We’re getting ready for our family vacation in August. It’s a biggie – driving down to Washington, D.C. for a few nights before heading down to South Carolina for few more. The kids are all excited. Really, they love any change of scenery. And hubby is doing is part to prepare. He’s actually had a lot to do: get the car serviced, have the mail stopped, devise a tentative itinerary (after all, we have kids so it has to be somewhat flexible). Oh, and he has to pack.
Yeah, that’s it.
As with all moms, the bulk of the preparation work is on me. Not that I’m opposed to vacations, but let’s face it. Wives tend to do more prep than the husbands. The males are responsible for one person: themselves. We handle the other living things in the house: kids, pets, even plants.
My prep began weeks ago when I went to AAA and our local library to get the destination books we’ll use to fine tune our vacation. It continued when I enlisted our babysitter to check in on the cat to make sure she’s ok while we’re gone. Part of that will be writing up instructions for Kitty’s care. Then there are the packing lists for the kids. Those are a challenge because I don’t want to do laundry while on the trip and we don’t want to pay to have laundry done. The boy is easy because he’ll basically wear anything, however, since my little one is a messy girl who is very particular about what she wears, lots of negotiations are in my future.
Since I’m on Weight Watchers and we want to make sure the kids eat healthy, I’ll be making sure some fresh produce is in the cooler for the drive down. And because someone will inevitably get sick, I’ll pack medicines so we don’t have to go on a frantic midnight search for Tylenol or Motrin when someone has a fever. Our beach destination necessitates packing oodles of sunscreen (lotion, spray, and stick-type for the face) plus bug spray (my children are especially sweet).
Then there are the toys they will want: boogie boards, sand toys, balls for the many sports my husband and son enjoy, as well as dolls for the pool and the full assortment of goggles. Books will be packed in the hopes that a brain cell or two will receive some exercise. And there’s the requisite technology for both the kids and adults: Nintendo DS (and charger), cell phones (and chargers), digital camera (and charger), and MP3 player (and charger).
The morning we leave, there will be last-minute checking: did I give the cat sitter the house key? Did I water the plants sufficiently? Do I have the kids’ vitamins? Do we have enough water for the trip down? Are the dishes done? Are there any major appliances on? Is the house tidy so we’re not returning to the usual disorderliness we live in? Did I install the little one’s large booster seat? Do they have enough stuff to occupy them for the 5-hour drive? Did everyone at least try to go to the bathroom?
Upon our return, I’ll be unpacking EVERYTHING including a bucket or two of shells and doing copious amounts of laundry whilst the family continues along with their merry lives. We won’t even mention the pictures which will need developing and scrapbooks that desperately need updating to show how much fun we had on the trip.
And there will be fun. Snippets of it, here and there. Lots of “oh my God” exclamations from the little one. The boy, who is turning 11 on the trip, will have the time of his life. My husband will get the much-deserved rest he craves. I, having enjoyed the change in venue, will wait for my real vacation…when the kids return to school.
This is an original post for Jersey Moms Blog by MomsCrayon, a New Jersey mom.
Photo credit given ShoePerWoman.