So, we are back from vacation.
It was good. You know, for the most part. Actually, it was almost like home, but not at home. With much smaller bathrooms and the narrowest kitchen possible. And my parents.
But I loved the view.
As many parents with kiddos on the spectrum know all too well, change is hard. Routines are KING. So, trying to get out of the rut and go to a new place can be very tricky. Luckily, we have been taking Mayor Bee to the beach since he was, well, half baked (in 2007 I was 20 weeks). So, it’s not like a completely alien concept to him.
We rent a beach house each year. We each have our preferences. It has to be dog friendly (yes, we take Jack da dog with us too). Husband = oceanfront and easy beach access, as to not have lug beach crap back and forth. We prefer a pool – especially for B as he loves swimming. Also I still get, ahem, motion sick in the ocean…so I can’t stay in for too long without the real possibility of tossing my cookies.
So this year we are oceanfront (literally, off the deck is the beach) with a pool (small but sufficient) but the TINIEST bathrooms. Two of them, and one is so small that turning around is almost impossible (needless to say this was a shower only bath).
As for vacation itself, we researched family friendly activities. First, there was the waterpark. This was a smaller park but they have this amazing kiddie area with slides and even a lazy river. We left M with my parents in order to have “one on one” time with B – which we know has been difficult.
We went to the Aquarium another day. BIG shout out to Virginia Aquarium who saw us struggle with B in line because there was a couple taking their good ole sweet time chatting up the ticket girl. A rep ushered us over to a different area where we got tickets to go in. It was small but it was nice enough and B loved looking at all the marine life. M even came along for this one.
The last night we took the kids to the Boardwalk. I was apprehensive because I was not sure how crowded it would be. Crowds could overwhelm him with the noise, or he could join in the raucous…dunno which way it will go. But – it actually was a bit quiet (even with the Shriners in town, we sat near a group of them at dinner). We took him to a tiny “Midway” (with some real old school amusement park rides…Gravitron, anyone?). There were a couple of kiddie rides so he got to ride a Flying Dumbo, a Bear Tilt-A-Whirl and of course a very clackity carousel.
So all that sounds great. But, OH MY GOD is it tiring with two kids. I know my mother snickered throughout the week whenever my frustration bubbleth over. Because not only does one dedicate time and energy to Mayor Bee, the Divine Miss M needs attention. Because, she’s like, an infant and can’t do anything. She is not even at the stage that I could have her hold the bottle.
We never slept in. Though M pretty much sleeps through the night (thank you Lord Jesus in Heaven), Jack rudely awakens us because he’s not potty trained. Then B is up (even though for a few days he was in another room). M may or may not be up at that time…so we could juggle two or three of these kids at 6:00 AM. They all need to go to the bathroom and eat, in some way. And they all need.it.NOW. Or, more like “Noowwwwwweeeeeee!”
By 7:30 AM B already wants to go swimming, the beach, or just like anywhere. Husband and I are still trying to get coffee in our system to resume normality. We have to distract him so we can even eat. B goes into his Laurie Berkner phase, watching, singing and dancing to her DVDs. Loudly. Or he’ll run laps around the house, sooner or later doing a faceplant or skidding into the wall.
One thing I will say was good about being up early was that we did the waterpark and Aquarium early, which had no crowds. Good for B as we didn’t have to worry too much about potential meltdowns, fits, waiting, etc.
Instead of playing zone defense, we are now man-to-man. We tag in and tag out of handling each kid. Can I add any more sports related analogies?
Trying to keep to a nap schedule for B was downright impossible. We did our damndest to tire him out…he would figure out some way to delay the inevitable. Obviously he didn’t want to miss any minute of the beach, but him not napping ends up making us all very stabby at the end of the day. Which happened once or twice, I think.
Our bedroom was HUGE; it had a king bed and a futon. B’s room was bunk beds, but he kept whacking his head on the lower bunk or slamming his body against the wall. So, we decided he could sleep with us in the bedroom w/ M (she had a pack n play thingie).
That was not the smartest idea we had. It was fine at naptime, but at night he ended up crawling into bed with us. Jack also will sleep on the bed too, so we were all crammed on the bed. B actually pushed Husband off once so poor Husband slept on the futon one night. If it’s not that, B wants to talk and sing. And elbow us…then start wailing if we (grumpily) tell him we cannot deal with his chattering. Surprisingly M slept through most of this, except when her thrush returned.
My parents did help out. My mom was all gaga over M anyway, and didn’t mind holding her much of the time. My dad is a total idol to B – he would follow him around everywhere. They even babysat one night so I could take Husband out for his birthday. That was an awesome gift.
So, all in all I guess I have finally morphed into my mother, who when we went on vacation never seemed to completely let loose. Now I know why; it’s because she always had to worry about one of us girls. It’s also expensive to do “stuff”, especially since B now is considered a “child”. Even the limited things we did added up.
It’s good to be home.