• J Mess


All I've ever wanted... without my kid.

On our babymoon 2 years ago in Bermuda, we were unlucky enough to end up in a room next to a family with a screaming baby. We laid awake staring at the ceiling the entire first night of our vacation, stuck listening to this child wail on and on and seriously began to wonder why we'd decided to procreate. The next morning I dragged myself to the concierge desk, bleary and teary-eyed and begged them to move our room. By the elevators. By the ice machine. Overlooking the parking lot. Into a broom closet. Anywhere to not to have to listen to that kid cry all night long. This must have seemed a little ironic coming from a very visibly pregnant lady, but I explained that while I knew this was going to be my life in the near-future, this was our last vacation when it was not currently my life. They ended up taking pity on me and moved us into an insane 2 bedroom suite with wrap-around porch and spectacular ocean views. Thanks screaming kid! But as usual, 2 years later this incident has come back to haunt me. Because now, it is my life. With a vengeance.

Some say karma is a bitch. I say karma is actually a toddler.

My parents took our entire family on vacation last week to the Crystal Springs Resort in North Jersey. On the day we were going, Nathan woke up unusually early and seemed a little grumpy and not like himself, but he didn't have a fever, so we piled into the car and headed off. Everything was going according to plan, we had a nice day, a nice dinner, and relaxing bath time before bed. Then at 1am, he woke up screaming. We gave him milk. We gave him 3 bowls of blueberries. Anything to get him to not wake up the entire hotel. But he was crabby and wide awake. So we brought him into our bed and let him watch the iPad hoping he'd fall back asleep. However no such luck. He was jumping on the bed, loudly singing along, and if you asked him to use an inside voice or told him it was the middle of the night and time to make night night, he started screaming again. So we stayed up the entire night with him.

On day 2 as you can expect, we were barely functioning. Somehow Nathan was still running around like a lunatic, but Josh and I were 2 vacation zombies. Excited and yet terrified for bedtime. In preparation for night 2, we brainstormed possible solutions. Maybe he doesn't like the pack and play anymore? So we rented him a crib from the hotel. Maybe he's teething and we should drug him? So we went to the Walgreens and got some Tylenol. At rock bottom, I even considered the pacifier. This being our first cat-cat free vacation, I was lucky I didn't have any on me, because I probably would have fallen off the wagon and ruined a month of hard work just to plug up his mouth.

There is no such thing as a vacation when you have kids. It's still parenting just in a much nicer venue.

For night 2 bedtime, we gave him a dose of Tylenol and asked him where he wanted to sleep. Interestingly he chose the crib we had rented, which creepily looked like it belonged in an insane asylum, horror movie, or orphanage. But I didn't care where he slept, as long as he slept. He fell asleep without a problem, but then he woke up screaming at midnight. While I contemplated going to the front desk and asking them to move ME to a different room, I could hear my husband whimpering "no, noooo, please no. Not again." And then Nathan was in our bed watching the iPad again. At 3am when we couldn't take being awake another minute, we begged him to go to sleep and he started to scream. My husband's desperation solution was to put him in the stroller and walk him around until he fell asleep. So off we went to pace around outside in the middle of the night while he screamed.

After only a short time walking around in the parking lot, I got nervous that we were literally out in the wilderness and might get eaten by a bear or attacked by a coyote, even though at that point I was so tired I actually considered feeding my child to a bear so I could go back inside and go to sleep. Then I cried, because that solves everything, and finally at 4:30 he fell asleep. Only to awaken 20 minutes after we got back to the room because he was uncomfortable in the stroller, sleep for an hour in the orphanage crib, and then be taken to the urgent care at 7:30am and diagnosed with an ear infection. I've never been more happy to pay an insane copay just to hear someone say my child's ear was red and bulging. A couple doses of "pink stuff" and everyone was blissfully sleeping again. Vacation saved! Some people travel all over the country to see different baseball stadiums, I prefer to take vacations in order to tour all of the nation's urgent cares...

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