I spent $60.00 at the grocery store last night. $60.00 for food and snacks on the trip. We got soda (Coke Classic-one of my many, many addictions, though I prefer to think of it as a tasty beverage that I really, really love. A Lot.), a case of bottled water, some juice and milk, plus lunch stuff and string cheese and GoGurts, etc... I about had a heart attack; that seems like an awful lot of money for food for two days, doesn't it? but then I got to thinking that if we ate lunch out the two days, it would be at least that much even if we go to McDonald's (there ARE five of us), and of course that wouldn't include snacks and drinks. We will eat breakfast on Saturday before we go, then stop for lunch along the way, and I will buy dinner. On Sunday, we will eat breakfast at the hotel (I love me some Continental Breakfast), lunch on the road, and then we will be at C. and D.'s for dinner. So yeah, I think maybe I will still save money that way.
I have made a list for myself, one that doesn't have a blessed thing to do with getting ready or packing or any of that stuff. And it is a pretty good list, if I do say so myself. Good enough that I thought I would share it with you.
1. This is a vacation. I am going to get myself out of bitchy-mom-who-expects-perfection mode and just re-fucking-lax a little. I tend to really ride the kids a lot about behavior and expectations and all of that, and while I think it is a good, necessary thing, I also know I take it too far sometimes and they feel like nothing they do is good enough. This is already something I am aware of and work on daily, but I am making a commitment to be just mom for the trip. Not drill Sergeant, not grammar teacher, just mom (though Miss Manners is and always will be alive and well in me. No burping IN the restaurant, you wait until you are out the door!).
2. I am not once going to look at my ass in my swimsuit and decide to put shorts on instead and just watch the kids swim. I have cellulite and dimples and sometimes my thighs keep moving long after I have stopped walking, but for 9 days I am going to say "fuck you" every time I hear my mom in my head saying, "You really should wear a suit with a skirt." I am also going to look AT my tits, because they are my best quality and kind of balance out the ass thing. I love to swim, love the water, love to play with the kids IN the water, and I refuse to sit on the sidelines and watch because we will be in public places. Shit all over that. Life is too short.
3. I am not going to try to change my parenting in order to make myself look better in front of other people. My friends have actually never met my kids, nor have they seen me parent my children, so it is oh-so-tempting to try to portray myself in a better light, but again, shit all over that. If they need disciplined, they will BE disciplined. I have been around parents who allow their kids to behave like total asshats (stole that word from both Jacquie AND Dingo, thanks!) because they are away from home, and I am neither going to do that to myself NOR my friends. Though perhaps I will refrain from saying some of my choicer phrases, some of which are too embarrassing and terrible to even put HERE.
4. Three of the four kids have NEVER been to Seattle; I am going to let them take as much time as they need to see what they want. I know Sam well-he is going to want to spend a lot of time at the Aquarium AND at the Zoo; if he wants to spend 30 minutes watching the penguins, so be it. By the same token, I am not going to make the kids do something they don't want to do. Hannah is afraid of heights and has already said she has no desire to go up into the Space Needle; I am not going to try to convince her to do so. This is their vacation just as much as it is mine, and I am not going to mar it with memories of being rushed or forced or coerced.
5. I am NOT going to tell my kids they have to hold it when they tell me they have to go to the bathroom. Just-NOT. Although I have excellent memories of the family vacation we took to Kentucky when I was a kid, one of the bad memories is of being told "You can wait," and being in pain and nearly crying by time they would stop to let me pee. Cruelty, I tell you, cruelty.
6. I am NOT going to call Steve every night (or ever) to make sure that the animals are fed, the tomatoes and flowers are watered, the house hasn't been broken into. I am going to assume that unless I hear from HIM, all is quiet on the Western Front.
I am sure that more will crop up, but this seems like a pretty good guideline to start out with. Anyone else have anything to add/suggest/take away? For once, I am totally open to suggestions, ha ha.