This is a REALLY late post. Things have been crazy (to say the least) here so I have little to no time to blog. Last night Joel pointed out how nice it is to have a record of the kids’ behaviors to look back on so I decided to try and make some time to update. So the first week of June the kids and I (sans Joel) decided to take our first summer vacation. There were a couple of reasons we wanted to do this. 1) Last summer it was hard to schedule any vacations as we were in the waiting phase so I hardly got to go to the cabin at al and 2) We needed to figure out a way to get S out of the last couple days of school.
Some back story may be necessary. My family (from nebraska) has a cabin in North MN (no idea why they choose this location generations ago, but glad they did since I live in south MN now!) I LOVE it there. To help you understand this I will tell you that when I was 8 years old (maybe younger) I had a plan to stay at the cabin after my family left (ride bike to job at grocery store) so I could stay there forever. My parents sadly didn’t go along with this but I wailed the way home about how someday I would live in MN, and here I am!
That’s the back story on the cabin, but there is also a back story on the S school situation. This past semester has been hard with increasingly difficult school work, school staff that believe that S is “Willfully” not completing work but has the ability, parents that disagree with her ability to complete 3rd grade level work but cannot convince the school system (new eval may help this, will talk more about this in another post) and difficult peer relationships. Knowing all this and knowing how much my girl thrives on structure AND how the last few days of school are the most unstructured ever, Joel and I decided that the added negatives did not our weigh the positives of the last few days.
So our trip was planned. It was scheduled for Wed-Sun and since Joel had to work I planned on taking the 3 kids all by myself. Now I don’t know if I am clinically insane, but while I was super excited about this trip all other adults expressed significant doubts about how the trip would go. My expectations were SUPER low (Eat ice cream, not burn down cabin, no one drown) so I figured even if the kids were little hellions it would be ok.
I was fully expecting it to be a hard couple of days. Taking the kids to a new place, no back up, lots of new things to do/experience is always hard for kids, but even more hard for my kids. We looked at pictures, talked in great detail before we went, but it was still going to be a toss up as to how we did.
I have to say how proud I am of the kids. We got there and all pitched in to unpack and get settled. We went out to dinner and the kids were excited to see the lakes. They did GREAT! Getting to sleep that first night was tough in a new place so we were all up till 1am. The next day was great too! Everyone laid down to rest in the afternoon and ALL FELL ASLEEP. Lake life will do that to you! When all 3 kids were napping and I was hanging out typing and looking at the lake was the most relaxed I have felt in MONTHS AND MONTHS! It was amazing. The next day went great too, but I could tell towards the end of the day we were reaching the limit of “newness” my kids could handle. There were not break downs of tantrums but the anxiety level was just getting up there. That day we also went fishing off the dock and S caught a great big bass and P was very excited about watching his bobber. Then his bobber floated under the dock and he leaned over to see it. Next thing I knew I saw a splash and was in the water. I have no cognitive recollection of seeing the splash and THEN thinking “Oh, that must have been P, I should help him”. Nope, I saw the splash and the next thing I knew I was in the lake helping him up. The issue with that is the kids’ anxiety level was HUGE after that AND my phone was in my pocket or my hand when I jumped in. Poor iPhone is dead now!
The rest of the night the kids talked about how I “saved” P. They all went to bed great. The next morning however it was rainy and stormy and the kids had reached their limit. They were sassy, not following basic rules, and not listening. We just decided to pack up a day early (and my We I mean I decided while they cried that they wanted to stay) and go home. It was a rainy day so not much we could have done anyway besides watch the cable the cabin has that we don’t at home. I just wanted to make sure that the trip ended on a good or okay note, not a bad one. We talked about trying over again next time we were there.
Overall I was pretty impressed with this trip. I managed to keep everyone alive and for the most part happy for 4 days all on my own. We enjoyed a bunch of cabin firsts (all of which we HAD pictures of…..on my iPhone) and get the kids excited to go back next time. We also figured out a very important limit. The vacation time limit. It seems like right now the kids can handle 3 days of newness before losing their minds, so future trips will be just that, 3 days.
We plan on going back over the 4th of July so here’s hoping that trip is as good!