creek Parkway and we were lost in downtown DC. (“Look kids, cherry blossoms!”) GPS lady kept spewing out nonsensical directions. (I said aloud, “What is she SAYING?!” and Miles chimed in, “Yeah! We don’t understand robot!”)

I kept my cool, though, even as we drove around in what seemed like circles. (“Look kids, a monument! Named after some president I can’t think of right now.”) Finally, I got my bearings. (“Look kids, Arlington National Cemetery!” Miles: “What’s a cemetery?” Me: “Uh, look! More cherry blossoms!”)

At last, we find the hotel, a pretty swanky place in Old Town Alexandria. As we pull up to the valet, C. is waiting for us. The kids tumble out of the family truckster in a shower of Goldfish crumbs, sippy cups, and coloring books shouting, “Daddy! Daddy!” Not 2 ft. away is a sleek black limousine, awaiting a bride in her flowing white gown and purple-silk-clad bridesmaids. Romper Room meets Modern Bride. Boy, I sure hope the photographer can crop us out of those shots.

When we get to our room, Miles – who loves to travel – immediately spreads out his blanket and plops on the bed, making himself at home. Riley, on the other hand, bursts into tears and starts wailing, “Ready a go! I ready a go!” Translation: get me the hell outta here, I wanna go home. We decided to hightail it out to dinner.

Even though the area was loaded with cute shops, there was no time for that. We had kids to feed, bathe, and put to bed. Dinner was spent gulping down our food while trying to keep Riley from knocking over drinks and peeking over the booth at the diners next to us. By 8:30 pm, all the boys were sound asleep back at the hotel – including my husband. Nope, weekends sure aren’t what they used to be. When will I finally learn not to expect anything different?

RECC O’ THE WEEK: I'm a big fan of Kimpton hotels, a chain of pet- and child-friendly boutique hotels in about 20 cities throughout the U.S. The d├ęcor is really cool and funky, and the staff at ours was super nice. They even had a wagon for the boys to ride in. The bride can have her limo!

5 comments:

Holly Rutchik said...

Haha - I LOVE this. It's so true. I once went on a timeshare "deal" where they try to make you buy a timeshare when you really just want the free weekend. The guys asked us if we had kids and when we said yes he says, "So how is it a vacation if you pile everyone into one room one bathroom and eat out of a cooler?!!" You NEED this VILLA!
"Um, because the VILLA is nicer than our home, and I have to live with these people after our weekend away!"
:) But, I always wished I could see the cherry blossoms - even with that bitch of a GPS lady yelling at me!

Angie Mizzell said...

That's awesome. And I'm the first to add, "Big Ben. Parliament." I couldn't resist. You get an A+ for trying. If I'd found myself in your situation, at 8:30, I would have called room service and asked them to deliver a couple of ice cold Miller Lites.

Anonymous said...

haha!! you are my favorite blogger... thanks for your great stories.
My son is also named Miles, and when that happened to me with the GPS he kept asking, "Mommy, why is the directions lady calling my name?"
Heehee :)

Shannon @ AnchorMommy said...

I feel the exact same depression about weekends!! So happy to hear I'm not the only one! Oh, how I miss sleeping in...and lots and lots of HGTV...

Also, love Miles' "we don't speak robot" comment! Haha!

Well good for you for trying to make something special out of the weekend. It probably would have been way worse at home without the hubs, right?

New Baby Gifts said...

I loved that story of yours in regards to the weekend away with the kids, to be honest weekend away with my lot would be far nicer if I didn't have to take out a loan the size of the third world debt just to get by for three day's. I am not tight or an over bearing bore, but please £90.00 to fill up the car £2.50 to get across the bridge, maps, sweets , drinks and reading material, £30.00 quid later and I have not even started on the main motorway to get away for this cheap weekend. Then theres the mid way fuel break which consists of another huge lump of hard earned redies going into this fuel tank, then of course there are the trek's past the MC Donolds and Burger King - another £25.00 down. Are you getting the picture .. I have yet to even make it to the camp site - God help me what have I let myself in for ?

Apologies for the rant but these trips fill me with dread and I am sure I am starting to come out in hives just thinking about it. I know they say its good to talk but in this case I am not so sure ..

Kind Regards

Lisa Mills
Creative Gifts Ltd

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