My daughter is a spoiled brat right now, because we took her on vacation. I always dread the day after we return from a trip, because I have to resume my Jedi mind tricks to whip her back from being a brat to a well-behaved child…all alone. This is the curse of the family vacation.
My husband gets to spoil her for several days and then gather up his computer and head off to work. I’m supplied the consequences on a shiny, whiny platter, the minute she wakes up in her own bed again. Even by providing limitations on the vacation, like you can only have one cookie instead of two, you can only go on the Nemo ride three times in a row instead of four and you can only stay up one hour past your bedtime instead of two, her nature still seeps into the naughty side. It’s inevitable. The rules no longer exist on vacation.
It’s time to clog up the colon, because fruits and vegetables are not sold at Disney World. If we were lucky, her overpriced kid’s meals would come with a bag of pre-packaged grapes or, only at remote locations, a bag of whitened, stale carrots. Salad wasn’t even an option. Do unripe tomatoes and soggy lettuce on a greasy burger count as salad? Maybe they consider potatoes a vegetable. By growth they are, but by nutrition they are not. Especially, the French fried kind.
So, Babyface hit the jackpot and we had to pretend mashed potatoes, ketchup, applesauce, pizza sauce, ice cream and 10% apple juice were packed with nutrition. Should be fine for nine days right? Yes, but what about the aftermath of not eating peas, broccoli or even corn? She thinks we’ve altered her diet plan. It’s like teaching her how to go from baby food to solids, all over again. There is a lot of spoon pushing, crying and a big fat mess to cleanup for several days after. Vacation erased.
Babyface can really kick like Beckham on vacation and I have the bumps and bruises to show for it. We are partly responsible, as she gets only 3/4s of her usual sleep cycle. The worst are the stroller breakdowns. She’s dragging her feet within a sea of tourists and refuses to hold a hand, so we have to reluctantly stuff her in the stroller and get “socked” in the face.
This doesn’t disappear the moment we step into our home. For days after, I’m fighting all of her kicking, punching and screaming, trying to get her to go to sleep or even get her into the car. My boobs are sore, as we speak. I have to revert to several timeouts and lost privileges, just to retrain my little Sugar Ray. It’s exhausting. Once again, vacation erased.
Walking the mile back to the hotel to put her down for a nap was impossible and a waste of time, so for nine days she went without one. Since my husband works late hours, her naptime is my regroup time. I need it more than I need wine after listening to a full day of her whining.
This is the trickiest post-vacation task. How do I get her back on a normal sleep schedule without a suffering a bloody nose or falling deaf? There is a lot of book reading, water drinking and stuffed animal exchanging going on. It’s exhausting. Once again, vacation erased.
Our Deluxe Disney Resort did not have a Disney Channel showcasing their own stuff. We just had basic cable. Sometimes on a long vacation, it’s nice for her and us to have a little TV time. She gets an hour of downtime and we get an hour of naptime. How can they not have a Disney movie channel? We had two movies on the iPad and I refused to let her rewatch those more than once, so she went for those nine days without Sesame Street. This is like me going nine days without seeing the next episode of The Bachelor (yes, it is my embarrassing, guilty pleasure).
This morning, she watched Sesame Street in a trance like I’ve never seen. Not only did my waving hand not wake her up, but dancing and clapping didn’t make her budge. Then, when she finished up her first episode, she melted down in an attempt to win a second. As much as I’d like her to be out of my hair for another 60 minutes, I don’t want her to turn into a zombie. Another round of timeouts and tears. Vacation erased.
I used to dislike returning home because it symbolized a return to the daily grind. Now, I dislike it because it means I’ll have to go into crunch mode and retrain my little maniac. Welcome home.