Well, today was pretty horrible. I could either hold Molly and get stuff done, or I could have a small person clawing at my leg moaning "holdmeholdmeholdme" while attempting to get stuff done. I alternated off and on, as you do, and the whole time I am cursing my existence because the other child is being a hellbeast as well and it seriously did not occur to me that he was just trying to get some attention too until, oh, four o'clock. I'm just smart like that. And do you want to know what happened around four o'clock? I'd finally gotten my barftastic, overtired, miserable, unhappy and possibly sick daughter asleep and was going to put her down in my bed since all of her barf sheets were in the wash. And while I'm doing this Jack waltzes in and starts SINGING and JUMPING and SHRIEKING and throwing himself onto the bed and I am FURIOUS because he's going to wake up Molly and then I am SCREWED. And he wouldn't listen to me and wouldn't get out and ignored my repertoire of Mean Scary Faces and I finally just had to put (a very much awake) Molly down on the bed and chase after his scrawny little butt. I yelled. OH HOW I YELLED. I'd just HAD it, you know? I QUIT! And Jack bursts into tears and says, "I just want to sleep with you TOO!"
Oh internet, I am crying just typing that. I don't get to quit because I am FIRED.
Let's talk about something else, shall we? How about parenting SUCCESS, as exemplified by this past week in Tropical Paradise. I've written all about the nighttime sleeping arrangements for Parenting on Thursday, but I'll give you the rest of my tips and tricks right here.
Tip #1: Bring babysitters! Who thought of taking the grandparents along? That person was brilliant! Oh right, IT WAS ME. It's especially effective if your babysitters' idea of good time is "Hanging Out With The Preschool Set". We sent them over to Nai Nai's room every morning. I never once gave those kids a bath or got them dressed in the morning. Phillip's parents washed them and fed them and entertained them in the afternoons and, basically, any time Phillip and I wanted to be doing something else. Which was, well, ALL THE TIME. Most mornings we were out meeting up with friends and most afternoons we were finding other things to do besides sitting around the hotel room while the kid who deigned to nap napped and the kid who wouldn't nap watched a DVD. Even the morning before we left, we were ushered out of the hotel and told to go have breakfast by ourselves, take one last stroll on the beach. Don't have to tell me twice!
Tip #2: Know easy going people! This is a great tip. When you are making plans with easy going people, ESPECIALLY easy going people who have kids, no one is mad when the pizza is forty minutes late or your kid, say, barfs in the hallway during the party.
Tip #3: Give in! Kids don't want to go to bed? Want cookies for breakfast? Prefer Naked over Swimsuit? WHY NOT? You're on vacation! Who cares! Here's a little secret from me to you: when you PLAN to give in, when you are already in the Giving In MINDSET, you aren't being manipulated or losing or otherwise demonstrating your utter failure at parenting. You are taking the easy way out because the easy way is what you DO on vacation! It's ALLOWED!
Everything else good? That was just luck. Total LUCK that the kids took naps nearly every day (BOTH of them). Perhaps those babysitters really wore them out, who knows, but by Wedding Day, when it was imperative that both kids be moderately pleasant in the evening, they were both (BOTH!) taking three hour naps in the afternoon. Their eyes would start to droop - not always at the same time, but that was okay - and we'd just stick them in a random bed AND THEY WOULD STAY ASLEEP. If this was not The Universe trying to advance-make-up-for today I don't know WHAT it was.
The kids spent most mornings on the beach. Early, because that's when they woke up, and because it wasn't so hot and the crowds weren't out. We bought them sand toys at an ABC Store the day after we got there and they were good to go. My in-laws took them to the zoo...
...and the morning of the wedding they all went to the aquarium while I was getting my hair done. Our local friend rented car seats for us - total lifesaver in the Hauling Our Crap Through The Airport Department. And God bless Google Maps for iPhone, without which we would still be stuck on H-1 trying to find the stupid turnoff for the stupid karaoke joint. (Seriously, I am never going anywhere unfamiliar again without Google Maps and an iPhone.)
Oh, and I brought a TON of food, because this is what I wished I'd done on our Disneyland trip. But I hadn't factored in my in-laws, who promptly went to Safeway and bought enough supplies for a MONTH in Hawaii and who, every day, stopped at Fatty's Chinese Kitchen for PROPER nourishment. Perhaps I ate those Cocoa Puffs all by myself.