The One Where I Admit I’m Negligent

You heard it here first. I am not a good parent. I let my kids down in a big way.

I’ve never taken my kids on vacation. Like, ever. Not once. The Girl-child is 19, and she’s never been away on vacation. She has been away from home, of course. All the kids have. To grandma’s, to camp, etc. But never away to do fun things for more than a night. Until now. It’s road trip time.

It is for the boys, anyway. The Girl-child is staying home because she has a job. And I have, like, a million pets. We’re hitting the road for St Augustine.

Last night, it all seemed like a good idea, a great one, even. I was so excited. We went to St Augustine as honeymooners 21 years ago, and we loved it so much. There are plenty of places we haven’t been, but if we’re going to leap into vacation, we should go somewhere we know. Or think we know. Or whatever.

In the light of day, the shine has worn off this particular idea. I didn’t go on vacation much as a kid. Why should my kids be spoiled? Also? Kittens. How do I leave this?

Pan-DOR-able. How do I leave this face and stay gone for 2% of her young life? I don't deserve her love!

Pan-DOR-able. How do I leave this face and stay gone for 2% of her young life? I don’t deserve her love!

This morning,  husband loaded the car with way too much stuff. I will continue packing things into bags until there is nothing left but the bare studs and a few good memories if I am not bodily removed from the premises. The goal was to leave at 7am

6:30 Squish wakes us up

6:40 Finally get out of bed

6:45 Look around for the clothes I laid out last night. I swear they were *right here*

6:50 Find clothes in exactly the spot I left them last night. My bad, husband. I didn’t see them. Don’t look at me like that!

6:55 Learn that husband does not, in fact, like my orange Minions shirt and never has. It’s like our whole marriage has been a lie.

6:56 Begin existential crisis.

7:15 Ignore horn honking in the driveway and check Twitter

7:18 Go out to move car.

7:19 Return to the house to get keys.

7:20 Return to house to get coffee

7:21 Return to house to pee one last time

7:23 Insist that everyone else go pee also

7:35 Get in car

7:36 Return to house to replace kitten who mysteriously appeared in my backpack. I don’t know how she got there, so stop looking at me like that.

7:38 On the road.

The trip was uneventful. Husband found a route that takes 5 fewer hours than our last trip, or maybe new interstates have been constructed in the last 20 years. The only blip was a visit to a benighted McDonald’s with the least attentive servers in history and a child at the table behind us whose shrieks could have peeled the paint off the walls.

We got here in before dark, but I suspect it’s going to be an interesting visit. Instead of a magical stay at a bed and breakfast, we’re at the bad end of town in a motel who lists “toilet” as one of its amenities. I was all excited, but my enthusiasm waned with the daylight. Suddenly it seems like too much work to leave the room.

It’s not all bad. The kids didn’t want to leave the room, either. They opted to send Dad out to bring back a pizza. I’m pretending that it’s a money-saving move and not because I don’t have the energy to fight traffic tonight. Time enough for that tomorrow, right?

I can’t sleep without a kitten chewing on my feet. I do hope that one of the boys is up to the job.


23 thoughts on “The One Where I Admit I’m Negligent

  1. If your daughter is feeding them and she has toes, they may not even know you are gone. As soon as you get back, they will chew on you again. Have fun in Fla.! Truth be told, I always miss my four legged ones when I go on vacation…unless there are pets where I am, then I don’t. See, I’m just like the cats!

  2. This was hysterical and accurate. I hooted at 6:55. Technically, half an hour late is still on time for a family of four or more. After six bodies, you get a full hour. Also, it’s tradition to forget someone slightly vital like sandals on a flight to Florida or flashlights on a camping trip. One time, both my father and I forgot our sleeping bags. Super 8 was nice.

    PS: Looks like Zsa Zsa Gabor in a mink coat.

      • Tell him he can pull it off of you later on when you’re alone along with everything else.

        If that doesn’t work, remind him how many decades he’s had those nasty drawers that he won’t part with. Women always win if they bring up man panties.

  3. You crack me up! Have you ever been to Emerald Isle, NC? Outstanding beaches and low key, family oriented atmosphere. They even have an AZA accredited aquarium – North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, N.C. AND an awesome and rather unique old fort built into the ground — with a moat – Fort Macon.

  4. Ha! Funny post and it’s so true! The planning phase of a vacation is always more fun than the packing stage! 🙂

  5. This is that thing I mentioned in a post recently, about missing blogging and the people I enjoy… this is where I laugh out loud, over a vacation you took a month ago! This is where I catch up, and smile. Nice slice of life! Hope your PitchSlam goes well! I so forgot to do it, and I’m so kicking myself. I was keeping your post open all this time… to remember. And well… this is that thing.

A penny for your thoughts! And by penny, I mean a warm-fuzzy in your heart.

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