Part I: Packing
Do pack: Clothes. Heels. Wine.
Do not pack: Duffel bag full of medical paraphernalia for “just in case.” Snacks for “just in case.” Extra outfits for “just in case.” Books and toys to entertain your child “just in case” she actually does not spend the whole trip whining for something else. Sanity meds.
Part II: Leaving
Do: Get mobbed by guilt-ridden child, who suddenly remembers how desperately she needs you. Receive last-minute tokens of appreciation, including notes and cards and Polly Pockets to keep in your purse so that you won’t miss her too terribly.
Try not to laugh.
Promise to bring back lots of presents and get out while the going’s good.
Don’t: Let your practical child’s concern that you’ll get killed in a car wreck (“People always say it won’t happen, but it does happen, you know”) dampen your mood.
Part III: On the Road
Do: Drive. Chat. Listen to audiobooks with “language.” Stop at a rest stop without having to fend off demands for a slushie or fries. Marvel at how weird it is to use hand sanitizer when there’s no kid in the car.
Don’t: Raise your voice even once.
Part IV: Hotel Arrival
Do: Bring all baggage into the hotel in one trip. Check in quietly. Go upstairs. Chill.
Don’t: Wrestle umpteen bags and cranky, overtired tiny person into elevator, mood souring every minute. Snap at said cranky, overtired tiny person. Get dirty looks from other hotel guests who don’t have kids and just wait ’til you do, people, seriously. Dump all luggage in the middle of the room and start getting this kid in bed, stat.
Part V: Morning
Do: Get up at 10 am. Miss breakfast. Don’t care.
Don’t: Get prodded out of bed at 6 am by someone who needs breakfast right now I’m sooooo hungry pllleeeease take me Daddyyyyyy. Burrow under the covers to avoid the assault of cartoons that you loathe but that will buy you an extra 30 minutes of sleep.
Part VI: Vacationing
Do: Whatever you want. On your own schedule. Eat when you feel like it. Chill when you feel like it. Hold the restroom urges until you’re near a nice, clean store instead of a dirty gas station in a crappy area of town.
Don’t: Feel guilty. This is awesome and you know it.
Part VII: Last Day
Do: Feel a little guilty. Buy your child copious amounts of presents. Realize that you’re adding to the copious amounts of presents that are already stored up in the closet for the “right” time. Realize that you may have a problem.
Don’t: Be in a hurry to get back.
Part VIII: Homecoming
Do: Hug your child. Kiss your child. Give your child presents. Pretend you could barely stand the past two days without her.
Don’t: Tell her you can’t wait to plan your next trip 🙂