Sunday, August 23, 2009
the 1, 2, 3's of family vacations
I am vacationing with the Littles at the family cabin in Northern Minnesota. It's so beautiful. The lake is crystal clear. There are enough people near us that we don't feel lost. However, it is never a vacation for mom. It is crazy busy! And I love it.
For those of you who have never ventured into the Northwoods with a gaggle of little people, here is your primer:
One - canoe to the bridge.
Note: must find 4 different sized life jackets to fit 4 different sized people. Fail to find an adult life jacket. Spend 20 minutes discussing the reasons why mom can sit on her life jacket and children must wear their life jackets.
Note: must find 2 paddles. One might have to use a kayak paddle. Teach oldest child the art of the J stroke. Give up. Just pray that the wind doesn't pick up so we can make it back to the cabin.
Note: Swimming at the sandy beach at the bridge really is fun when mommy finally decides to relax.
Two - race to the merry-go-round. 11:14 AM
note: Mommy does NOT ride this merry-go-round. It spans exactly 2 feet across resulting in approx 4000rpm.
Three - practice with the kayak. 12:02 PM
note: See one.
Note: Practicing with the Kayak only works with one child per Kayak. There can be no learning when one is balancing on the front end of the kayak.
Four - dig in sand & create amazing 4 story sand castle.
Note: Can't find sand toys. Make do with large spoons from drawer. Don't forget to return them after beach time.
Note: avoid sand fleas. Don't forget the pain and tears of last year.
Five - set up and play badminton.
Note: give up on the beach idea. Sand flea idea is too scary. No one willing to put knees or fingers in the sand. Must find all pieces to assemble badminton net. Must find mallet to hammer the spikes into the solid clay. Must find 4 badminton rackets. Settle for 3 rackets and one tennis racket that is missing most of its strings. Mom gets tennins racket. Must find 2 birdies. Must retrieve birdies from roof of cabin or branches of trees multiple times. Smile.
Six - snarf down lunch. 3:32 PM
Note: it's 3:32 PM. Mom forgot that small children need to eat lunch. Bonus: When we eat this late, children will eat anything.
Note: Did mom also forget the sunscreen? We'll see.
Seven - start fire in fire pit at beach.
Note: Time to start dinner. Roasting hot dogs and marshmallows and anything else that will cling to a stick over a crackling fire.
Note: When lunch is served at 3:32 PM, children won't eat hotdogs that are roasted at 4:20 PM. Haul all of the leftovers back up to the cabin. Save the hotdogs for fishing off the dock tomorrow morning. Yes, children, some fish will eat hot dogs.
Eight - pour large cocktail and collapse into the lawn chair.
Note: This is only for the Mom! Children get water, milk or juice.
nine, ten and 11 - kids are on their own.
Note: This should need no explanation.