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Fool's Errand (def): Family Vacation

Welcome back everyone!  With the short week, I’m skipping a new poll so you’ve still got time to vote in the pediatrician poll.  Hope your Fourth of July was fun; we took a long, four-day weekend and went – nowhere.

Honestly, the idea of traveling on what was probably the most-vacationed weekend of the summer was too much for us.  Add to that the whole throwing-off-Maddie’s-schedule thing, and oh yes, the whole money thing, and we decided a four-day weekend at home sounded really awesome.

With so much free time, it’s amazing to me how little the days felt different from any normal day.  I realize now that with parenthood comes that paradigm of No Days Off Ever, even on vacation.  Have a whole day with no commitments?  Good for you.  Think you’re going to sleep in until noon?  Jessica Simpson has a better chance of winning an Emmy for her stellar but puzzlingly short-lived variety show.  Since every day is a vacation day for Maddie, she’s pretty happy to keep going with the status quo schedule-wise.  Every night we’d pathetically say, “Night night sweetheart.  You can sleep in tomorrow – no need to get up at your regular time.”  She’s smile at our thoughtfulness, wave cheerfully, and self-sacrificially get up at her normal time the next morning anyway.

So really what a day off now means is Less Time Taken Up With Life, More Time For Maddie.  She adores it, and I’m longing for a nice old-fashioned errand to run that would take up a good half-hour before her next nap.  “Oh, look, out of anchovy paste!  Can’t make cereal without that!  I’ll just run to the grocery store real quick . . .”

To be fair, though, Vacation also means more help from daddy, and that totally rocks.  I’m pretty sure his definition of vacation is not “cessation from a desk job in order to work like a slave for my one-year-old”, but these extra five pounds I’m carrying are not my definition of “you get your post-pregnancy figure back in six months”.  Your old figure, with interest, apparently.

At any rate, we’ve started talking about trying to take a mini-vacation some time this summer:  just a long weekend somewhere driveable where we know no one, and can therefore happily stick to Maddie’s schedule without looking like Paranoid New Parents.  “It’s 11:05!  It’s time for her nap!  Retreat from the beach – go! Go!  Go!”

I’m casting about searching for a place that’s on the beach and cheap, and oh yeah, family friendly.  Remember how those words used to be enough to make you cross a potential hotel off your list?  Now that phrase is manna from heaven.  Does it have a pool?  Do they provide sturdy pack n plays?  Family restaurant?  And the gold prize – a playground?

And as I’m compiling criteria, I begin to realize the list looks strangely familiar.  Park in walking distance – access to water – sleeping arrangements as much like home as possible – ability to control her food – wait, I know this place! 

Yeah, it’s called home.  We’re working our butts off to recreate our home environment – and the corresponding schedule – as closely as possible.

With the added bonus of paying for it.

Maybe I’ll just call my girlfriend Abby, and our families can swap houses for a week to get a change of scenery.

Though she’s got one more bedroom than we have – we may have to pay extra for that.


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