Friday, April 17, 2009

Spring break broke me

You know how you’ll make plans and at the time they seem like a good idea, but then the time comes for the plan to become reality and one or another part of the plan has changed a bit and suddenly you’re thinking to yourself this isn’t such a great idea but at the same time you’re kind of committed and backing out, while certainly an option because let’s face it nobody is going to put you on death row for backing out of a social obligation, would be…somewhat socially complicated?

Color me there.

Actually, color me just-returned-from-there, because I have just returned from three four days and two three nights of fun-filled Spring Break Trip to Disneyland.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. It was fun. Two promised birthday trips, accomplished. Annual passes have now officially more than paid for themselves and, well, there you go.

But at the same time, I am wrung.out.. It was just me and the two older Denizens, which on the one hand is easier because they don’t have to be carried or pushed around in a stroller, but on the other hand ohmygawd, can they ever run!

It was funny having that particular combination, too. Danger Mouse is a bonafide thrill junky. She’s tiny (we’re pretty sure she’s part pixie), and has thus been shut out of most of the “big” rollercoasters due to never being able to achieve 48” in height.

Well, not anymore, folks!

That’s right! As of this weekend, she officially measured up to the 48” requirement and gleefully hit the rails of California Screamin’ – her very first upside-down experience on a rollercoaster!

She’s still not sure if she was more thrilled, or terrified.

Eldest, meanwhile, loathes rollercoasters and anything that smacks of them. She also hates getting wet.

Guess what happened on Pirates of the Caribbean? Which (as she has reminded me at least 6,275 times thus far) I forced her to get on with the assurances that while sure, you can get a little water on you but it’s hardly one of those wild wet water rides?

Ahem. Yes. Well. We got on, sat down, and discovered that at some point someone had managed to get a good fifty gallons of water over the side. The seats were not merely damp, they were awash. As was the entire floor – a good two inches worth.

Her rump and shoes were soaked.

She actually glared holes in me.

But I digress. So here I am, at Disneyland, with the Thrill Pixie and the No Thanks I’ll Just Stand Here And Sigh Dramatically Every Eight Seconds Pre-Teen. They are both so hyper they’re practically vibrating. And the lines, oh the lines…they were long. Really long. Even for rides that are historically walk-on deals, the lines would be snaking back and forth and hither and yon.

I sincerely questioned my own sanity more than once.

The girls had some birthday money to spend – I put it onto gift cards and handed them over. True to form, Eldest still had most of her money when we hit the World of Disney store for our last-second shopping spree; Danger Mouse had spent all but eight cents of hers on…uh…stuff and was in tears because she really really really really really really really wanted this Pluto thing…

Sometimes, life lessons are hard. I wanted to give in to the tears soooooooo bad. I wanted to just fork over the money and buy her the stupid doll because she was crying and it was her (early) birthday trip, and how much does that suck, to be crying on your (early) birthday trip to Disneyland over a crummy $15 doll.

But…sigh. She isn’t going to learn this stuff any younger. I’d warned her – repeatedly – that this was all the money she was going to get. Don’t go buying everything you see, I said. Wait until you’ve seen everything, I counseled. If you buy that and then see something else you want more, well, you’ll be out of luck, I advised.

Obviously, those seeds of wisdom fell on the rocks and sprouted not.

And now, she is learning about slave labor because she signed a legal document with her sister that basically says she will perform all her big sister’s housework for the next month in exchange for $15 now.

Reminds me of my own childhood. I spent my allowance so fast the coins hitting the counter practically sparked fires at the supermarket; my brother would keep his in a sock…and wait…because sure as sunrise, I’d be in there to borrow a quarter for a candy bar.

A quarter today, thirty cents to repay on allowance day. He was such a smart little devil, he’d even limit me to three quarters, because I only got paid a buck a week and that meant I was only good for $0.90 come Saturday morning.

But hey – again, she’s not going to learn these lessons any younger. With any luck, she’ll learn them younger than I did, anyway; and that these deals are just as bad when it’s a credit card company as it is when your big sister is grinning evilly at you over the notepad.

So we ran around standing in lines and arguing over whether or not churros could be considered “dinner” and watching parades and fireworks and then we finally started for home and ended up having to tack an extra day onto the whole thing because it all caught up with me halfway up I-5 and I had to pull off for a few hours (OK, more than a few) sleep or risk the inevitable result of sleep-driving.

We had a good time…oh, what a lie I’m about to tell there!

The girls had a good time. The girls, in fact, had an awesome time.

I, on the other hand, spent most of the time talking myself off ledges. Worrying about what-all I wasn’t doing right now. Trying to remind myself that, with the kids all home anyway, my ability to do anything would be limited at best.

Still, no matter how hard I tried not to think about All That, well, I just can’t. I can’t forget for more than a few moments at a time that everything I’m not doing is going to be right there waiting for me when I get back with interest.

At the risk of exposing my somewhat less than delicate side, I’m constantly aware that just because I’m not shoveling, the Chaos Steed hasn’t stopped crapping.

Sure enough, I’ve got a situation here I’m sure would make Hercules say, “Pass!”

And honestly, I’m not sure redirecting a river through the Den wouldn’t be the best way to deal with it all.

Spring break is over in two more days. In two more days, the Denizens return to school, heading for the finish line of the year.

But I’m afraid it will be too late for me. Spring break has broken me, I swear it has. How else can I explain having to pull over before midnight to get a room because I couldn’t keep on truckin’ through the night – even with the iTunes blaring uncomfortably ancient tunes (much to the horror of the children, whenever they surfaced from their DVD-watching)? How else can you explain my irritation at the messes around here, or my fixation on having things Neat and Orderly, not to mention my concern that nobody has seen a dentist in entirely too long?

…the first person who makes a crack about the Middle Ages is so gonna get it…


Elizabeth L in Apex, NC said...

You seem to have missed the memo that Spring Break is for you, too! Look, you can clean your house when the kids go to college (or you give them to the gypsies, whichever comes first). It's not like it stays clean, anyway. Iyou constantly beat yourself up about your so-called failures you won't have energy to beat anyone else up when they need it! Have some chocolate and breathe, sister, and remember that "keeping up with the ToDo list" is as much a fabrication as "keeping up with the neighbors."

Science PhD Mom said...

Just take it one thing at a time. Eventually you will get to the bottom of the pile. Your kids don't mind if the house is a bit messy, and they're back to school in 1.5 days. You will get there! Try to sneak in a bubble bath or some good quality knitting time over the weekend for your own mini-break.

Tola said...

cleaning the house while the children are still living there makes as much sense as shoveling the walk before it stops snowing. muck out the worst, and then take a break.

Steph B said...

Burn it down. Get the kids and the cat out, and torch away.

Okay, not really, but it kinda sounds like fun, doesn't it? :-)