March 22, 2010

Vacation Awesomeness

Apologies for my abrupt departure last week. My husband has been doing a lot of work in the South as of late. Last Monday afternoon, he called me from Atlanta.

"Hey," he joked, "Why don't you drive down here with the kids and spend a week?"

Forty-five minutes later, I was on the road. I made it as far as Baltimore before the consequences of my impulsive decision-making fully sank in. After pulling off at the next rest stop, I did the following things in the following order:

1. Confiscated what was left (there wasn't much) of the package of Styrofoam cups that I had inadvertently left in the back seat of my car.

2. Made the compulsive seat kicker switch seats so he was no longer sitting in directly in back of me and was instead, sitting behind his twin brother.

3. Told the compulsive urinator that he would be deprived of any further beverages until we reached Richmond.

4. Temporarily relinquished my I-Pod to my daughter on the condition that she not criticize any occupant of the car for at least one hour.

5. Spent a small fortune booking my husband a last minute one-way airline ticket.

"Get to the airport quick!" I told him. "I'm picking you up in Raleigh in four hours."

My unplanned vacation was filled with magical moments, most of which took place between the hours of 7-9pm in my husband's 400 square-foot studio apartment.

"Be quiet and go to sleep!" I screeched at least a million times to my squirming, giggling offspring. "There are people all around us!" I pointed to the ceiling, floor, and walls.

I learned the hard way that apartment living is an abstract construct to children who grow up in houses.

The most memorable experience of the week by far, however, occurred not in a high-rise apartment building, but in a high-end eatery known as Burger King. I was there eating lunch with my kids one day when I noticed a woman at a nearby table wrinkle her nose at us and turn away in disgust.

I assumed the woman's reaction to my family had something to do either with the 52 paper cups of ketchup that sat on the table before us or the fact that my eighteen-month-old was systematically dipping his french fries into each of them, or maybe both. I too, am sometimes repulsed by my kids' love of condiments.

After a few minutes of glaring and sneering, the woman couldn't take it anymore and approached our table.

"Excuse me," she said to me. "Did you spill something?"

I looked around, suspiciously. Miraculously, all of my kids' cups were in their upright positions.

"I don't think so," I replied.

"Did your baby spill something?" the woman clarified. By this point, her hands were on her hips.

I glanced under Cameron's high chair and saw the puddle on the floor. Then I felt his diaper.

Faced with such overwhelming physical evidence, I was only left with one option: to lie through my teeth.

"My baby is totally dry," I told the woman, shrugging my shoulders. "I don't know what to say."

The woman stomped back to her table and gave a report to her husband.

"She says her baby is dry!" she shrieked indignantly.

I went back to eating my french fries. I waited until the woman and her husband left the restaurant before asking the manager for a mop.

39 comments

Deanna said...

Did you forget diapers in your packing rush?!

Too funny...I laughed out loud at your "There are people all around us" comment. I live in a fourplex, and we have two rowdy boys, and two very loud parents, who are constantly saying the SAME thing..."SHHHHH! There's people all around us!!!"

thanks for the laugh. Sorry your vacay was such a...bummer... :)

*A* said...

ha-I can relate to the house dwelling kids not understanding apartment life. Last year my barely 5 year old niece came to stay the night with me in my apartment. I told her not to jump on the floor because there was a man under us who would be bothered. Well when we made her a big fort to sleep in on the floor, she refused and cried because she didn't was scared of "the man under the floor"!

the thrifty ba said...

thank you-im in love with your family!
totally dry! ha ha!

Valerie S said...

What a witch. And you didn't lie. You didn't spill a thing. LOL Obviously someone who's never been around animals, toddlers or babies.

Grove Designs Co, aka Kriskropmemories said...

Oh my goodness that is a wonderful story.
Congrats on the impulse, I find that some of my most favorite memories come out of my impulse moves.

Cheers

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you are back. Great come back with the lady. I understand my kids in the hotel. I think the more you tell them to be quiet the louder the get. I'm sorry your vaction wasn't as fun as you wanted. But at least you tried. And they will remember it as fun. Thank you for always making me laugh. chrisit

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

As much as I love to travel, I always have hotel room anxiety and know people in every direction hate us.

Yvette said...

You're awesome and you crack me up! When my oldest children were little I always got back in the car and cried if someone was mean or judged me. I so wish I had your spunk! Thanks for the laugh!

Hel said...

You are my hero.

the last time something closely resembling your pee incident happened to me, I practically died from embarrassment.

My daughter pulled herself out of the little toddler pool waddled over to me and proceeded to spread her legs and pee right in front of everyone.

What could I do? I picked up one of the toy buckets, filled with water and washed it down stream to another family's picnic spot.

Anonymous said...

I love your blog and enjoy reading it very much. Thank you for sharing with us online. :)

Anna said...

Awesome comeback! Really it's none of that lady's business and you were sure to discover the "spill" eventually anyway.

Sarah said...

wow....

i wish i would have seen you in raleigh! i wouldn't have said anything about the baby's diaper!!

agent99 said...

Been there.....GREAT response to a nosy stranger!
Love your blog.
And I don't thing you are the MEANEST mom, that would be me.

Gina said...

I love the way you handled that lady. And seriously, you were at a Burger King, not a 5 star steak house. If she thinks her Burger King hasn't been peed on before...

Luvily said...

You. Are. Good. Wow!!!!!

vanilla said...

Great account of a wonderful time in the life. Fantastic kids. Cherish every moment. And let them live to see another day.

Parenting Ink said...

It's really too bad that you ruined this lady's special meal out at such a fancy restaurant. I'm sure that the 18 month-olds she's used to have much better table manners and bathroom habits.
Granted, if my kids had seen me with a mop at Burger King, WWIII would have erupted. "How cool is that?" they would have said. "Mama, it's not fair that I don't get to do that!"
Glad you're back safe and sound!

Lisa G said...

I soo feel your pain!! -I have 4children and the middle two are Irish twins -although they are 7 and 8 now- they were once infants and toddlers with a older sibling less than 5years adhead of them--but listen, why do some people feel the right to approach you and inform you of their distain /disgust with you and your offspring-who the heck are they?? I applaude you in your moment of "cover up" with your children--next time just tell the lady to get a lIfe or a hobby !! heehee

rella12 said...

you crack me up. Glad you are back.

sarahandmatt said...

ugh. i have been there. why is it impossible to manage a bunch of young kids in public places? and why can't people be a little more understanding?

Margaret said...

LMAO I wish I could just pack up and take a vacation. At least you got to spend time with your hubby though.

Emmy said...

Lol! Good for you for lying! I don't think I could have pulled it off, but yes in that moment it was the best choice.

My sister-in-law lives in a high rise outside of DC, so whenever her 5-year-old goes to Grandma's house or comes to our house she always has to adjust and realize they live in that entire building :)

Melinda said...

I think you have single handedly talked me out of my semi-planned trip from WI to UT this summer. I was planning on driving alone with my 4,2, and 6mo old kids...uhmmmm rethinking. (My husband thanks you.)

Karen in NC said...

So glad you are back!!!!!! This post cracked me up...but ofcourse you always make me laugh!

adhocmom said...

We live in Brooklyn - not in a Cosby brownstone kind of way but in the VERY SMALL APARTMENT kind of way. Toys are divided into "after 10 AM and before 8 pm" piles. It's rough - but luckily our neighbors also have loud annoying habits that we can call them on.

Glad you got away!
x
Paula
www.adhocmom.com

Christine said...

Good for you for braving a last minute trip and a long drive with all the kiddos. Sometimes the best ones are the unplanned ones :)

Kim Ginsberg said...

Welcome back! I missed you! Glad to hear that you got a little vacation, though I know the pain of sharing walls. My 3yo "LOVES THE 'OTEL MOMMY!" the few times we've taken him. I think the surrounding neighbors changed rooms, we had 1/2 the floor to ourselves after a while. OOPS! And, you should be given a medal – kudos to you for your sacrifice in taking the table with the Mountain Dew spill under it so that someone who was there for a fancy afternoon out didn't have to sit there! ::wink wink:: that’s what happened – right? :)

Rosemary said...

Welcome Back! I knew you were having the most awesome vacation! and indeed you were!

Heidi said...

Oh my gosh! I can't believe that lady actually approached you like that!

Pam said...

Family Vacations are sooooo much fun! Especially kids in hotel rooms/apartments.

Morgan -Ing said...

That is quite possibly the best thing I have ever read. EVER.

Jo's girl said...

HA! i would have said the exact same thing!
last time something like that happened to me though I couldn't get out of it. we were wheeling our massive cart through costco and dripping a sticky and very purple trail of their berry smoothie that had been knocked over and a lady had been chasing us down with a thing or paper towels and a spray bottle. I could have died when she caught up to us cause I still didn't realize the mess until she pointed it out. *sigh... good times.

The Mommy said...

I never worry about the other people in the hotel. I just figure we'll be THEIR vacation horror story! :)

We had tried (unsuccessfully) to potty train our then-three-year old before a trip to Disney World. He wore pull-ups for most of the trip (normally, a waste of money, IMO). We were having lunch at the Harbor House in the Magic Kingdom when I heard him say, "Mommy? I think I heard poopie hit the floor." *grunting* *suspicious sounds* "Yep! Definitely poopie hitting the floor!" I'm pretty sure there's a photo of our family with a big red "X" over it in front of this establishment...

And yes, I'm the same mother whose son (same one, two years later) puked on the cheerleaders during the wait for Fantastmic at Disney MGM. {SIGH}

I'm just glad you didn't have to fly anywhere...

Tracey said...

I could never, ever think that fast...you are hilarious ;-)

Carmen said...

Loved the stories but all I could think of by the end of the post was "That BITCH!" (Not you, the potty-spotter). Like you WANT to leave pee in a restaurant?! I remember you posting once about how kind strangers have been over the years. Sometimes its hard to remember those when you encounter such jerks.

I'm glad you had a fun vacation overall though:)

Kacy said...

Sounds like a blast.

Renny said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
You should have asked her to clean it up for you. That would have been more Christlike of her.

The Parent Trapped said...

#1 is OK. #2 is just gross. Oh the places we mothers clean up our children's bodily fluids. I don't even flinch anymore, you?

Nishant said...

never been around animals, toddlers or babies.
data entry work from home