Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Please Take Me Home, Country Roads







Family Ski Trip: The Highs and the Lows

So we took the kids skiing this weekend. Here are some highlights and lowlights.

Low: Driving in a full-blown snowstorm up and down treacherous country roads.
High: Dramatically improving my lackluster prayer life during the drive.

Low: Having Tom scream, “Shut up! Shut up! Won’t you two ever just SHUT UP???” to the kids who were fighting, weeping and wailing in the back seat the entire car ride.
High: Finally sealing the deal that we wouldn’t ever be allowed to be judge-y with other parents. If you had told us 10 years ago that we’d use such language with our spawn, I mean precious children, we would have told said were crazy.

High: Saving $10,000 when Tom yelled at the kids in the car, “We were PLANNING on taking you kids to Europe this summer. Now I know we can’t take you ANYWHERE, EVER!”

Low: Saving that $10,000.

High: Taking a Jacuzzi bath with Molly in our hotel room.
Low: Having Molly look at me au naturel, scream in horror, and say, “I’m never growing up!”

Low: Wasting $100 upon discovering it was “Donate A Canned Good and get $10 Lift Tickets Day,” but finding ourselves absolutely can-less.

High: My saving us tons of money by generously abstaining from skiing (as I have since 1989).

High: Finding enough quarters in the crappy waiting area to buy a treat from the vending machine.

Low: Pushing the wrong button and getting a Baby Ruth.

High: Can't think of one.

Low: Having Molly, all zipped up and outfitted to ski, tell me she hated me, hated skiing and she would never ever ski in her whole entire life.

Low/High: Spending 2 hours talking her off the ledge by appealing to her Disney Channel and I-Carly sensibility by sharing with her that I always felt left out when my friends and BOYFRIENDS could ski, since I'd never learned how.

Super High: Seeing her go off with her class for a beginner’s lesson knowing she would kick skiing’s butt (and not mine for at least another hour and a half).

Low: The fighting, the fighting, did I mention the fighting?

High: Watching the kids swim and laugh together in the indoor pool, having more fun together than they have had all year.

High: Reading books inside the crappy waiting area while my family skied in 10 degree weather.

High: Watching Molly feed a cow-sized deer a kernel of corn without being stampeded by the deer's 6 cow-sized buddies.

Higher High:
Seeing Tom’s attitude and outlook on life improve as he shared his favorite pasttime with his smiling, skiing kids.

High: Finally getting ready to drive home!

Nadir: Mere moments after finishing a book about being a good Christian wife and mother, when Jake started wailing because he didn’t want to carry his skis, finding myself so pissed at his infantile behavior that I threw his ski boots onto the floor (sending one boot down a flight of stairs), snatching out of his hand the pack of Resee's Pieces I had just bought him, and storming out of the (very public) building.


Infantile? I’ll show him infantile!


Not sure how to wrap it up except to say that both kids really took to skiing, Tom and I have started talking again, and we're already planning a day trip before spring.

49 comments:

Kelee Katillac said...

OMG--soooo funny! Now, honestly --can't you empathize with Alec Baldwin just a little?

Did you come off with"" Your gonna polk somebody's eyes out!!"


Love it!

Kelee

Masala Chica said...

LOL. I felt every high. And I cringed at every low. Because that is sooooo us in a few years. Except it would probably be me being all "shut up, please just shut up!"
I had such good intentions when I started this whole parenting gig . . .

I think you might need a vacation from the vacation :-) But sounds like the highs made up for the lows!
Kiran

Quilting in My Pyjamas said...

Oh Anna,

That was so funny I swear I just wet my pants laughing so hard.

By the way I work in paediatrics and you sound like the hundreds of parents I've worked with over the years. Trust me- you're completely normal!

Glennon said...

well, this one is my new favorite.

L said...

Love this! You crack me up!

mgheadley said...

I went skiiing once when I was in middle school in an attempt to avoid that 'left out' feeling. It was one of those experiences that made me really understand that there is a big difference between being alone and being lonely.
I realized I felt very lonely in a crowd of people that apparently liked being broke and cold and not being able to wipe a runny nose.... and I wished there was a place I could go to be alone!!

My only highs... a little bit of wisdom and a better sense of myself.

Tracie said...

You are a good mom. I just send Hubs off alone with the kids for ski trips. They were supposed to go this past weekend but backed out due to the cold weather.

Leslie said...

mgheadley's comment was beautiful. And your post was absolutely hilarious!

The best stories I have from growing up are from skiing. Wow. And to make you feel better - the ONLY time I ever heard my Dad swear at us (never heard him swear at all, really) was while skiing when we chose a black diamond to ski down. Halfway down and freaked out, he was MAD MAD MAD at us kids...

And my husband skied for 5 minutes one time, we got in a fight and he will never, ever ski again. I'm on my own.

;)
L

Ann's Rants said...

How I relate to this...Thanks for the giggle.

Peppermint Patty said...

This is so funny! I swear your posts are another form of birth control for me! It's refreshing to actually read about the LOWS in motherhood but laugh and remember the HIGHS as well!

for a different kind of girl said...

This post is like a travel brochure for my family...and needless to say, we've not been on any vacations/get-aways in a very long time!

Deidra said...

Oh my Lord, I've been on that trip. It was about fifteen years ago, but it was almost exactly like yours! And...it was a blast! A total blast!

slow panic said...

i LOVE family vacations. i think that is when i yell the most. ok, probably not, but it sure feels like it.

Stimey said...

Hilarious! Sounds like one of my vacations with my family. At least there were highs to balance out most of the lows. Except for the Baby Ruth.

Debbie said...

Oh, Anna. You amused me with this one. The screaming, the praying, the daughter aghast at your body! I feel like I could have written this one - but not as well.

Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge said...

I can't believe that deer was eating out of Molly's hand! That is incredible!!!

And, I totally hear you about the fighting. THat is why I've recently rearranged the seats in my van. so no one can sit next to each other EVER. Even if they SAY they are going to get along, it never happens.

Anonymous said...

I just love you and your family. That was priceless.

What a talented story teller you are. Even if you can't ski.

jbhat

Brenda Susan said...

So so funny! This was excellent! Family vacations are totally full of so many highs & lows, you captured it perfectly!

Caroline said...

This post made me laugh so hard. I'm so happy that I found your blog! It brightened my day.

K a b l o o e y said...

Nothing like a really great post to cheer me up when I'm feeling blue. And because of the deer photo, you'll all remember the highs more than the lows. No pictures of tantrums on your part or theirs, right? Attaway to cement the good memories and have the bad ones fade away. Thanks for the laughs.

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Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El) said...

When my son was 6 I took him sledding. I worked two jobs and went to school full time, so outings like this were rare.

When it was time to go I said, "one more run," but of course even though he never argued, he did that day and wanted to keep going.

So, I yelled at him in the car. All the way home (ten minutes). To say that I remember that (he's 23 now) every time I see a sled hill, is the truth.

Definitely a low.

So, thanks for your confessions of outbursts. You seem to be great parents, and I was a pretty good one. Yet it helps to know we all have our worn down, it's cold, be good darn it moments.

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Kate Coveny Hood said...

This was SO funny. Loved all of it. And I've been there for the driving in snow up a mountain scene. And we actually hit ice and went off the road into a ditch! Good times...at least there were no children fighting in the back seat.

Chris said...

You made me laugh! I love to ski, so I wouldn't have saved the family money. And the fighting? Yeah. You mentioned the fighting. I'm with you, sister. It's happening in my house right now and we're not even on a trip. I'm thinking of yanking the plans to Disneyland if it doesn't stop.

Awesome that the kids liked skiing!

dearheart said...

Lots of funny stuff here - I hate a Babe Ruth too. Glad the kids liked skiing. They're well on their way to that well roundedness we're all seeking for our kids....

purejoy said...

high: reading your blog.
low: finishing your blog. more!!

ohhhhh, i've been there and done that with the bickering and the button-pushing and the losing the patience… it's life, huh? (but at least you scored some resees pieces!)
i too, don't ski, don't apologize for not skiing. weee!! i love to read. and knit. and just get away.

funny post. warn me next time and i'll get my depends.

vawriter said...

I'm with you, purejoy! This makes me so grateful for my nice, quiet empty nest with snowdrift halfway up the doors to the deck. No fighting, just French toast, bacon, coffee, and a little marital fun.

It did bring back memories, however, when my tenuous victory over profanity slipped.

Please keep writing, Anna!

Anonymous said...

I have one, a little baby, we were thinking of having another...but maybe not. can they still ruin everything when there is just one?

Heidi said...

This is so funny! I just read some of it to Scott. I think it was the 'shut up' of it all, the throwing of boots, and snatching of candy that were my favorite bits. I once threw a sippy cup across the car in a fit of exasperation...rage...insanity...

I thoroughly enjoyed this. :)

Rachel Elizabeth said...

Strangely this actually makes me want to go skiing.

Kimberly said...

This was a funny post! I am new to your blog and just became a follower!

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Judi B said...

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Anonymous said...

I just laughed out loud to that!I just took a few kids skiing, some mine and some my sisters. I (in front of the entire room of parents!) squeezed my ten y/o child's shoulders very hard and whispered threatening things to him-
after he had
1.laughed when I fell down (not even wearing skis btw)
2. refused to carry his own skis
3.yelled at some hapless little girl to get out of his way
There are even more but I will spare you. Thanks for sharing your memory Anna!

Stimey said...

I'm still sad for you about the Baby Ruth.

Suburban Correspondent said...

“Shut up! Shut up! Won’t you two ever just SHUT UP???”

I ALWAYS want to scream that in the car. ALWAYS.

for a different kind of girl said...

I've lived the desperate resignation of the Baby Ruth. The only bonus is finding a piece of the bar's wayward chocolate somewhere on my person later and *possibly* snacking on it.

:)

I hope Tim and Margaret have a fun trip.

Leeann said...

Now *that* is what parenting is really like- the highs and the lows. Kids bring it all out in us in spades, don't they?

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Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

You are reminding me of the time I cut my daughter's pants off of her. It was a low low.

I'm glad you have this story on your blog--it's a wonderful memory.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Oh - I remember this one! I have many of those "nadir" moments...

Aimee said...

LMAO.... what a scream! Margaret's comment to you in the jacuzzi! Hysterical! I had a similar comment recently from my 4 yr old.

your post really brought back big time memories, my sisters and I traveled a lot since we were military "brats" and those car rides were pretty brutal. Lol...

Love the photo of Margaret feeding the deer. ;)

The Empress said...

THIS made me laugh. And made me make plans to steal it also.

May I just say, SOPA?

Screw SOPA.

Christy said...

I remember this one. SO funny. And, I LOVE baby ruths!

Anonymous said...

Love this!! Thanks for re-sharing!

Andie

Ashley Taylor said...

So, I had to separate out the reality of the you from now from the reality of the you from then and just sit back and read a post written with such hilarious honesty by a mom who has so totally been there and so totally gets it. Absolutely laugh out loud funny and great. And honest, which I adored. I loved reading it so very much. :)
Ashley
www.thedoseofreality.com