Monday, March 3, 2014

Vacation Procrastination

If you have kids, you've been bombarded repeatedly with The Rules.  You know the kind-- "sleep when the baby sleeps", or "always be consistent".  It's not that these rules aren't important, but why aren't veteran parents sharing the lesser-known rules that really make parenting bearable?

I was thinking about these rules when we made arrangements for last weekend's trip to Grand Harbor Resort and waterpark, a perennial favorite for our family and a place Cael and Graham have been begging to visit ever since the latest ice age descended upon Iowa.
Photo credit here.
I had wanted to use the trip as an incentive to encourage good behavior, but I instead chose to abide by one of the lesser-known rules of parenting, "wait as long as possible to share good news".  It's not that I don't want to share something exciting with my kids, but more that I don't want to hear "when are we going to the waterpark?" on permanent loop as I eat, sleep, attempt to pee alone, and any time we get in the car to go anywhere.  Ever.

While I was avoiding the conversation, I figured I may as well not tell the kids that my friend Alissa and her family would be joining us on the trip as well, coming to our house the night before and allowing all four of the kids some overdue time to play together.

As the days came closer, I realized that I had several tasks to complete before the big day.  First and foremost, I'd either need to purchase a maternity swimsuit or consult with the hotel about the dress code.  As it turns out, I did find a swimsuit mere days before, which is good because I procrastinated that phone call.  

As an aside, does anyone know if it is acceptable to wear granny panties and a fleece robe into a public pool?  Even if it is knotted?

With that chore surprisingly accomplished, I'd need to do some cooking.  This being our third joint escape to the waterpark, Alissa and I had the trip down to a science.  Eat lunch before leaving, pack an easy-to-assemble meal in a cooler (tacos for me this time), pack a continental-style breakfast (Alissa took charge of muffins and fruit) and after exhausting ourselves with swimming, head out to lunch before returning home.  Add in a few snacks (puppy chow, anyone?) and we would have the makings for a great weekend.
Photo credit here.
The only problem was that if I launched into a big cooking project and those foods never turned up on the dinner table, my boys would become suspicious, and all of my vacation procrastination would be for not.  Better put that off, too.

As Friday finally came, I knew I needed to get the house picked up for our guests.  But rather than scrub the bathrooms and alert Cael and Graham to the upcoming events, I waited until they went to sleep to get to work, since our friends weren't arriving until late that night.  

Unfortunately, as Alissa walked through the door with her family, I realized I'd waited a little too long.  I did get the bathrooms cleaned, but there simply wasn't enough time to finish the laundry or vacuum the house.  It was then I realized I also hadn't cooked any of the food needed for the trip, hadn't packed any bags, never arranged the cooler or bought ice, and the boys still had no idea what was to come.

And when Cael woke me up at 5am to clean up Graham's vomit from every surface in their room, I realized just how important procrastination could be.

In the morning, when our friends packed their car back up and headed home, after Joel called the hotel and cancelled our reservation, and around the time I put away the fresh towels, newly purchased swimsuit and taco ingredients, I was eternally grateful I'd kept the boys in the dark.

Might still have to make that puppy chow, though.

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