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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

We're going on a deferral

It seems every third blogger I visit is going on vacation. In the spirit of spring break our family is taking a trip as well, but I'm hesitant to call it a vacation. Sure, there will be hotels, warm weather and a beach, but a vacation? In the world according to me a vacation implies an opportunity to get away -- a respite, or reprieve.

In anticipation of this, er, trip I am going to:

*Do 27 loads of laundry to ensure everyone has their favorite underwear/pajamas/t-shirt/dress.

Return home to discover I need to purchase a new Kevlar safety vest before entering the laundry room (like how I said new? Kind of implies that I had one already). The laundry pile after vacation will be so large that if I enter unprotected I might be killed if the pile were to topple.

*Go grocery shopping and buy a truckload of crappy food that we don't normally eat and spend ridiculous amounts of time agonizing over the merits of happy kids versus the sugar buzz. Did I mention we're going to be driving for 12 hours? It's like some sort of sick human psychology project. Being trapped in a tin can whizzing along the highway at 70 mph for twelve... hours... straight... must be what the 7th circle of hell looks like. Exacerbating it by throwing in a bunch of slap-happy sugar buzzed kids is like grabbing the devil's own pitchfork and poking him in the butt with it. It's smart to think before you do these sorts of things!

Return home to discover that I did a fabulous job getting rid of perishable food all food in general before we left and then set off on an epic groceryshoppingpalooza that will kill half a day without batting an eye. I would rather swallow Legos than go on this shopping trip because I know the minute I get home I'll discover I forgot at least two crucial items.

*Clean like a madwoman before we depart so we don't come home to a messy house. I will also tidy-up like a madwoman during the, er, trip because cramming 2 adults and 4 kids into the swanky hotel with tiny, hip rooms where dad's staying for his business trip is like trying to wrestle an elephant into a grocery bag.

Return home and wonder why I bothered with the pre-trip cleaning. The minute we step foot over the threshold there will be laundry and clothing and books and shoes and bathing suits.... everywhere. It will take hours - if not days - to get it right again, and that's without the kids' help. If I drag them into the unpacking it could take weeks. And in a move that defies logic and reasoning, I will discover the house is dusty and there's a dust bunny doing a happy dance in the corner.

Please don't get me wrong. I'm thrilled to be going, and I'm thankful we get to go at all. But I just don't think that vacation is the correct word on any level. There is a change of scenery and fun stuff to do, but there is no respite. As for getting away from it all... well, the trip actually creates more work and when you come home everything you didn't do while you were gone is waiting -- and then some.
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I think deferral fits the scenario much better. Deferral implies you've put something off. It implies (to me) there's a potential penalty.

So, this year my family and I are going on deferral.

Much more honest and accurate than vacation, don't you think?
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40 comments:

tlc said...

The pain-in-the-butt grocery shopping ordeal would have me thinking I'd rather swallow legos too...but not nearly as much as all the laundry! Laundry is the one thing that makes me question whether I really, truely want any more kids.

And you're so right...you need a vacation more than ever after you get back from "vacation." ..."deferral" is a great way to put it. Hope you have fun on deferral!

(I'll miss your blog while you're away).

Anonymous said...

Happy trails to you. Wish we were going with you. Love MOM. Hi to Gibby.

Gibby said...

Good Morning, Anon Mom! I think you should join the gang on this trip, don't you?

I feel most vacations are more work than play, too. Last spring break we took the girls to a indoor water park, which I truly feel is the devil's gates to hell. Hubby and I needed a vacation after our vacation.

And umm...have fun on that car ride! (insert evil laugh here)

CynthiaK said...

Well, I'm still jealous of your deferral. We just wrapped up March Break and watched many other families go away but this year we're saving our trip for the summer (and the remaining money is being spent on the house). Blech.

So, I'll live vicariously through your deferral!

And, sorry about putting the song in your head but I purposefully did not choose that darned Lion King track for that very reason. I did not want to be singing that infernal thing all day long! Get your disco on ASAP and drive that soundtrack from your head! :)

Tsquared417 said...

I agree wholeheartedly...I'm not sure I've ever been on a true vacation! :) I hope you enjoy yourself...can't wait to hear all about it!

Susie said...

I agree! You are just displacing the mommy's work that is never done.

ck said...

You nailed it. Deferral is the perfect name for the occasion that appears to a child as a vacation.

Juls said...

Have a happy fun time on your deferral. We took the 12 hour road trip last year.... That's why we went for the 3 hour road trip this year..gotta spread those babies out! :-) Be safe & we'll "see" ya when you get back.

Michele said...

You just accurately described my behavior every time our family takes a trip.

Have a wonderful time!

numberonesistah said...

That is exactly the reason why my sisters and I started an annual 'Sistah Trip'. No kids, no husbands allowed for an extended weekend. Only low maintenance, low drama women that don't mind drinking and cussin. It is a blast and actually feels like a Mom Vacation!

Kristina P. said...

I always need a vacation from my vacations.

Daisigirl said...

This is exactly the way it happens! Oh, and I hate when I go to the grocery store and come home missing the one item I needed most! I did that yesterday with coffee. Ugh! Have a terrific time!

Mocha Dad said...

Let's all go on deferral.

The Blonde Duck said...

My husband tells people his favorite place to vacation is home. That's probably why we still haven't been on our honeymoon...three years later.

K said...

Have fun!

Funny how traveling changes so much once you have kids.

DiPaola Momma said...

HA.. Kevlar and laundry.. we were MENT-2-BE!!! Have ya ever noticed how things like vacations and holidays just seem to generate MORE work for moms? I say we start a GIRLS vacation/holiday from doing everything for everyone else.. in honor of that I'll have to make up a new Mom-tini!!! Welcome to the Nuggets of Wisdom, by choosing to hang out with the CEWL kids (aka following) you are now officialy a Nuggetier and have been awarded all the honor that goes with that.. which is pretty much nothing BUT it's fun anyway
;0)
Have a great deferral

Meg said...

Okay, see we used to drive from Pittsburgh to Nags Head every year with the Dawsons in the Cave (Dad's giant brown van that he tricked out himself, complete with captain's chairs, tables, a sofa, carpet, naugahide walls, etc. It was the 70's. Don't judge.) It was a 12 hour dive started at 4 AM with four kids and four adults. Here's what you need:

1. road trip games, like license plate bingo, road sign bingo etc. Target and Amazon are good resources.

2. a bitchin' soundtrack. I recently recreated the "Nags Head Brown Van Vacation Playlist" at my brother's request, including such favorites as Juice Newton, Supertramp, REO Speedwagon, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson, and Conway Twitty. (What? It was the 70s.)

3. Madlibs. Available at AC Moore, I believe.

4. Keep the blank paper and markers at home. Heather Dawson and I once made a sigh that said "Help! We're being kidnapped" and got into a lot of trouble.

Of course, Plan B is an iPod for each of them and enough Dramamine to knock them out for 11 1/2 hours. Just tell them it's vitamins.

~Thought's By Dena~ said...

I love it....we are going on deferral next week.....which means I should be preparing for things this week...but after being reminded of what that REALLY means I decided screw it....we will just throw everything in our suitcases and be gone and come home to whatever awaits us!!!!! OK so I wont actually be able to do that but it sure in the hell sounded good didnt it????

Seeker said...

any get-away is worth whatever effort it requires to get one. Just remember to make sure the family lets you have a rest too.

Don't worry much about Lana and her Not Me, Mondays...I will bribe her..and I have the goods to do it. I know all her favorites and am not afraid to use them.

Jen said...

Just leave all the fun stuff that you would have brought on the trip at home and you and the hubby run away. That will work, right!?!

faemom said...

See this is why I moved closer to home. I was doing that every other month. Oh crap, didn't I promise to visit every other month, and now I have to go to a hotel room instead of Grandma's house.
Thanks for reminding me.

Minxy Mimi said...

LOL
Have a good time (if ya can) and get those Keebler elves over to clean up while you are away!

Suzy said...

VICODIN! (no one will get this but you and me)

LilliGirl said...

On the head, girl. On the head...That's why I always come home a couple of days before vacation ends (an pawn off the kids if I can.)

Kristen said...

The one thing I cannot stand about vacations is coming home to laundry!! It bothers the heck out of me. Of course, I don't bother to do it while I am on vacation so maybe it is my fault :)

Ann's Rants said...

You are absolutely right. This personifies the whole "I need a vacation from my vacation" quip.

Gibby said...

Wait, it just dawned on me...does this mean a whole week of no posts? Can you find WiFi in this cramped hotel??

Kidding! Have fun!

Lana said...

You're going to need a vacation from your vacation!!
Enjoy your, um, deferral!

ScoMan said...

I think you're the one going on the deferral.

The kids and husband I'm sure will get a vacation while mum does the work (at least that's how all my vacations went)

Nocturnal Queen said...

Yep. I know exactly what you're talking about. I do this every summer. *sigh* It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes: "By and large, mothers and housewives are the only workers who do not have regular time off. They are the great vacationless class."

All too true. Work my butt off getting ready for vacation, deal with the kids and the mess they and dh make while ~on~ vacation, then more laundry and cleaning when we get back from vacation. :-/

Still, I very much look forward to going again this year. :-)

Helene said...

This was so funny to read! I'm always saying to my husband that we need a vacation and he's like "um, with the kids, it's not a vacation...it's work". After reading your post with all the details, yeah...I can see it now. We go through the exact thing too and I usually need like a whole week to recuperate from the "vacation"!!

ChinkyGirLMeL said...

I love family vacations! But I hate the long drive though, being stuck in a car for 7 or so hours can be bring out the best and worst with me and my brother. My mom hates the pile of laundry that she has to do after a long family vacation. While everyone is sleeping and feeling sore and tired from family vacation, poor mom is stuck doing the laundry with eyes half open. lols

LadyFi said...

Hilarious! But 12 hours in a car - you're a braver woman than I am!! My two fight in a five-minute drive sometimes!!

I always feel as if I need a holiday when I get back from a holiday...

Becca said...

The idea of the laundry was bad enough but then you went into all of the other specifics. I am not sure I could be in a tin can with my kids for 12 hours. I think it would be a survival of the fittest situation. I also think that the cleaning to come home to an empty fridge and a house that looks nice for about 5 minutes after you get home is silly. Do not get me wrong... I do it too but why is it that we do it? Have a good deferral! Let us know how it all goes. We still have 2 weeks until Spring break here in NY!

Becca

Please visit me at http://www.askbecca.com

Sapphire said...

Agreed.
I also don't believe in using the word vacation. You haven't even talked about all the work that you will have to do while you are on the trip. Vacation? I think not!

Suburban Turmoil said...

I totally identify with this!

bernthis said...

I have one kid and no husband and every time I return home from NY with Phoebe, I just want to take a Xanax and wake up when everything is unpacked and the fridge is full of food

blueviolet said...

I think the use of the word deferral is completely accurate. Nonetheless,since you're going on deferral and I'm not, I'm going to call it vacation.

Rachel said...

This all sounds perfectly familiar! We leave for our deferral next week. I'm glad someone understands that it's only a vacation for the REST of the family. For me, it's just even more work than usual. At least there will be sunshine. :/

Renee said...

I always say "I" need a vacation from our vacation and yes always wonder why it is called that. There is more work involved to get away than to just stay home! Deferral? yes I can go with that one!!