Merriam Webster defines vacation as “a period of time that a person spends away from home, school, or business usually in order to relax or travel.”
Okay, so we have the first part down. Definitely away from home and business, but definitely not the last few words,”relax”? Not sure I have even figured out what that is yet! You see, as a parent your “work” never goes away. You are always a mommy and a daddy. No matter how much help (in the form of other competent adults to watch your tiny humans) you bring with you, your children ultimately want you and need you!
We have been
at the beach down south for 5 days now and my expectation for what our first vacation as a family of four would be has changed drastically!
TODDLERS DO NOT LIKE CHANGE.
My tiny humans are so confused and out of their element. We are in a huge house with a large portion of our family. They don’t know which way is up, or how to get anywhere. It’s a long walk to get to their snacks and up to their toys in their room. How frustrated would you be if you had no idea where anything was? We are trying as hard as we can to make it feel like home, but that’s pretty impossible in a house double the size of ours.
It’s light out way past their bedtime. Falling asleep has been extremely hard, and they aren’t sleeping through the night because of various unpredictable noises.
Thankfully, I am a morning person and I don’t mind getting up at five, but I’m sure the entire house doesn’t want to get up at the arse crack of dawn to go for a walk. The up side is I have seen more beach sun rises than ever before!
TODDLERS AND HEAT AREN’T FRIENDS.
“I got my toes in the water, butt in the sand, not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand. Life is good today.”
Life is definitely good, but your typical vacation habits are just a dream. Babies get hot quickly and then the tantrums start much more easily than they otherwise would. We only spent an hour or two outside at a time for the first few days of vacation. It is a completely different heat than they are used to in Ohio.
TODDLERS ARE A LOT OF WORK.
Oh my word. I am a stay at home mom, so I am used to my children around me 24/7, but add in a different location and they were attached to me like white on rice. Go into vacation with the mindset that you will only relax when the munchkins are sleeping. We never stopped worrying or running around with them. We loved every minute of it, but it was work, work, work, work, work, work…
TODDLERS STILL MAKE MESSES.
Okay, so this is obvious, but I still want to mention it. They still get into everything that you don’t want them to get into. There are still toys strewn across the house. And, unless you pack for every single day, then you will be doing laundry. A lot. All the chores you had at home are still there, just more annoying because all you want is to be laying on the beach. Just to lay on the beach for five minutes…
TODDLERS SENSE RELAXATION LIKE ANIMALS SENSE FEAR.
We worked in shifts, attempting to be able to just sit and soak up the sun. It never failed that once one of us settled down in our chair that both children would start screeching like they were dying.
Sand in eyes.
“He touched me.”
Grandparent moved out of sight.
Wrong parent is holding the baby.
Daddy covered his foot with sand. He is dying because said foot is now gone.
Catching birds is hard.
The best one of all, both toddlers get up and go. In different directions.
So, you run to the rescue of whoever was attempting to watch two toddlers alone.
NO ONE ELSE SPEAKS YOUR TODDLER’S LANGUAGE.
Like I said before, we have a ton of family with us that give us breaks from time to time.
All parents know the “toddler language” but unless someone is around your toddler a lot, then you run into conversations like this…
Adult: I know you were trying to relax, but I have no clue what she is asking for and now she wont stop crying!
Me: Okay, bring her out here.
BK#1: mommmaaa oooseie in yewwooo tup!!!
Me: Good grief kiddo, take a deep breath and tell that to her without fussing.
BK#1: Juice in yellow cup?
Two year olds are funny fickle little things! Don’t feel bad if you don’t know what they are saying 80% of the time. There are days I just stare at her like she is an alien because the things she is saying definitely doesn’t follow a language on earth.
We are having a blast on vacation and you should definitely make it happen for your family if you can! Thankfully, all my children will remember are the hours floating in the ocean and lots of alone time with mom and dad, but man oh man, next year I will definitely be going with much lower standards of what family vacation is with young children!
Keep a lookout for more on our family vacation. Tips, tricks, lists, products and how we turned chaos into fun!