Friday, July 12, 2013

Vacationing with Children

Family vacations always remind me that I like to be alone. Especially when family vacations involve everyone ages 1-34 sleeping in the same room. During the day things are pretty good. We’ve managed to plan activities around naptimes for the older kids so the younger two can nap, and we're having a good time hiking, playing, swimming and swimming some more together. But bedtime is still tricky.I imagine that someday when we are all on roughly the same sleep schedule, it will be a lot better.

I’m sure as I write this some mother of tweens or teens is laughing hysterically preparing her, “Honey, just you wait,” comment. Right now though, we are spending our evenings from 8:00 p.m. on, in the dark, holding our breath, hardly daring to move, for fear that Ampersand, tucked into the corner in a pack-n-play, will arise and begin wailing.

Usually after lights out it’s quiet for a minute, until Ellipses and Apostrophe start kicking each other maliciously in their shared queen bed and Exclamation makes angry noises about lumps in the sleeping bag.  (The girls have been taking turns sleeping on the floor, which we’ve managed to paint as a privilege until Exclamation indignantly declared, “I have to sleep on this yucky old sleeping mat?!”)
After about 30 minutes to an hour of angry hissing noises (some of them coming from Exclamation and most of them coming from Mike and I), everyone quiets down and falls asleep.  

Some of the nights, after everyone falls asleep, I tiptoe very quietly to the freezer (which is right next to Ampersand’s pack-n-play), and holding my breath, I open the door and get the ice cream. And ever so quietly, Mike and I head out to the balcony to read and talk and wonder that civilization managed to progress from the time when families slept in the same room/bed, because surely someone would have snapped if they had to sleep every night for their whole lives in the same room as their offspring.
I guess it’s like anything else, first you abhor, then you endure, then you embrace. We’re still at the endure stage, but I guess if I had to do it long enough I’m sure I could embrace family togetherness at bedtime.  
Or not. I think I’ll stick with the endure phase and then happily go back to abhorring sleeping in the same room with my children until our next budget vacation.

1 comment:

Cris Pebley said...

I loathe sleeping in the same room as my children. I have done it for a couple nights at a time and am still at the abhor stage. I would rather sleep in the tub in the bathroom by myself. I can't imagine doing it for as long as you did. You are amazing...or crazy.