As you may recall, I just skipped town for a weekend alone with the husband. I am quite certain that you have all been
dying to know mildly curious and/or disinterested to hear the details of our Valentine’s getaway (No, not those details. This is a family show. Oh, wait, there are too many bad words for that…) so I thought I’d share some of the highlights of our three days in Estes Park, along with a poignant honest account of what it was like to return home to our two children.
In my most memorable Valentine’s Day post, I referred to the last child-free weekend trip we took to Estes Park. Like a complete moron, I talked about how sick and unhappy I was that weekend, thanks to my first-trimester morning sickness and general malaise, and how this trip would be so much better because I would feel great and eat and drink as much as I wanted!
You should never say something like this before going out of town.
I don’t know if it’s Murphy’s Law, bitter irony, poetic justice, or a karmic kick in the ass, but basically one should never say these things out loud or in print before going on a vacation. While you may not get morning sickness, you will most definitely get sick.
I wound up with an ear infection the day before we left. (What kind of adult gets an ear infection? One who can’t stop running her mouth off about how excited she is about her trip, that’s who.) I saw the doctor and he thought there was a pretty good chance my eardrum would rupture on our way up to Estes Park. Fucking. Great.
The good news is, it didn’t. The bad news is, I still can’t hear anything out of my left ear, save for the constant ringing, and I spent my weekend downing countless pills to combat the pain, dizziness, and pressure: Ibuprofen, Sudafed, antibiotics, probiotics, (because the last thing I needed that weekend was a damn yeast infection from my antibiotics) not to mention my usual acid reflux pills and antihistamine. Between those, my husband’s cholesterol medication, and the supply of Vicodin I brought just in case my eardrum exploded, we had more pharmaceuticals on hand than the cast of Betty White’s Off Their Rockers. (See, I told you I’d work it in Kristi.)
The unfortunate cocktail of drugs served to ensure that my digestive system ground to a screeching halt, further contributing to my misery and inability to indulge excessively in culinary delights. One night I didn’t even finish my Creme Brulee. (Hanging head in shame. What a waste.) Although the first night I did get a little tipsy off my single glass of wine and after-dinner drink! (The Grasshopper. A classic.)
I was reminded that the bitter irony of allowing oneself excitement over a vacation that ends up falling short could have been much worse. While we lay in bed watching CNN the first night, (Try not to be jealous of our crazy lifestyle.) we saw footage of the people stuck on the cruise ship Triumph. My favorite captions included descriptions such as:
- Befouled ship
- Floating petrie dish
- Hell on high waters
- Crippled cruise ship limps to port
So, yeah, it could’ve been worse. Actually, it was mostly lovely, thanks to our lazy agenda, lack of parental responsibilities, and ability to stay in bed all morning. We watched several movies, got massages, went shopping, and I read an entire novel. Wheeee! So, for all my dramatic belly-aching, it was a pretty nice weekend.
Coming home was pretty great, too, given that we got to see our daughters after three days apart. Until they both started screaming and I was certain my eardrum would explode for real this time. Within a matter of hours, heads were banged on file cabinets, lives were ruined by unfair parental limits being set, pants were pooped in, and injustices were dispensed. Home sweet home.
The next day, I witnessed a beautiful scene between sisters, especially in light of the post I had just written about my oldest daughter wanting space from her little sister. My toddler was angrily screeching when her big sister refused to hand over her Junie B. Jones book. I reminded Izzy that she was not obligated to share her chapter books with Sophie- they were hers. Izzy generously found another book to give her sister, and the two of them happily settled down in a corner of the dining room to read their books, side by side. It turns out that all Sophie wanted was a big-girl book of her own, so she could sit down and read next to the sister she worships.
Then they shared this sweet, sloppy toddler kiss.
The worst part of our trip ending was the inevitable return home of Grammy and Papa. Izzy could not be any more attached to my mom, but Sophie grows closer and closer, more and more bonded to them each time they visit. She excitedly asks, “Papa?” every time my dad leaves the room, saying his name no fewer than fifty times a day. The girls are smitten.
As they left this morning, we watched them drive away through the living room window. Izzy begged me not to cry, and I agreed. Until Sophie, glimpsing Grammy but not Papa through the window, began to sob. “Papa! Papa!” she cried, searching for him. I began to cry. “Papa is going bye-bye!” I told her, and Izzy began bawling as well. “Grammy! I want Grammy!” she whimpered. I guess the sad departure is a small price to pay for the bond between girls and grandparents, not to mention the willingness of my parents to provide us with a kid-free weekend. A wise friend once said to me, regarding the family vacation, “Reentry is a bitch.”
Aww, I was practically crying at the end and my parents share a house with us. Seriously, though sorry you weren’t feeling well on your trip and you are right this is so Murphy’s Law and something I could see happening to me if I ever did get a childless vacation.
I am seriously jealous that your parents live with you! I would love that!
Seriously! I’m in awe.
What kind of adult gets an ear infection? Lol! Exactly what I was thinking! You have the sweetest relationship with your folks EVER! I’m in awe of it 😀 Sorry you jinxed your vacation but it really didn’t sound all that bad. Had you felt healthier you may have felt more obliged to do stuff. Glad you’re back!!!
It may be weird, but I would love it if my parents lived in our house! You’re right, it is kind of nice to have an excuse not to be active and just lay around…
Oh, that toddler kiss is the most beautiful thing I’ve seen all day! Can’t wait to get home to my own little girl.
Apparently Chris didn’t get the facial expression memo. 🙂
I also have to ask you to embed ‘like’ buttons after each sentence – there were so many moments I wanted this to be FB so I could give you a thumbs up!
Every time The Hubs has taken time off since The Kid was born, he’s either been sick or injured. This weekend was no exception. He had Friday and Monday off, and severely injured his back last Tuesday, so was flat on his back until yesterday afternoon. Oh, and The Kid fell at gymnastics on Thursday, and was in a cast all weekend, too. It’s been lovely. And now I’m officially jealous of you. 😉
So glad you got a break, my friend! I hope you’re recharged!
Awwwww! What an amazing post, as always.
I love how you worked in the Off Their Rockers reference – it’s even funnier here with the whole story. And seriously, I thought adults didn’t get that bad of ear infections either. Next year you’ll have to remember to write about how you hope you’re sick again on vacation because it was so nice to read an entire book. Bleh.
I’m a huge sucker for massages. Glad you got one. And I’m a bigger sucker for that adorable sisters bonding moment over the books and that so-sweet (!) kiss.
Hope you feel better soon. I wouldn’t risk telling us that you do feel better any time soon. Because you already mentioned that your eardrum didn’t rupture and letting the world know you’re better would just be pushing your luck.
Glad you’re back!
Sorry you had a lousy time. At least you got to watch the news together! Our kids never cried when their grandparents would leave our house. In fact, they’d tend to lock in on their toys and only jump up to say goodbye when prodded a little. Guess that says something about my wife’s parent’s personalities. lol Hope you get your hearing back soon.
Reentry is a bitch. There were never truer words spoken! Hope you’re feeling better!
Oh man, and then there’s the week of trying to get back to “normal”. Wow, your ear sounds worse than I imagined. I don’t know what a ruptured eardrum feels like, but it sounds awful! I’m glad it didn’t happen. I’m curious to know what book you read.
I LOVE kid free weekends but I always feel guilty asking the grandparents to babysit…but that does not stop me! I think it’s great for the grandparents to bond and for the parents to actually have a cohesive conversation or two.
And I know damn well that we’ll be excited to get home only to have our relaxing undone within 15 minutes by screaming children. I keep telling myself that I’ll miss these days.
Reentry sucks. Yes, yes it does. It makes you wonder if it is all worth it, doesn’t it?
Oh, and yes I agree about tempting fate equaling an ear infection!
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O…M…Geeeeeee! I cannot believe you were sick on your trip…the glorious “I’m going to be able to eat this time” getaway! Nooooooooooooooooooooo! That is the worst thing EVER!! (I don’t know, but I’m thinking you shouldn’t go back there, maybe ever)
I love the pictures of the girls…and Grammy and Papa are adorable. I’d frame that picture of the four of them immediately! 🙂