In three days we are leaving on vacation. It is our first vacation as a family of six that takes us away from home for more than one night. It is our first vacation as a family of six that takes us more than one state away from home. In fact, we are leaving New England and traveling to Pennsylvania. I am more than a little nervous.
Megan is the only one of our children who has traveled any distance by car. When I was 5 months pregnant with Drew our little family drove to Toronto. That was 5 years ago. Drew thinks driving the 20 minutes to the mall is a "really long trip". The kids don't have very good car behavior; they're very loud all the time. I absolutely cannot tolerate loud noises in the car, even when I'm not driving. The girls can't reach each other from their car seats, but Meg and Drew get awfully handsy back in the third row. It's generally not pleasant, even for a short trip.
I'm excited for vacation. I'm excited to see something other than the four walls for my house and maybe even the sunshine. I'm excited to see friends. But I have big nerves about taking my kids in the car for 8 hours (or more) to an unfamiliar place and expecting them to have fun. I tend to have high expectations about how things are going to go, and of course they NEVER go the way I planned and I end up disappointed, frustrated and angry with myself and the kids.
We did buy two single strollers for the girls (matching of course, to eliminate fighting) instead of the double stroller. We did this partially to save space in the van and partially because the girls fight with each other in both of their double strollers. In the side by side Annie is always leaving over Izzie's side smacking her in the face, and in the front to back stroller the person in the back is ALWAYS kicking the one in the front and/or pulling her hair.
We let Meg and Drew write a list of the toys/books/stuffed friends they want to bring and are allowing them to pack their bags themselves. We're bringing our portable DVD player, two Ipods and snacks. Of course I'm bringing my camera! But there are butterflies in my stomach.
This vacation is our test. It's our test to see if the kids can behave well enough so that we could even contemplate taking them to Disney sooner rather than later. The big age difference between Meg and the twins makes me want to go sooner, so that they can all enjoy the same things, together. So yes, I have really high expectations. Maybe I should lower them and just go with the flow. Oh but I have such a hard time doing that.
Ok this rambling post needs to end. Keep your fingers crossed that we all come back in one piece.