Well, we survived our big trip to Disney!
We had a good time, really. Highights had to be:
- Meeting Mickey in Town Square (he talks! The looks on the kids faces was so so satisfying!)
- Disney Jr. Live, and lunch with the Disney Jr. characters
- Our sunset Mexico picnic
- Swimming (N is a natural little fishie! He’s only ever been swimming once before and was paddling independently around on the first day!)
- Our last day at the Magic Kingdom where we redid all the favorites and made all the final wishes (mostly mine) come true. Ice cream and the parade and mouse ears and a picture of my three happy boys on Main Street
There was just a lot of magic and the kids had so much fun, and I know we’ll all have amazing memories from this trip.
But we had to wade through a lot of bullshit to get there, because vacationing with other people is not really our thing, apparently. We went with my parents (who were basically fine) and my brother and SIL and their son (who were not fine). I’m sure they don’t like me much either at this point, though god knows I was trying to be nice.
So like I predicted, no one else planned anything and then blamed me for when they didn’t enjoy what the plans were. Hey, look, not my problem people. But half the problem was them – they held us back SO MUCH that we were sitting waiting for them and then had to rush to the next thing, which was not the relaxed touring plan we had scheduled. Look, if your nearly 4 year old (typical child) really needs his diaper changed hourly, maybe he should see someone about that. And whatever if they had been like “we’ll meet you over there in a bit”, but no, it was “watch our stuff, we’ll be back” (why does it take 2 people??). And he still naps, daily, sometimes twice, and yet they still kept dragging him along with us. Look. He and N are the same age. N was go-go-go. If he hadn’t been ready for this trip? We wouldn’t have GONE. (Or would have planned very differently.)
The first time we got pissed it was like a shockwave went through the house. We had to leave a park before we were ready because THEY were ready to leave, and we weren’t strong enough to push back. We got home, took the kids swimming, and then we were like “you know what? We weren’t done. Kids put your shoes on, we’re going out!” .. and we left. And we had an amazing time, riding some of the rides we missed, and letting the kids have churros and coke for dinner on the steps of the Mexican temple, catching the fireworks on our way out. When we got home, no one spoke to us.
The following day was the final straw though. Their kid got D sick, because apparently they can’t seem to grasp keeping their kid out of people’s faces when he’s sick. (And really, if he’s sick, why are you dragging him around in the heat to do all these things? If he doesn’t feel well, take a freaking day off!) So I was already pissy. But then when their kid didn’t eat dinner and we had to wait while they got him another dinner (ummm?), and then when he didn’t eat that, they stopped and walked away to get him an ice cream without asking if our kids wanted any .. Well, that was that. As soon as we realized that she really did intend to bring her kid back an ice cream cone to eat in front of our kids (who had eaten their dinners! so we were waiting for ice cream until a bit later!) … we walked away and didn’t turn back.
Because the thing is – you can either vacation your own way and buy your kid whatever you want whenever you want and take half hour diaper changing breaks (not. kidding.) … or you can vacation with the group, keeping up with the group, and treating all the kids equal. You don’t get to play it both ways.
So after that, things got a lot better. We didn’t hesitate to split off from the group whenever they started to pull their crap. We started taking 2 cars everywhere, and had some great times with just our kids after everyone else went home. Sometimes my parents came with us, sometimes they went with them. We were like “whatever, we don’t need the help” (with the obvious implication that they DID need it) “but you’re welcome to join us”.
What we have proven is that vacation with other people is just not our game. We don’t need the help, truly. I got myself and all 3 kids ready before anyone else had themselves ready to go in the morning. (2 adults, 1 child, why is it hard?? … and I had to pack all D’s food and food for N because he’s not a fan of park food.) We took our kids swimming, alone. Our kids are kind, polite, personable, and reasonably well-behaved. So even with the bullshit, it still came out ok, because we did everything we really wanted to do, *and* walked away feeling like we’re really doing ok with this parenting thing.
And so, onwards. Unpacking to do. School starts next week (2nd grade, egads!), signing the kids up for theater and swimming and whatever A finally chooses. Fall will come, with apple picking and festivals galore. N turns 4 in a few weeks (!!). September is a busy time.
I’m really really glad we went, and I know the sounds of their laughter and the smiles on their faces will stay with me forever. We’ll be back, Disney. We’ll be back.