December 13, 2010

Our Rad Vacation

This weekend, my husband and I took our older kids on a short cruise to the Bahamas. We specifically left Cameron at home so we could do some fun activities together as a family.

I shouldn't have bothered.

All my kids wanted to do the whole time was watch television in their cabin.

"We didn't come here to watch T.V.," I told them. "Let's go check out the buffet or something."

I had to poke them with sticks to see if they were still alive.

"Do you guys want to go swimming in the pool?" asked my husband.

All eyes remained fixed on the television screen until my husband leaned over and turned it off.

"Hey!" they grumbled in unison. "I was watching that!"

My husband ticked off the options on his fingers. "How about ping pong?" he asked. "Or shuffleboard or basketball? At 3 o'clock, we can learn how to fold towels into the shape of animals."

There was panic and desperation in my husband's voice. For a brief moment, he thought that he had flushed several hundred dollars down the toilet. Then, out of nowhere, hope rose out of the abyss of darkness.

"I can think of something that I would like to do," volunteered Camber.

"Yes?" we asked, hands clasped in eager anticipation. By that point, both of us had cabin fever so bad that we would have agreed to sing a karaoke duet at one of the ship's bars, if that's what it took.

"We could order room service," she said with a delighted sigh.

"I officially hate myself," hissed my husband as we dragged our children, kicking and screaming, up to the pool deck.

"We're going swimming now," my husband said through gritted teeth. One by one, the children were dropped into the water.

"She's trying to kill us!" Cortlen told a fellow swimmer, pointing in my direction.

"We're having fun together as a family," I corrected.

The swimmer looked embarrassed for us.

"Why are we doing this to ourselves?" my husband asked me a few minutes later. We were sitting in deck chairs, recovering from all of the fun. Our offspring were huddled in mass in the hot tub, plotting against us.

Ten minutes later, we were back in the dungeon.

"I might not make it through this," my husband announced, moments after Camber poked her head through the door to our adjoining rooms. She had just gotten off the phone with the cruise ship operator.

"I ordered everything!" she announced, referring to the room service menu.

No good deed goes unpunished.

28 comments

6 and counting said...

I'm sorry you had such a lousy time, it sounds painful and depressing.

Getting a "family" to gel is hard work year-around so that when you do go on vacation, it's enjoyable (and familiar) for the family to be together.

Work on it, maybe next time.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I just went there this spring.....alone......without kids. I have to say our experience was just a little different then yours.
You may want to try that one again someday.......our way.
I'm just sayin'....

Anonymous said...

I got to go to Greece with my hubby.... withOUT the kids.... for a week!! Pure Bliss... so sorry things didn't work well for the family togetherness during your cruise. I have 4 kids and can totally relate, whenever we go anywhere with them, they can't seem to travel without a dvd player hooked up to the seats, heaven forbid if we have to turn it off to take a potty break, or even gas the car... even the enticing smell of McDonald's and play area.. forget that! LOL Word of advice... next cruise... leave ALL the kids at home! :)

Raquel said...

We cruise often and have taken our toddler on a 14 night transatlantic when he was just 15 months old. He enjoyed walking around the halls like they were some big maze and being so little lots of people wanted to "coo" at him. He loved being the center of attention!! We look forward to taking him again but I can see how tweens might not find poolside bridge tournaments to be that exciting....

The Mamma Bear said...

I love it! They will always remember it. These are the kind of vacations that create the best stories as they grow older. Every time they look at that picture they will remember how "cool" it was and ask to go again! Kids are so funny. You are a great mom!

Jessica said...

Sometimes we call that FFF
Forced Family Fun

Lauren said...

Oh my goodness this sounds way too familiar. And makes me rethink wanting to do anything fun with my kids ever again until they're much older. I literally laughed out loud reading this, and made my husband read it, he laughed too. I'm sorry you went through this, but thanks for sharing it!

Laurie said...

All too familiar.... we took our kids on a really fun vacation to Vail. My 5 year old daughter missed one day of school. When we returned, she said, "I missed getting a sticker the day we were gone. It was mean to make us go on vacation." SERIOUSLY? Here's a pack of stickers, now smile and be grateful! :)

Ruth Ann said...

The one and only cruise I went on was for my parents'50th and all the siblings and their spouses went. We had so much fun! There was always somebody to talk to and do stuff with. I decided I'd always take my family or friends with me!

"SNOWMANLOVER" said...

Oh dear!!! I will make sure the kids do not turn on the tv on our cruise!!

Lisa said...

At least next time when you say you are leaving them home and they whine and cry about it you have reasons to back it up.... :)

Nancy said...

When we go on vacation with the kids, we remind them ahead of time that it is family time and we will be spending it together and not glued to the TV set or other electronic devices. Letting them know our expectations ahead of time seems to pave the way for a pretty good time together. Sorry your trip wasn't what you'd hoped for.

Laurie said...

We went on a 7 day cruise last month with our two kids (5 and 3) and they loved the TV too. There was one channel of cartoons they couldn't get enough of, even though they were just playing the same cartoons over and over. I got pretty sick of them at least, since the kids had to have that on any time we were in our cabin. We were lucky though that they did want to do some other things besides that. I am so sorry your kids weren't as accomidating.

Anonymous said...

A very wise person once told me that it's a "trip" if you take the kids... and it's a "vacation" when you leave them at home.

Tiffany said...

Love the reference to "Wicked"! (aargh... so true!)

Mal said...

Why do they even have television in the cabins? Hello! It's a cruise ship!

douberlyfamily said...

When we only had one child, we have 4 now, we took him on a cruise and we promised right then and there that we would never do that again. We take a week's vacation without the kids almost once a year. It's way better. We do family things, too, just not cruising! So sorry! You should've asked me first! :)

Jenny in NC said...

This reminds me of a few years back when we moved to a Seattle and I quit my job. I was so excited to be a stay at home mom! We were staying temporarily in a condo with a gym and a swimming pool, near tons of cool attractions, and the kids hadn't started school yet. The world was our playground! Well, all the kids wanted to do was watch Scooby Doo. (We had never had a TV before, and the condo had a big one with millions of channels.) The kids were hysterically mad at me for making them leave the house. Makes you wonder why you bother, doesn't it?

Em said...

I hope parents a rewarded after this life for all the times we really tried and our kids really didn't care. I took my newborn and three year old to the aquarium today and all my three year old wanted to do was visit the bathroom. Next time we'll just stop at a rest stop.

Annie B Larson said...

My husband and I went on a cruise without the children and it was the best vacation we have ever had. We have been thinking about another with just our older children. I think I just changed my mind.

Christine said...

I can never understand why when we go on vacation the hotel room is more attractive than the destination.

My kids finally got their fair share of hotel rooms this summer when we spent our the last 1/2 of our all inclusive vacation at Cancun this summer holed up in the rooms with e-coli ordering "all you can eat" sprite and water bottles and running between rooms to use whatever bathroom was unoccupied at the moment. I think we were all "hoteled" out at that point.

whiting family said...

A few years ago we took our five children on a cross country 17 day road trip to see church history sites. My youngest still refers to it as "dad's stupid trip"

Katja said...

Sounds like no one gets sunburnt. ;)

I took my 2 1/2 y/o son to the zoo this summer. He likes to play with his wooden animals and always feeds them. Very cute. blabla

Well, everything he talks about in kindergarten next days where the may "men with shovels like bob the builder" and the big excavator, the crane and the "deeeeeep hole". Most impressing thing in the whole big (expensive!) zoo: the small construction zone NEXT to the zoo. Turns out could have saved loads of money spending a day simply at roadworks nearby.

Southern Queen of the Crazies said...

Exactly!! I have been there. :o/

Paula/adhocmom said...

That is my greatest fear. Does room service deliver booze?

love2seeclay said...

Oh god. Please do not let this be a look into my near future. However, we're on Disney and at least all the room service is included AND they have a kids club if they start to drive me too nuts! When all else fails - Disney also lets you bring on your own alcohol. Mommy will just have her drinks out here on the verandah while you watch studid cartoons!

Jo's girl said...

what is with kids on vacation?! miserable my girls do the same thing (being mesmerized by the tv) I'm grateful they didn't comprehend room service when we stayed at a very swanky hotel. we did manage the pool but unfortunately I was the one to call it quits when they kept nearing some drunken adults with loud potty mouths. so SO much fun.

Norma =^.,.^= said...

Same thing happened to us - we took our kids to Disneyland. Their first time, even! They would much rather have stayed in the suite watching cable than walk across the street to the happiest place on earth. Little ingrates.