When I was younger, my siblings and I would always cringe when vacation time rolled around with the fam, because it meant just one thing from our mother:
Endless pestering with the question, “Are you guys having fun?”
We would all groan and force plastered smiles on our face and point out the seemingly obvious fact that if she had to ask us, it kind of defeated the purpose of spontaneous fun, didn’t it?
Now, however, that I am the mother, I totally get where she was coming from, because holy crap, vacationing is a heck of a lot of work with kids and I’ll be darned if everyone isn’t going to have the most fun they’ve ever had in their entire lives!
I found myself turning to the kids and Ben every 0.5 seconds and asking the very same question as my mother, because apparently, I’ve turned into her, and I just wanted everyone to have fun, ok?
See, it’s like this–earlier this week, we took a little family vacation that I planned. I tried to fool you all by talking about how I planned it for next week because my husband was all, what if someone sees it and robs us, and then in a great irony, as we were walking out the door, he told some random guy that flew into our ditch that we were were leaving for vacation. Nicely done, hubs. (Sidenote: we did not get robbed.)
Anyways, so I planned this little trip and it felt a bit like I was dragging everyone along for the ride and I shopped and packed the entire house, including snacks and meals for the whole two-day trip (yes, we ate it all), and planned every last detail so nothing would be forgotten, right down to the precise amount of suckers I would need to ensure that the baby survived the 4-hour car ride.
And in the end, we actually had a really nice time, although even I can admit that by day two, everyone was a bit tired and crabby. In retrospect, perhaps the 8-mile bike ride around the island was a bit much.
But there was fun on the boat…
And butterfly hunting…
And, of course, plenty of ice cream…
When we got home and had everyone tucked safely into their beds, I patted myself a little on the back for our first successful, semi-relaxing, fun family vacation.
Until, that is, Ben came in from unpacking the car with a horrified look on his face.
“What? What is it?” I asked, panicked, thinking we had accidentally stolen something from the hotel or one of those kids had smeared my carefully packed snack bag all over the backseat.
“Remember how we stopped to go to the beach and used the towels under the car seats?” he started slowly.
I nodded, remembering my rush to get to the beach before tantrums ensued and chilly weather set in.
“Well,” he said carefully. “I think you will be horrified to know that…”
“What?” I interrupted.
He looked at me, still hesitating.
“I think you forgot to buckle the seat back in. We may have drove the whole way home with Mya’s car seat not hooked up.”
Oh, no. Not again.
Although part of me refuses to believe that I really am that bad of a mom and hopes against hope that Ada inadvertently unbuckled it at one of our rest stops, one part of me knows for sure…
I’ll never make fun of my mother again.