Awkward Vacation Photos

My eyes are green.  Hazel if you want to believe that busybody down at the DMV.  He’s wrong.  I think it’s the stress from the many near-death experiences he must encounter on a daily basis.

They have been extra-green this year.  I think that 4 out of 5 families at the kids’ school have traveled to Disney this year.  Maybe they are being sponsored by the gum-recommending dentists, judging by the ratio.  Many of them have gone on cruises.  There have been skiing trips, lazy cottage getaways, and lots of exciting day-trips.

There are two things that prevent us from doing a lot of things.  Okay three if you count laziness.  One is financial.  I am a stay-at-home mom.  Which I love, and wouldn’t trade for anything.  In theory.  If it came with a salary it would be even more awesome.

The second reason is that it is very hard for Maggie, and for all of us, to go on a lot of these outings.  Even a seemingly simple trip to the grocery store dictates a 4 hour recovery period.  A vacation is stressful for a routine-loving kid, who can’t always find the words to tell us what is bothering her.

This is Maggie 5 minutes after arriving at Sesame Place this summer.  There was screaming, crying, and begging for home.  She was also upset.

I am completely aware that vacations with even typical kids are not the blissful carefree experience that I imagine them to be.  But you sure would never know it by the sanitized facebook photos that everyone posts of their family vacations.  I think if you are going to post pictures of your family that look like they were taken right out of a travel brochure for paradise, then I want to see the following photos:

1) The state of your bedroom after catching up on laundry, only half-putting it away as you pack, and the heaps of discarded clothing when you realized that the weight of the suitcase was the rough equivalent of the airplane itself.

2) You.  After the flight.  No touch-ups allowed.  No strategically placing a kid in front of you to hide the giant wine stain from when that same kid knocked your drink in your lap mid-flight, when you told him that “it is not your turn to steer the plane.”

3) Your opened suitcase.  Right after the security dude rifled through it, managing to immediately locate your dirty underwear, tampons, and Gas-X.

4) The bruises on your forehead, acquired from being elbowed in the head repeatedly by the kid that everyone else refuses to sleep with.

5) The white hotel duvet.  Covered in vomit from the child who said they didn’t feel well at bedtime, but you just assumed they were over-tired and all they needed was a good sleep.  Also include a photo of the stack of cash that you will need to leave for the housekeeper, who doesn’t want to clean that up any more than you do.

6) Your child kicking Mickey Mouse in the shins because she is terrified.  Or even better…kicking you in the shins after you talked them into going on a ride, insisting, “You’ll love it!  I promise!”

7) The trays of uneaten food headed for the trash bin, after your “starving” children saw something shiny, along with the receipt for eleven billion dollars.

8) Your skin.  Burnt to the colour of Santa’s suit because you were so busy making sure the kids didn’t have a square inch of skin that wasn’t spackled with SPF 9000, that you forgot to put anything on yourself.

9) The 14 souvenir cups that won’t fit into luggage, but the kids are insisting they will die without.  Bonus points if you include a video of the fruitless packing effort and/or ensuing tantrum.

10) The man with sleep-apnea-related snoring and exhaust issues who has fallen asleep in the aisle seat on the plane ride home, at the precise moment that your child has to pee.  Right.  Now.

These photos would make me feel a whole lot better about the fact that we didn’t go away this Christmas.  Although I have absolutely no desire to go away right now, seeing everyone’s perfect vacation and Christmas photos makes me feel like we’re doing it wrong.  Our kids screamed all day on Christmas day.  Please tell me yours did too.  Lie to me if you have to.  I’m too fragile for the truth.

We haven’t done a lot of interesting things this holiday, so with today being the last weekday off from school, we decided that the girls deserved a real treat.

A trip to the dump.

Sounds like a punishment right?

We have apparently set the bar so low that they thought this was the best day ever.  Trade our house in for a camper, and we are officially the Griswolds’ inlaws.


  1. says

    OMG – I loved this HARDCORE!!!!!!!!!! Tara, I am sharing it with a fellow mama-of-four right this minute. Because those are the exact kind of stories that we have swapped. Keep writing, girl. You make me smile!

  2. Jennifer says

    Thank you Louise for sharing and Tara for writing!!! This made me laugh and laugh!!! I HAVE BEEN THERE!!! Post-flight stains, awkward souvenir cups, bruised foreheads and all!! Sometimes I feel like we are something of a travelling circus. Glad to know I’m not alone in the trenches!!

    • says

      Thank you Jennifer! Glad to know that I am not alone, and that you enjoyed reading it! Thank you for your comments, and traveling circus describes our experience perfectly! Next time I am going to sell tickets to the onlookers.

  3. says

    My kids screamed all day on Christmas. Also, the only vacation we managed was going to my MIL’s house. It was very cold. The kids would not settle for bed. And for some reason, the house made me itchy.

  4. says

    Kids screaming at Christmas. Also (we went away – we visited family) breaking windows by throwing rocks. The best part of that was the trip to the dump (I am with you on that one, I totally understand).

    I do love family holidays, but being on them with a kid who loves routine (even a typical kid who just happens to be that way inclined) is hard work and nobody should say otherwise.

  5. says

    Tara I am laughing so hard I can barely control myself enough to type. OMG I have some disastrous vacation moments that I did not photograph but I will absolutely from this point forward just to tag you in them! I hope travelling gets easier for all of you.
    Kerrie recently posted…Easter Bunny CupcakesMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge