Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Three-Year Old Has His Own Vacation Plans.

If one person says or even thinks (because I will KNOW, dang it) that staying in a hotel with children is a luxury, I might punch them in the face.

Ok, maybe not really.  Mostly because I am not violent but because those who would say it, think it, judge it, just simply don't know or remember:  IT STINKS.

We travel with our children often and it usually goes really well.  Kids take turns picking movies, no fight there, and the littlest Picky overrules everybody else a midst a crying fit.  Kids have their spots, their snacks, their water bottles.  Life is good.  So off we go to Atlanta, Hilton Head, Northern Michigan and usually there are no problems in the car.

It's the hotel.  That's where the evil takes place.

My sweet, eccentric, routine-driven children turn into these picky monsters of insomnia, chaos and mischief.  They jump on beds, jump off the beds, hide in the drapes, run around, crouch under desks and while this is all happening, the littlest picky wanders the room screaming, running or trying to call everybody on the phone.  ("No, we did NOT call room service!").

We just got back from a wonderful trip to Great Wolf Lodge (so much fun) and I thought I had come up with the most brilliant plan.  Since this was the first time we didn't have to bring the pack 'n' play (a modern day-version of a cage...err...crib), I thought that spending a little extra money to get the "Wolf Den" room would be the way to go.  See, in the Wolf Den there are three beds.  A set of bunk beds and an extra bed...all in an area of its own.  Sure enough, it is magical.  The kids love it.  I only had to pull the littlest picky down one time.  And I made sure to catch him when he went through the Wolf Den's window headfirst.  

Day ONE:  9:15pm.  Bedtime.  Kids look exhausted, the biggest Pickies find their spots and the littlest is WAY excited that he is sleeping in with his siblings.  And he moves.  And he talks.  And he screams.  And he flashes his light turtle around so the stars on the ceiling dance.  Oh he has a party.  Picky 1 falls asleep, but the middle guy is NOT pleased with the development.  Falls asleep anyway.  Finally after lots of singing, head-stroking and pat-pats, littlest Picky is down at 10:50pm.  WTH.  Bedtime at home is 8:00.  Thank goodness he's asleep.

Day TWO:  8:00pm.  Decided to put the littlest Picky down while the big kids were out and about.  He was showing signs of surrender, so I sat and stroke his head and face, he yawned...and then he partied.  Jibber-jabbered up a storm, moving his little three-year old body around, he was not going to sleep.  Finally, I put the Wiggles movie in his bed, the big kids came home, watched the movie in their beds and all listened to the littlest Picky cry when the movie turned off because the laptop was overheating.  Finally, at 10:00pm, two hours after the initial attempt, the Pickies were asleep.

Waking up was better.  Just in time to go home.

So this is why families with small children don't want to come visit.  The trips are overshadowed by changes in routine, "my kid doesn't usually act like this" and trying to find a peaceful path for all.

I need a vacation.

After writing this all out, I may punch that person in the face that thinks travelling with kids is fun.
OK, probably not.

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