Some things in my life just don't add up. (If you read the last blog, about my unexplained spoon/fork ratio, you'll know what I'm talking about.) And here's another classic example of something that, well, just doesn't come out equal:

Curtis + one small suitcase + his friends + Vegas = vacation

Me + fetus + the kids + the dog + three duffel bags, a purse, a leash, and a container of dog food + roadtrip to Missouri = ordeal

Curtis was invited by a couple of his work friends on a five-day boys' trip out to "America's Playground" - a.k.a. Las Vegas. So rather than sit here at my house alone with the kids for nearly a week (as utterly phenomenal as that sounds), I decided I'd pack everyone up to spend a few days with my family, four hours away.

The drive itself wasn't bad, especially considering my complete and total lack of directional orientation. Seriously (sadly?) I'm not exaggerating one iota - I have NO sense of direction. I have literally gotten lost blocks from my own house ... don't ask me how. All I know is, devices like Garmins and TomToms were made for people like me. Unfortunately, they were made for people like me who have more disposable income than I do (or a newer car), which is why we don't have one. Which is why on the trip south, I ended up driving approximately 40 minutes out of my way.

Still, I'm considering that a positive. I only drove 40 extra minutes as opposed to, like, going the wrong way the entire time - which is NOT out of the realm of possibility. And the kids didn't seem to notice, were pleasant even - and Colin didn't barf, as he's been inclined to do recently - so as far as I'm concerned I had minimal problems getting there.

It was being there that was the problem.

Don't get me wrong ... I love visiting with my family. But I never realize how much easier it is when Curtis is with me to be the co-parent. 'Cause no matter how kid-friendly someone tries to make their house, it's still always full of things to climb on, cabinets to open, knick-knacks to finger ... the bathroom doors are usually open, which Cameron sees as an open invitation to splash in the toilet or unroll the paper ... there's always a dog that doesn't take kindly to little probing hands, or a temperamental cat to look out for ... you get the picture. It's hard to eat/talk/shower/pee/lounge/fill-in-the-blank when you're constantly having to jump up and intervene in your children's misguided explorations. Not to mention fielding frustrated tantrums because your three-year-old doesn't understand why he can't do what he does at home (not everyone likes the thought of giving him free reign over their computer to watch venus fly trap videos on YouTube). Even though there were others around to occasionally remove Cameron from the top of the stairs or explain to Colin why he can't run around with no pants on, I was still The Parent, and therefore responsible, and therefore tired all the time.

I did have one fairly relaxing day, when I left the boys with their grandmother and aunt and ran my own grandma on some errands. Then later that evening, I got to hit the Isle of Capri surf & turf buffet with three of my bestest friends. I ate an astonishing amount of crab legs, and paid dearly for it with stomach cramps the whole night through, but it was so worth it. I had a few hours to eat - and laugh - in peace, with company I adore, which is priceless.

But the rest of the time, I was worn slick. I felt blah, and spent my last day there on the verge of those annoying "no-good-reason" tears (until the evening, where I had a good time at a family get-together). And I missed Curtis, who was undoubtedly having the time of his life in sunny Vegas, while I was running around corraling the kids in rainy Missouri. In the meantime, Colin had woken up with a mysterious bumpy rash from his face to about the middle of his torso and back, and was scratching like a flea-infested dog. Cam had decided to melt down into a "let's-make-Mommy-guess-why-I'm-screaming-even-though-my-every-need-has-been-met" fit ... for, like, an hour. So going home early wasn't really a choice, but more like a mandatory order imposed upon me by the cosmos. We ended up leaving the day before I had originally planned.

The drive back was even better than the drive down, because I didn't get lost once - and I made pretty good time considering that I was caught in a torrential downpour for most of the trip. The house smelled like catbox when I got back (retch!), but it was soooo nice to be home. I could tell the boys were glad to be here, too ... because they actually settled into a peaceful routine and were well-behaved for the rest of the evening!

That all changed this morning, when they returned to their normal cantankerous selves, but oh well. At least we're in our own house, where they know the rules and boundaries ... and where I can, at least a small fraction of the time, threaten them from the comfort of my recliner. ;)


  1. Ah, sorry your trip turned out this way. But at least you're back home now. And I'll bet that Curtis isn't having as much fun as you think because he's probably missing you guys tons, too!

  2. Yeah, vacation or not, when he got home last night he seemed to be as excited to be here as I was. :)

  3. I'm pretty much in the exact same boat as you when it comes to being directionally challenged!

  4. It SUCKS! It's so horrible! I dread it when someone asks me for directions over the phone or something like that - there's no quicker way to make me look and feel like a COMPLETE moron.

  5. I had a great time seeing you even if you were running around ragged after 2 boys! XOXOX


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