Last week was “Vacation Week” here in Maine. Vacation Week is when all the schools close. HOORAY! say the kids. YIPPEE! say the teachers. ARGGH! go the parents. Vacation Week translates to 7 days of overcrowded conditions at every kid-friendly venue w/in driving distance. We never had this sort of thing in Philly. No way. It must be exclusively New England. I found out that Boston schools also had the week off. So I’d imagine New Hampshire, maybe even Vermont also participate. If you are rich, you can have the nanny take the kids someplace. Heck- if you are rich, you can fly somewhere for the duration and let the nanny deal with them at home. But for those of us living in the real world, Vacation Week is a 7-day test of wills.
My vacation week was spent mostly refereeing between my daughters. My younger one has developed an acute sensitivity to all sounds made by her older sister. So much of the week was filled with variations of the following scenario:
YOUNGER DAUGHTER: (Expressing extreme exasperation) UUUUGH!! Madison – STOP IT! Mommmm, Maddie’s making SUCKY NOISES!
OLDER DAUGHTER: I am NOT. She’s touching me!! Quit touching me!! MOMMMMMMM!! Make her stop!!!
By Monday, I was ready for a real vacation. Which of course meant I was sh!t outta luck, since I cannot fly and we don’t have a nanny. So what did we do? We went to the movies. The girls wanted to see Planet 51, but it wasn’t playing anywhere. I wanted to see Fantastic Mr. Fox, but it wasn’t playing anywhere. I suggested Percy Jackson – which sounds like a Greek Harry Potter, but the girls said No. So we wound up at The Tooth Fairy. Did I mention we got there just as the movie was starting, and since it was Vacation Week & everyone else was also there, we had to sit in the 2nd row?
Tuesday. The girls had two of their best friends over, who also happen to be 2 sisters. Normally they get along really well, but for vacation week the 5 hour play date was more like boot camp. For some reason, the girls kept pairing off and picking fights w/ each other. The fact that our very large dog, Max, viewed the whole thing as a novelty to be impinged upon didn’t help matters. At one point, Max knocked over the smaller of the 2 sisters and attempted to mate with her back. Funny? NOT FUNNY AT ALL. Did I mention she was outside, it was snowing and the ground was covered in mud? And she was wearing her brand new jeans she’d gotten the day before?
Wednesday. We’d been planning on going to Vermont for the weekend, so I had a bazillion errands to run. To the vet to buy Sir Humps Alot more food. To the thrift shop. The Library. The Grocery Store. The Other Pet Shoppe. You name it. The 2 sisters called to invite the girls over for a sleepover. I was there in 20 minutes w/ a dozen Dunkin Donuts. AHHH. Vacation Week.
Thursday. Friends from Philly stopped by in the morning, on their way to Northern Maine. The girls returned from the sleepover. We went out to lunch at Indian Buffet. We left Indian Buffet and I was immediately informed my daughters were hungry. We decided against going to Vermont, since it was cold & snowy there, and in Portland it was gorgeous, sunshiny and 40 degrees. I put away our snowshoes and we went to the beach. The girls fought in the car, on the beach and everywhere in between.
Friday. We went to Boston. Ignorant of the fact Boston’s children were also on Vacation Week, we made our way to the Children’s Museum. Aka, GROUND ZERO. The entrance line trailed nearly out the door. Every single stroller in Bean Town appeared to be in tow. The place was so damn packed I gave up trying to do anything but stand someplace, anyplace out of the way. Note to self: If I should ever have another child, teach them to walk IMMEDIATELY.
Saturday. We went to the community center to go swimming. My first time. Since my hair is longer than shoulder length, I was required to wear a swim cap.. which I didn’t have. So I had to borrow one from the LOST & FOUND. Since they were fresh out of circa 2010 cloth caps, I was forced to wear the one grandma bequeathed the pool in 1960. The ear flaps were an added bonus.
Sunday. The highlight of Vacation Week comes on its last day. We drove north to Popham Beach State Park. Miles of wide coast, sand bars, and rocky isles. The day was beautiful. The kids barely fought. Even the dog was on his best behavior. Almost made me wish for another week of vacation.. NOT.