Thursday, August 20, 2009

Working Holiday 2009

I've been taking a bit of a break lately, partly because I was on vacation, and partly because I am still recovering from said vacation. With our crew of a 4yo, a 1yo, two dogs and a shortage of dog-sitters, the typical vacation choice for us is a week-long stay at a cottage rental. This was our first attempt since Chichi came along, and was also our first attempt on our own, as our usual cottage companions were unable to join us. Overall, I would have to say that this trip was a LOT of work. We knew that it would be, but we also know that it's important to do things together as a family, which we seldom do. Equally important is that our children have memories of such events so that they can reflect back on their happy family life at some point in the future and at least acknowledge that their parents made some sort of effort, be it half assed or otherwise.

As with the majority of my stay-at-home mom days, the week consisted of about 10% priceless moments, and 90% getmethefuckouttahere moments. Every morning I looked out at the chairs on the dock, wishing that while wearing pajamas and a hoodie, I could sit and enjoy a steaming cup of coffee while looking out over the lake. Instead, every morning I had to deal with the constant whining from Pumpkin, along with the intense, yet necessary helicopter mothering of Chichi, who only wanted to play with fireplace pokers and matches. It was also difficult to impress upon Pumpkin just how important it was to be outdoors instead of sulking on the couch in the cottage, demanding videos. I always gave her a video if she was cranky, in hopes that she would pass out on the couch, but that never happened. Chichi wasn't much of a napping superstar either. She was usually awake, tired, and wanting to disassemble whatever she could get her hands on. I would be lying if I told you that I didn't at least once a day say to myself in exasperation, 'this would be so much better without kids.' Yes, I love them, and they enhance my life, but dealing with a double tantrum during a rain storm at the cottage does not come close to comparing with the fun that hubby and I used to have in the wilderness during bad weather, even if we were confined to a leaky tent.

The neighbour was a single mom, had a 4yo girl and a dog, but was smart enough to bring a nanny. Her trip seemed a lot more enjoyable. A couple of times I saw her on the porch, feet up, reading a book. Oh the things that I have learned to envy! An extra pair of hands, or even just an extra pair of eyes would have made a huge difference. I'm still grateful for the family time that we had though.

The week was not without it's priceless moments. Pumpkin made great use of the lake, and enjoyed swimming with the neighbour's daughter. Chichi seemed taken by the scenery, and enjoyed her first go at eating sand, and loved splashing along the shore line. We got Pumpkin out in the canoe a few times, where the conversation wasn't always what I had hoped for, but was still a positive experience. I'm glad that they like the outdoors because if we can swing it one day, we plan to have a cottage of our very own. A cottage that doesn't have stray pieces of Risk and Sorry strewn about the place that Chichi seems to have a radar for. A place where we don't have to cringe every time a dog scratches a wall, or eats a table cloth. Yeah, we seldom get our security deposit back.


Chantal said...

I have to admit that our annual cottage outing is always with lots of other family and it helps a lot with the relaxation part of it. We always plan for each parent(s) to have a bit of time to do what they want. And Chichi is still so young. It will only get easier!

kgirl said...

We just went camping, and although we were crowded, dirty, didn't have a toilet and the kids whined a lot, it was awesome.

I figure, it's often brutal at home; may as well be somewhere fun.

No Mother Earth said...

I'm with Kgirl. It's a lot of work on a "vacation", but it's a lot of work at home too. At least you're somewhere new and different.

But you do need a vacation from the vacation..

petite gourmand said...

My parents sold the family cottage a couple of years ago and at first I was pretty disappointed- then I remembered how much WORK was actually involved when going up there.
Not a whole lotta time relaxing on a muskoka chair staring out at the glistening water, reading a book and enjoying the sound of the least not post child.
(lucky neighbour)
Instead I was on constant bug/falling in water/slipping on steep rocks/getting snacks/cooking all meals/coming up with fun toddler activities & making sure no one trashed my parents pristine cottage- patrol.

So this year-Taboo.
Loved it.
Now I have zero desire to get a cottage anytime soon.
something to be said about room service up north...

creative-type dad said...

We definitely needed a vacation from our last vacation.
They're an energy-sucker!

Barrie said...

And yet years from now, you'll only remember how great these cottage holidays were! Well, maybe... :)

Nora said...

Oh my, it's enough to scare one off of vacations entirely. Hope you got some good photos!

kittenpie said...

Oh god I feel you on this one. Misterpie dragged the Bun and I along on his "vacation" so I could watch both kids in a total non-child-friendly cottage while he went and screwed around on his piece of land nearby. I didn't get to go in the nice water in my new bathing suit, even, because when in charge of kids, I didn't think it wise to be drowned. Gah. Vacation. Ha. (ahem. apparently I wasn't done ranting about that trip yet!)

crazymumma said...

Been there done that.

Next time? All inclusive. One of those cheesy places that offer far too many activities and you can drop them off.

never did it myself, but heard it is fabulous.