Sunday, April 03, 2005

Is Family Vacation an Oxymoron?

If you have young children that are still cute and adorable and think you are wonderful, STOP. Read no more. Enjoy these years. This is rated for Parents of Pre-Teens and Teens Only.

The sun was shining; the weather was warm. We sailed through customs and arrived in speedy time. I was able to knit on my side to side jacket for the entire drive. The kids actually laughed once or twice and NOT at the expense of one another! The Ontario Science Centre was great! I am in mom bliss. We are having fun..or so I thought..dum, dum, dum. (Ominous drum beats)

And then it began...the teen tirades. It started slowly and quietly. First, mom became the target of much hilarity. How dare I be excited about the new exhibit? And did I actually have to stop and read the placards attached to the 'old hunks of rock' on the timeline of the Earth? Who knew I was so amusing? And then the 16 year old got ...dum dum dum.. a headache. A headache that could only be relieved by a phone call to the boyfriend, and sticking her head under the covers back at the hotel. A headache that could only cured by refusing to go anywhere. So do you leave a 16 year old under the covers in one small room of the largest hotel in Toronto? Only if the other four members of the family decide dinner and wandering Yonge Street is more a more pressing need, you do.

We found Le Commensal around the corner from the hotel - and voila! The 11 year old vegetarian is overcome with joy! You mean there are more of her kind? There are entire restaurants devoted to people who actually understand that eating the "flesh of thinking beings is wrong" really exist? We have a very happy kid! However, her twin brother swears he will eat two pounds of bacon in front of her the next morning squealing "Oink! Oink!" for retribution.

After dinner we gave the twins an education in Toronto nightlife as we strolled down Yonge Street. do you distract them from "XXX Adult" in flashing neon while at the same time trying to avoid stepping on the homeless guy sleeping with his feet sticking out of the doorway? DH and I tactfully steer them back to the hotel. Thankfully, the 16 has survived our absence to stumble into our room for my cell phone. I am happy I am there to help. (Can you see the frozen smile on my face?).

Having failed to check the weather report for the day, silly mom has planned on walking ChinaTown, and maybe doing a bit of Queen Street. But it is now 30 degrees, and snowing. Each snow flake large and heavy enough to take out an eye before melting...So of course we are now forced into the first building they see..dum, dum, dum..The Eaton Centre. Oh, joy! Shopping. Have I told you the twins never saw the inside of a mall until they were almost 3? The girls did NOT inherit the 'shopping gene' from me.

And so we emerge from shopping bliss two hours later, we battle our way back to the car, 50 mph winds howling at our backs, the snow has turned to rain. And it begins.
home...home...home...home..home...The chant worked its way to the ranks. DH and I sigh, and swear to never bring them with us anywhere. Ever. Again. Until the next time.


Mary Beth said...

FOFL! I am one step away from your family vacation! I have 11, 8, 6. I didn't hear any sibling rivalry there on yours? That's what's dominatating our family dynamic right now. Oh well, they have no idea how cool their mom is. Knitting on through the pain!

Rebecca said...

Thanks,Mary Beth. The up side of picking on Mom means that they are too busy to pick on one another!

Anonymous said...

Take heart - I have survived two teenagers who have now emerged from that dark side to be delightful (though still somewhat self absorbed) young adults. Only one teen left and he's actually not too bad (how's that for fixing a curse on myself??) Laugh a lot and give yourself time away from them!

Chris (woolybuns)