Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Real Christmas Vacation...

The family and I were at Disney World for a week. And if that wasn’t enough, we spent an additional 4 days and 3 nights on a Disney Cruise in the Bahamas. At this moment, I don’t want to see anything that remotely resembles a Mickey silhouette for about 6 years.

We traveled with two other families which wasn’t all that bad considering we had three 3-year olds, one 9-year old, and one 1-year. We quickly discovered the key to a successful vacation with kids is to make sure the adults outnumber them, especially in Orlando.

A Disney World vacation is not as relaxing as one might think. We woke up at 7am every morning (daughter woke us up at her regular time) ate a quick breakfast, and headed over to a theme park around 9 or so. Stayed until closing 10-11pm. Crawled into bed. Child wakes at 7am. Repeat for 6 days.

But then something truly amazing came into play. We arrived at the cruise ship and that's when the real vacation kicked in…

"Where dreams really come true..."

Whoever invented that Disney Cruise concept geared specifically for families with kid’s ages 3-12 should be promoted, and then named king of the world. That kids program is definitely worth the price alone. The kids did not want to leave. At one point we had to literally drag them out. I’m not sure what they’re giving them (Candy? Unlimited Apple Juice? Crack?) Whatever it was, I don’t want to know because the wife and I got to dress up and have fancy dinners together. Sleep. Go to bars. Sleep. Go dancing. Sleep.
That kids program is open from 7am to 1am. What does that mean? Well, they feed the kids, entertain them, and even put them to sleep. Genius!

"This apple isn't so bad.."

Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter and treasure the time we have together. But after a week of Disney World, and not a whole lot of time of alone time with the wife for virtually years, a program like that is just what a parent needs.

Even though I’m extremely tired, a bit nervous that Christmas is nearly tomorrow, and wondering where to buy those last remaining Christmas gifts, I’m feeling pretty good. Why? Because my daughter had a great time, and the wife and I spent more time alone together in 3 days than we have the past 3 and ½ years. And that quiet time on an “adults-only” beach on a private island in the Bahamas while my daughter was so entertained by a kids program that she didn’t want to leave was pretty nice too.
Finally - a real vacation.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Kids Get Their Parents Sick - No Matter What They Do To Protect Themselves!

I should have been more suspicious when my daughter ran up to me with open arms and a big smile, yelling “daddy”, and hugged me while I was eating my breakfast. As it was all a preconceived facade to wipe her runny nose all over my new black shirt and run away.

Minutes later she came back handing me her partially eaten waffle saying sweetly “here daddy, you can have this now” and then sneezed on me - and the waffle - and then ran away once again leaving behind a slimy rope trail.
That was a week ago, and I’m just now starting to recover from that vicious cold virus she gave me. She, on the other hand, had recovered the next day.

When I finally came into work sharing my brave battle story of what I now refer to as “The Great Cold of ‘08” a co-worker with a new 5-week old first child confidently told me “Wow - that’s gross. That’s never going to happen to me.”


Then I thought to myself, “That was me 3 1/2 years ago...”
It’s not really his fault; he’s just getting started. There were plenty of things I didn’t know before having a kid. A few examples:
  1. Sometimes the child secretes strange unknown liquids from the most unlikely places that you temporarily think they’re really an alien. But a simple search on Google reassures you that they're normal.
  2. Having an early walker IS NOT a good thing. Because then they want to walk all the time and eat things on the floor like bugs, cigarette butts, lint, rocks, Jolly Ranchers in need of a haircut, etc.
  3. Never say the word “Poop” – EVER. Because if you do, it becomes a preschooler’s choice word for everything: “Poop Car”, “Poop Building”, “Poop Baby”, “Poop Shirt”, “Poop Bacon” (blasphemy!)
  4. The Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) is the best invention - EVER. Well, second best – KFC is the first best invention. Don’t argue with me because you’ll be wrong. And “no” that number isn’t for calling after eating their new non-trans fat fried chicken.
  5. You get sick just by being in the same room as your kid. In fact, you could be outside looking through a 6-inch aquarium thick, space shuttle "approved” glass and still get sick. Just being related is adequate enough.
That guy has a lot to learn…