Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Optimistic Amnesiacs

A few weeks back I wrote about our "vacation" weekend in Santa Barbara, prompting my dear old friend Mark to comment, "Now you know the difference between a vacation and a trip."

So you'd have thought I'd have been prepared for the singular hell that was the morning we left on our next "vacation."

Yet somehow, nature or God (if you believe in that sort of supreme being) wired would-be vacationing parents to be optimistic amnesiacs. That morning, when I awoke seven-thirty-ish and began to get Thing 1 and Thing 1 ready for our 358-mile journey to the Bay Area, I actually believed we'd breakfast, dress, brush teeth, and be out the door and underway by nine o'clock.

Nature or God or whoever is responsible for the wiring of three-year-olds must've been, in the words of British comedian Ricky Gervais, "havin' a laugh."

I'm far too shell-shocked, just a few days later, to remember just how many fits were thrown by Thing 1 and Thing 2 that morning. I certainly can't recall what each one was about, though I have a dim recollection of having been roundly chastised for cutting a banana instead of handing it over whole for consumption. I remember howls of protest that followed my picking out item after item of clothing that was deemed to "not match" and was summarily rejected. There were disagreements over footwear preferences (Thing 1 went from insisting upon donning his new light-up Lightning McQueen sneakers to fiercely rejecting said sneakers within the space of two minutes). There was heated discussion of how many hair scrunchies could be put into Thing 2's hair and what shade of scrunchy was allowed, and then the aforementioned scrunchies had to be made tighter roughly every twenty seconds. There was a fight between Thing 1 and Thing 2 over a certain toothbrush both insisted on using, even though Thing 2 was just getting over a virus. You get the idea.

Meanwhile, Dad was alternately packing up the car or attempting to intercede in the ongoing whine-a-palooza that was taking place. Then he had to set up the portable video player in the car, involving a complex piece of rigging between the seats that he'd been unable to get in place previously, having worked till well past midnight the night before, necessitated by having missed half a day at the office tag-teaming with Late Blooming Mom to care for Thing 2, who was suffering from the aforementioned virus.

But perhaps the culmination of the tortuous morning from hell was when Thing 1 suddenly announced his binky was missing.

Is there anything more damnably exasperating then when you've finally got the car packed and everyone ready to leave on a six-hour-plus drive, only to realize your departure has again been delayed by an all-hands search for a missing pink binky?

Somewhere, God, nature, or whoever/whatever is responsible for causing a three-year-old to lose his binky at the most inopportune moment, was laughing so hard that I believe he/she or it broke his/her/its ass.

Yes, we're talking ass-breaking laughter.

Late Blooming Mom, on the other hand, was near tears.

We abandoned hope of ever finding the binky, and located a substitute.

I got behind the wheel ready to tear that binky in half with my bare teeth. Good thing it wasn't in my mouth, but in Thing 1's. He stopped whining almost immediately.

It took me nearly 100 miles -- to un-grit my teeth.

And that, dear blog readers, is how Late Blooming Mom's latest "vacation" -- pardon me, 'trip" -- began.

Here's to optimistic amnesiacs -- otherwise known as vacationing parents -- everywhere. Much like the pain of childbirth is mysteriously forgotten before a mother conceives another child, if we didn't forget how hard it is to get out of town with the family, we'd never go, would we?

1 comment:

Alex said...

>>It took me over an hour -- and
>>nearly 100 miles -- to un-grit my

Wow -- you were going nearly 100 mph?! You must have been upset!