This post is in honor of my sister-in-law. I promise it gets better, my friend.
Note to my younger self,
Oh, honey. It’s ok. You will survive this too. Traveling with littles isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s like being held captive by tiny terrorists. You can’t negotiate with terrorists and toddlers. Their M.O. is to deprive you of sleep until you break, then they cry incessantly until YOU are the one rocking back and forth in the corner saying things like “Find your happy place” over and over. Staying in a hotel with kids is like going to war. You think you know what you’re getting in to, but you don’t. You think, “There are enough beds for everyone so it’s all good.” This is a lie from the pit. Don’t fall into the trap, young one. All those hotel commercials with families frolicking by the pool and laughing over the complimentary breakfast are a sham. Apparently no one wants to see the red-eyed mother rocking her inconsolable baby in the lobby at 1:00 am. No one advertises the 2 year old who has just pooed his swim diaper in the pool and his parents frantically trying to get him out. And what about the littles who are running amok down the halls screaming at the top of their lungs at 6:30 in the morning? I guess they didn’t audition well.
I promise there’s a silver lining here. Now, your kids are older. They can sleep in beds other than their own and not act like crazed animals. They sleep, yes SLEEP, in these beds all the way til morning without a peep. They actually like going to hotels because they know they’ll get to watch TV in bed. They don’t run up and down the halls anymore terrorizing every guest that wants to sleep past 7:00. And since they’ve all figured out how to control their bodily functions, there are no “code browns” in the swimming pool. The unfortunate thing is they are still children and act as if the whole hotel room is a laundry basket, so their clothes cover every inch of the floor. I know you’re freaking out right now. “You mean you let their clothes get on the icky, germ-infested floor?!” Yes. Yes I do. Ironically, your children’s immune systems are super human. I like to think it’s because of your early dislike for deep cleaning. Thank you, young one, for not making their home as sterile as a hospital. (P.S. you also still like to credit yourself for things that probably have nothing to do with you i.e. their immune systems. It’s fine.)
Here’s the deal. You are one tough cookie whether you know it or not. Sometimes the tiny terrorists win and that’s ok. You will live to fight another day. If you feel overcome by your little loves, take a minute. Go for a LONG walk, get a pedicure, visit a friend, see a counselor, read a book. Do whatever it is that feeds your soul and frees you from reality, even if it’s just for a little bit. These tiny people need you and they need you to be strong. Hang in there, it gets sooo much better. And harder in some ways. I can’t tell you about that now though, you might have a come apart. Carry on, brave warrior. You were made for this.
Your more rested older self
P.S. The last time you went to a hotel your kids stayed in an adjoining room. Did you hear me?! ADJOINING ROOM!! FREEDOM!!!!! No more 8:30 bedtime for you and Kyle! Nevermind that you have no idea how many hours of television they watched before bed. You don’t even care because you got to watch Netflix on your phone. It was magical. It’s in your future. It’s your destiny. Nevermind that you don’t know what Netflix is yet. You will. And you will binge on Gilmore Girls. I know it’s on TV right now in 2007 but just wait. You’ll watch it in 9 years.