Tuesday, May 27, 2008

What was I thinking?

Ever had one of those days you sort of knew was going to go badly? You just were off your game, and you knew it. Ever had one on vacation? Today was that day for us. We are winding up our trip with more vacation for me and the kids and work for Tim. He is busy with a conference and the kids and I are along for the ride (and some pool time). Here is the saga of the day, pity me, laugh, whatever- I'm too tired to care:

7:00 kids up and the older three wake up Katey- who needed another hour or so. Bedtime last night did not go well- it was 10 pm before they got to sleep.
7:45 Dad heads out for breakfast with other attendees- kids find out they can't go and pitch a fit- even though Mom bought cool cereal, they think Dad will get Cocoa Puffs. (Mom has Honey Bunches of Oats - got them free with coupon- Tina would be proud!)
8:30 Dad stops back by before his first session to see if things have chilled out and to report there were no Cocoa Puffs and then heads out again.
9:00 We leave the room to go walk around the hotel. See waterfalls, see if the pool is open, allow the lovely cleaning lady to vacuum up the many crumbs left after the kids ate the free cereal (yes I will tip when I leave).
10:00 Our room is still not ready. The pool near to our end of the hotel is closed because they found glass in it. I appreciate the safety, but am bummed at the long walk to the pool that is open-the entire length of the Opryland Hotel. We walk to the other pool and verify it is open and has a kid pool. Katey is pitching a fit as we have now toured the entire hotel (including the conference center) and she has seen enough. I drag my tired two year old who wants to swim BADLY away from the pool and back to what I hope is an available hotel room. I am thrilled at all the looks I am getting as I make my way back across the hotel. Visualize me with one who is miserable and another who has decided it would be fun to hop along the carpet patterns and fall down and roll across any circular shapes. Its a game but others don't seem to be appreciating it. The oldest two don't want to wait for the younger set and are repeatedly moving further ahead than Mom would like.
10:30 Our room is clean! We get changed into swim apparel and head back to the pool (another trip across the hotel). We arrive and all get in the kiddie pool. I want to relax a little. They can all handle 18 inch deep water without a problem. We are in for mere seconds before an employee approaches and informs me that the pool is closed. I get ready to let him have it, but then he tells me "a child had an accident in and around the pool and we must close it for chemical treatment." He points out the "accident" in a couple of nearby areas. You all know my germophobic nature. I couldn't get my kids out of the pool fast enough.
10:45 Thoroughly grossed out we move to the large pool. The kids swim and enjoy themselves for an hour. Mom nearly has a nervous breakdown watching four kids (only one of which can swim) in a pool where they are all in water over their heads. We leave the pool and Mom decides to take a shortcut to avoid walking through the heart of the hotel wearing a swimsuit and towel. Unfortunately the layout is confusing instead of ending up in the Magnolia area and our room, I lead us to the convention center. I now feel really out of place in my attire and am rushing to get us headed in the right direction. Pay attention folks- this is where the day goes to pieces- this is where I realize I should have stayed in bed. Carter is lagging. I keep having to look back and encourage him to keep walking. As we begin our walk on the walkway above the "Delta" I look back to see my son peeing off the walkway onto the water below- a beautiful waterway where guests can ride boats and enjoy the horticulture. I scream, but a three year old boy with a fondness for doing his "business" in the wild doesn't stop on command. He finishes and I discipline him and explain for the 100th time why we have to reserve our "business" for the bathroom.
12:30 We are back in the room for lunch and quiet time- HALLELUJAH!!
2:45 Tim returns and we head out for the Frist Center. Neither of us has had lunch- the kids have eaten so we promise them dessert where we get food. We decide to find something along the way. We wind up on 2nd Ave after deciding to pass on several "local color" places due to the bars on the windows. We figure out quickly that lunch ended at 2 at the Old Spaghetti Factory and most other places downtown. It is now after 3. BB King's Club boasts a quick and affordable lunch menu and is still open. We decide to give it a try, despite the bar atmosphere. We are the only patrons, so its all good. They have good food according to a couple on the street and even manage to get dessert for the kids in the form of chocolate cake. It takes a while (almost an hour) to eat there. We are sweating our meter parked van. I get the check and find that the chocolate cake came with a $10.99 price. So much for my frugality. $38 with tip and all Matthew and Carter ate was cake. I will give the place some credit- my food was good!
4:00 We go to the Frist center. The kids last maybe 10 minutes in the exhibits. The youngest two couldn't resist playing with the ropes or trying to touch things. The volunteers are having a heart attack. We walk in the room and they instantly come near. Laurel and Matthew were really doing well and I felt bad we had to pull the plug. The kids and I head to the children's area leaving Tim to enjoy the exhibits alone. All was well. The kids were being creative. An employee called us the model patrons as she trained a new volunteer (she didn't see us in the exhibits!). Then Katey filled her diaper. Guess what I forgot at the hotel. So I wait as long as possible, but then leave to find Tim and make an exit- we are fumigating the museum at this point.
5:30 We head back to the hotel. Dinner at McDonalds for the kids picked up on the way - to go - due to Katey's condition (Mom is truly off her game if we are patronizing the golden arches!).
6:30 More swim time.
8:00 Fountain show in the "Delta" I am amazed that the fountains are splashing so much as I feel my feet getting wet. I look down to see it is actually Katey kicking my Diet Coke can and spilling it on my feet.
9:00 Children in BED!!!!!!!!!!!

Today has reinforced my policy of not asking more from the kids than they can give. A little forethought goes along way when you have four kids. The crazy things that happened today could have been avoided for the most part. Katey was tired and shouldn't have been walked so much. Carter should have been taken to the bathroom before we walked back in through the cold hotel. I should have asked how much the cake would be. No one in their right mind should take preschoolers to a museum (especially after feeding them chocolate cake and skipping the 2yr old's nap). Do kid friendly things and the kids have fun. Push them and pay the price. I know this- I stuck to this policy on the first half of our trip. Today was my fault- apparently I needed the reminder. Tomorrow Tim will attend sessions and we will swim and get ready to go home. No waiting around for the room. Hopefully the pool close to the room will be open. It will be kid friendly or no go. Mom is on vacation, but tomorrow she will be more on her game!

1 comment:

Tina said...

I feel your pain! No wonder you sounded a little stresses out on the phone!
PS I am sorry but the Carter story is hilarious!