How To Survive Traveling with Kids. A How-Not-To Guide.

Again, I will say that the things that should be the most fun in life for adults are the least fun, with kids. Traveling with kids is just the same shit as home, except not at home. We just got back from a few days in a cabin in the woods. Assuming you don’t get axe-murdered, that should be a pretty peaceful getaway, right? Not so much. I’ve heard it said that a vacation with kids should just be called a trip. Yeah. It was a trip.

Our first hour there, both kids walked into a swamp to catch frogs with their bare hands. I’m the kind of mom who fancies herself natural-ish and wants to make Gwyneth proud, and who thinks childhood should be like the not racist parts of Tom Sawyer. I encourage these misadventures. But there are consequences. Like, we went through 75% of the contents of our suitcase within a few hours of our 3 day trip. And like the red, raised, swollen looking rash that Henry had all over his torso the next morning. I thought for sure it was flesh-eating swamp bacteria or flesh-eating swamp poison ivy, or tick-spider-sandworm bites, and then finally realized it was really a bunch of mosquito bites. It was an emotional roller coaster for a while there.

We did a lot of preventing them from drowning in the river and preventing them from drowning in the lake, and preventing them from jumping in the bonfire. We fielded a lot of questions about why it was still raining (“God’s crying because you won’t take a nap”) and how much fudge they could eat (“Any you can pry out of my cold, dead fist”). Anna calls fudge “smudge” which is so cute, we’ve made a pact not to correct her. They handled the long drives alright. When they ask ARE WE THERE YET, we always answer “yes,” because fucket.

I shouldn’t have to say this, but please don’t take parenting advice from us. In case you were considering it. A few of my younger cousins this weekend were talking about watching us older cousins figure out parenting so they could have a step-up when they start families themselves. Bad idea. Terrible plan. Follow literally anyone else. We feed ours chocolate and then drop them in swamps.

If anyone of them reads this, I’m guessing they’re thinking, “Oh, geez. Did she think we meant HER? Haha. No. We know way better. How awkward.”

We did get to catch up with a lot of family, and had a few minutes here and there to relax a little. Coming home after being gone is always a relief, except that the kids’ are high on sugar and low on sleep, so we always have a few days of debriefing/monstering. Tonight, for example, it took Anna 1.5 hours to fall asleep. At one point, Robb found her hiding in the hall closet.

Eh. Whatever. Everyone made it home in one piece. We’re killing it. Pass the smudge.


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