What I Learned on Vacation


Sooo… I took my kids to a hotel down the Cape for a few days at the beginning of this school vacation week. We went with my friend and her son. It was SO fun. So so so fun. And SO enlightening. Big lessons learned. Mainly about the fact that I am in a COMPLETELY different place when it comes to packing for vacation then my kids are. Completely. I’ve been packing these kids up for so many years, that now I just want everyone to be able to pack themselves. I want it to be like, “We are going to the Cape for 3 days and 2 nights. Plan accordingly, pack your shit up, and let’s go.”

So that’s kind of what I did.

Only I made them a list of what they would need to pack because “planning accordingly” to them means “bring your devices and your chargers.” I’m not sure that packing clothes would have even crossed their minds.

However, while, “here is a list, now pack your shit up and let’s go” may work for my 12-year-old, and kinda sorta my almost 10 and 8-year-olds…it doesn’t really work for my 6-year-old. Or my 4-year-old.

Luckily at the last minute I checked the 4-year-old’s bag. She had completely overlooked the “pack 3 pairs of pants” part of the list. She had packed 2 pairs of tights, one pair of pajama bottoms, 2 shirts, and the stuff to wash the one ear piercing that remains (the other earring fell out a week ago.) In her defense, she can’t read, so, you know.

I didn’t check anyone else’s bags. Why would I? They had a list. I told them to pack their shit up.

Which is how we discovered, once we arrived at the hotel, that my almost 10-year-old had forgotten to pack a bathing suit. Which is how I almost ended up cutting a pair of his thick black sweatpants into shorts to wear into the pool. (Until I came up with the brilliant idea to root through the lost and found bucket, like an animal, hoping to score a boy’s size medium bathing suit looking for a forever home.) Which is how I ended up accidentally grabbing a gigantic pair of “lost” tighty whiteys with my BARE HANDS. Which is how my life flashed before my eyes. I would ask you not to judge me, but I would probably judge you in a similar situation so go ahead.

On the second day I discovered that I should have also checked my 6-year-old’s bag prior to leaving the house, because she, too, didn’t pack any pants. (Even though it was on the list.) So she wore the 4-year-old’s pants. And the 4-year-old wore the tights, with what was either a really short dress, or a really long shirt. Think Marsha Brady. Like that. Only with extremely sheer pink tights underneath. Which is not a good combo when you are a little girl who likes to do handstands and flips. Which is how I discovered that she obviously couldn’t find the underwear that she had packed. Which is how I discovered she was going commando. Under sheer pink tights. Sheer. Which how I nearly died from horrified laughter. (And which is how I ended up having an impromptu talk with my 4-year-old about being a lady, which means always wearing underwear under your tights.)

On the third day I discovered we were in need of a plunger in our bathroom. We ALWAYS end up in need of a plunger in our bathroom at every hotel we go to. Without fail. Which is how I ended up realizing that I could really save everyone a lot of time if, while checking in, I preemptively scheduled a courtesy plunger visit to our room within 24 hours of our check in.

Which is how, when all was said and done, I discovered that too many Amaretto Sours gives me heartburn. Which is also how I realized that sometimes getting heartburn is so totally worth it. Totally.


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