In three days, we leave for a relaxing week-long family vacation in the wilds of Wisconsin.
By family, I mean my husband and I, the kids, my MIL, Watson, Watson’s dog Jada, and my parents.*
By relaxing, I mean once we arrive, because on this end of the journey, the logistics are just this side of overwhelming. It’s a lot like that puzzle where you have a cat, a dog, a rat, and a small canoe and you have to get everyone over the river without carnage, except it’s actually a 7-plus house trip up the river and there are actually two canoes—not including the one coming up the Ohio River from Cincinnati—because you couldn’t rent a single canoe big enough, and the cat keeps whining about how unfair it is that the other canoe has the DVD player, and the rat keeps critiquing your technique, even though s/he hasn’t voluntarily touched a paddle in years, and the dog . . . is a really big dog.
By vacation . . . I don’t really remember . . . But I’m told the rental house may not have WiFi,** so withdrawal seizures should probably be scheduled in.
The plan so far goes a little something like this:
After dropping off Rocinante at the repair center, where he will be getting a new driver’s side mirror,*** Watson, Janie, Jada, and I will head up Friday to get the house ready—and make a grocery run to the nearest megastore, which is only an hour away.
My husband, MIL, and Sunny will be coming up Saturday in a rental vehicle and the DVD player.
My parents each have a different commitment in a different state that weekend, and so will be returning home Sunday, unloading their respective cars, loading a single canoe car, and heading up. They should get there by Monday.^
And we haven’t even started packing, yet. Or doing the eight loads necessary to empty the kids’ two-load hamper.^^ And I won’t get to it tonight, because Janie has a softball game right after I get home from work.
When good parenting gets in the way of good parenting, you’re definitely overbooking your summer. . .
But I have lists of thing to bring. Many lists. Many things.
Some items are no-brainers: All the coffee makers. All the underwear. My glasses.
Some items are tougher: My laptop or legal pads and a pack of pens? Art supplies for the kids? DVDs? Which DVDs? How does “one stuffed animal and pillow per kid” work if the kid’s favorite pillow is a stuffed animal?^^^
The items on the grocery list are mostly theoretical and subject to the whims of six people with decided preferences, one somewhat touchy canine digestive system, and the limits of our budget.~
But it will all get done and we will all get there and we will have a good time—especially those of us who are planning on abdicating parental responsibility between one and four every day for a nice long nap. And I believe I just called dibs.
So, if you don’t hear from me for a while starting Friday, you’ll know
that my worst fears about the lack of Internet access were realized where I am and what the general topic of the next few weeks of posts will be.
And if any of you remember what it’s like to have nothing to do . . . what’s it like? I’m getting the shakes, here.
*Our cat Toby has elected to stay home and keep an eye on things, including the sitter who is keeping an eye on him.
**Seriously?! We have to talk to each other? What kind of vacation is that?
***For once, I don’t want to talk about it. Mark your calendars.
^Where they will spend the first two days opening Mother’s Day, anniversary, birthday, and Fathers’ Day cards, some of which have been riding around in my bag, signed and sealed, but unstamped, since mid-April.
^^I can’t figure out why a hamper that seems to be completely undetectable to children is always overflowing . . .
^^^Maybe I should try installing a loophole over the kids’ hamper—those they can see just fine.
~ My MIL: “At least we know cheese will be cheap up there.” Sunny: “I hate cheese.”