It’s not a vacation, it’s a trip (as parents like to say)

You know you’re on vacation with a bunch of kids when getting through the day feels like you’re in the middle of some reality-TV endurance challenge.

In fact, traveling with small kids SHOULD be a reality TV endurance challenge. Or better, part of the regular date line-up on The Bachelor. Going on a trip to the South of France does NOT prepare you for a relationship, no matter how many corny metaphors the producers prompt you with. Imagine how much more epic a two-on-one date was one toddler, two adults. And why doesn’t the overnight date include four small children? That’s how you test a relationship. There will be no rappelling over waterfalls. I’m sure none of the contestants has listed “putting a three-year old to bed” as one of their fears, but they will after this date!

“This is a lot like a relationship,” the contestants will say in their interviews. “Because…because…because…nevermind, I can’t think of anything, I’m too tired to form a sentence.”

Vacations with kids are never easy, but I believe the first day is particularly hard. Everyone’s still a little off-balance — the kids haven’t settled into their sleep routines, and the adults haven’t had a chance to figure out how to work the coffee maker. It’s a bad combination.

It has felt like we’ve been outnumbered by the kids for a few years and babies ago, but  this year we actually were. Six adults, and eight kids ages 7, 7, 6, 5, 3, 3, 9 months and 5 weeks. It’s quite the lineup.

Day one on this year’s vacation started after a long night of lots of wake-ups and very little sleep. That morning the kids were restless and excited, and Anna wouldn’t go down for her normal 9 a.m. nap. I tried for a while, then I threw up my white flag put her in the Ergo and took her for a walk.

Eh, it’s not the relaxing cup of coffee on the dock I had imagined, but taking a walk on a beautiful mountain road while holding my baby girl isn’t too bad either.

Actually, a skipped nap is kind of like a relationship because, well, sometimes things get tough and you just have to keep going…one foot in front of the other…something like that…what was I talking about again?


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