June 27, 2003

Vacationing with Small Children

Now the story can be told.

It so happens that what was keeping me busy over the last week was being on vacation with my family. (But you were posting anyway! Have laptop, will travel. But that's a later post.) I have a certain delicacy about announcing to the world at large that my home is going to be unguarded for a week, which is why I didn't say anything previously.

But anyway, I spent the last week vacationing with my wife and my three little kids. One of the big questions Jane and I had going in was how much we should plan on doing each day; now I know the answer: about two hours worth.

Except for the first day and last day, when we were driving most of the day, our vacation days went pretty much like this:

  • The kids wake us about about 6:30 or 7 AM.
  • There's no rush, because most tourist attractions don't open until 10 AM.
  • Around 7:30 or 8 AM we roll down to breakfast, to see what the kids are willing to eat, if anything. We're staying at an Embassy Suites (it's the easiest way to ensure we get two adjoining rooms), so breakfast is on the house.
  • Then we roll back up to the room until 9:30. The kids watch cartoons or play with the toys they've brought along. We read (Harry Potter, mostly).
  • At 9:30 we gather everyone together, drive to the desired attraction, and spend the next hour or so telling nearly-four-year-old James to stay with the rest of us.
  • By 11:30 or noon, the kids are tired of the attraction; it's time for lunch.
  • We find lunch somewhere.
  • Then we go back to the hotel. Almost two-year-old Anne naps, as does James; six-year-old David plays with his toys. Jane reads; Will reads or does some web-surfing.
  • Dinner time. We venture out, and find something for dinner.
  • After dinner, it's time to go swimming. By this time in the evening, both boys are manic; swimming tires them out and slows them down.
  • Now it's bed time. Cookies and juice for the kids, followed by stories, and then Jane and retreat into the bedroom. There's nowhere to sit but on the bed, but at least we don't need to go to sleep immediately.
  • Repeat.

And that's how pretty much every day went. For the kids it was exciting enough just being away from home, staying at a hotel, and getting to go swimming. The nifty things we planned were mostly secondary. Go figure.

Posted by Will Duquette at June 27, 2003 05:13 PM

Deb said:

Hey, it gets better! When they are a little older, they will bicker the entire time. And not go to sleep til 10:30 or 11:00.