Sometimes I wonder if I ever truly appreciated vacation before I had children. Sure, I enjoyed the fact that I was laying on a beach chair or skiing down a mountain somewhere and not sweating bullets in a conference room full of assholes, but I also went to happy hour six days a week and was able to finish a meal any time I wanted.
I’m not saying that people without kids don’t need a vacation – I’m saying that this morning I was awakened at 3am by someone fish hooking my nostrils with their little fingers. You know what I’m talking about.
Last weekend we spent four days at the lake with six other couples which, let’s call it what it really is – group therapy. You wait all year to have an itty bitty little break from your kids, and within the first hour you’ve talked about nothing but ear infections and head lice and sports practices and the best foods to make kids poop.
And for the first time in a long time you feel okay about yourself. Not totally sane, necessarily, but like you aren’t the only parent who spends their mornings counting how many more baths you’re going to have to give your kids before they can do it themselves.
“Wait… you punish your kids by forcing them to develop, rehearse and perform original choreography to 1940s showtunes too? TWINSIES!”
When it’s just Nick and me on vacation all he does is tell me what an awesome job I’m doing with the kids. This is because when it’s just Nick and me he has an ulterior motive and with every word he speaks his incisors slowly turn into blood thirsty fangs and his nails into talons.
Of course after about twelve hours without my children I’ve convinced myself they have ceased eating due to the depression of being without me and I call my parents to see if I needed to return immediately. Their reassurances are always confirmed when they try to wrestle one of them to the phone and all I hear are protests followed by a brief scuffle then finally a dial tone.
It’s interesting sharing space with so many people because you really get a peek behind the curtain. Like, what people look like when they first wake up in the morning is hilarious. Also you learn why “Debbie” doesn’t let “Don” eat anything with fiber after 2pm. Or why “Cindy” and “Charlie” have spent their entire retirement savings on new headboards.
The house we rent every year has a beautiful infinity pool and hot tub. This means by Sunday my eye sockets are sore from sucking in my gut for four straight days. Of course on every couples trip there’s one woman built like David Beckham which reminds us that we are all just big liars as we repeat, “This is natural at this age – I’m doing everything I can do,” to ourselves in the Macy’s dressing room mirror.
You also learn that it takes a lot to look like David Beckham because her drunken late night pig out is a slightly bigger bowl of strawberries than she had for lunch. Suddenly the grass isn’t so green over there as you make sweet sweet love to your trough of hot wing dip.
Which brings me to my next point. I learned this weekend that apparently my face has two settings: Puffy or melty. I’ve been doing Weight Watchers for five weeks now, and my body was just getting used to consuming a healthy amount of food when I shocked it this weekend with a little game I like to call, “How much can one woman hate herself?”
Sunday morning it felt like I was wearing a ski mask in the shower while I was washing my face. Even better, yesterday I stepped on the scale and discovered I had gained back every bit of the 6.5 pounds I spent the last five weeks working off.
Fun Fact: Tears expelled via uncontrollable sobbing help alleviate water weight.