Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I'll See You In Hell, Vacation

Yesterday as I was walking through the airport with two screaming children in my arms, another screaming child strapped to my chest, and large amounts of luggage trailing behind me I felt like I should get Trojan to sponsor all of our family activities. For small fee I would gladly wear sign that read: Don't Want To End Up Like This Asshole? Wear A Condom! I predict sales would skyrocket in my wake. Forget condoms, I could convince people to join the priesthood.

The following is an account of what I hope will remain THE WORST VACATION EVER. If anything else rises up and claims the title, I hope it kills me. The plan was simple: take the whole gang to Mexico for what may be one of the last weeks I have off for some time to come. We did not get far before the problems began.

At the airport it turned out that Stacey had not gotten the proper paperwork to leave the country although we discussed the need to do so at length over the course of the months leading up to the day. So instead of taking along an extra pair of hands, we were already down a man and out hundreds of dollars in non refundable air and hotel fees. AWESOME!

Those of us who remained were on the plane for about ten minutes before Ripples began to throw up. Only then did I understand the phrase Projectile Vomiting. As Amy struggled to clean everything out of her lap I had to point out that it was also all over the back of the seat in front of us. Blowing Chunks also suddenly made sense.

We repeated the vomiting while eating in the airport during our plane change, then again on our next flight where the flight attendant berated Amy, an er doctor, about the importance of hydrating Ripples. By the time we got to Mexico everything we owned was covered in vomit.

Then we got to customs. Let's not even talk about the line. The line is child's play. The line is the sort of thing you complain about when you have nothing else to really complain about. The only important thing about the line is the fact that we were literally the last people in it. And when we got to counter it turned out that Amy, doctor Amy, planning super mom Amy, had neglected to actually look at her own passport, which was EXPIRED. This led to our vomit covered family being pulled into some sort of interview room at midnight in Mexico where it turned out that the price of trying to get into Mexico with an expired passport is a 'tip' for 47$ and ten Euros. Let me just say that if you haven't bribed a mexican official while wearing a four month old you really haven't lived.

The next day, mother's day, we were at least there, on vacation, at the beach, ready to HAVE FUN. Except it wasn't. Ever. At all. Ripples began to break out in some sort of rash to accompany her fever and vomiting. Mars got in on the fever thing and cried and cried, and then cried more. The whole day is just a blur of crying and screaming and sludge like strawberry daiquiris. All I know is that it ended at dinner with our friends and their children. Six adults v. six children. I cannot describe to you the horror of that evening except to say that if cyanide pills had been on the menu I would have ordered them as an appetizer. If I had been another patron in the restaurant I would have murdered us all with my butter knife. Also, let me just say now, once and for all, I hate asian food. Fuck asian food.

That night we laid in various beds with various children and did not sleep, but listened to them scream. When they screamed for Mommy even when mommy was holding them I knew that we were not going to make it. In the morning Amy changed our flight and began to pack. Suddenly the amount of money wasted on Stacey's paperwork aborted trip looked minuscule, and the amount we were wasting to get out of ours looked worth it. Had I known what was coming, I would have rethought my bribe to get into the country. When the official said, "what should we do about this situation?" I would have just asked if they had separate prisons for adults and children.

Anyway, we were going home! Yay! And we had a little more time to play at the beach and the pool. Yay! So while Amy packed, the girls and I went swimming. Except Ripley didn't like the water so she kept trying to pull a large umbrella down on herself while Nixie swam. Until Nixie wasn't swimming, and I heard people mumbling things and suddenly running toward the pool and looked up to see her floating face down in the middle. I joined the herd of people jumping in, pulled her up, got her out of the pool and found her extremely confused, but after a little coughing and spitting, completely fine. Her swimming companion seemed far more traumatized just for having witnessed the panic of adults flying into a pool. Let me just say a couple things about face down floating children: I cannot imagine a more primal terror than looking into a pool and seeing it, but the look on your wife's face when she sees you having to pull one of the children you were supposed to be watching out of a pool because they are floating face down is a feeling of personal failure on par with little else. In addition to blowing chunks, and projectile vomiting, the phrase 'I just looked away for a second' has new meaning.

But then, but then, we were headed home. At which point the girls began to practice a form of non-violent resistance right out of a civil rights demonstration. Basically, anytime we needed them to go somewhere, they laid on the ground and forced you to drag them like luggage. Which is what we did, along with the actual luggage. Which is what we were doing when I realized I looked like a walking advertisement for castration.

And now it's over. I'm home. We're home. Alive. Safe. All that stuff. But... I don't know. I think we're a lot worse off. At some point in the past I think I thought or wrote or read somewhere (who the hell knows) that having kids was like starting a business. And you take this person you love and you essentially make them a business partner. And at some point all you can talk about is the business. I can't recall a SINGLE SECOND of our trip where Amy and I weren't talking about one of the kids and the various ways in which they were trying to kill us. I was on a beach in Mexico in the general area of the woman I love and I don't think we so much held hands unless it was to exchange a dirty diaper or pawn off a screaming child. Is it heartwarming to see your daughters scream at the waves to 'go away' as they roll in and 'come back' as they roll away? Yes. Is Nixie incredibly sweet and Ripples fiendishly clever and Mars capable of smiling with his whole body? Yes. Is it enough? No. Not for me.

A long time ago a friend told me about all the things he was going to continue to do after he had children. His logic was, they're joining my life, I'm not joining theirs, so they'll just have to do what I do. And while it's true, you can make your children follow you anywhere, they can beat you at your own game. They can make you hate the very things you used to love. That's a scary powerful kind of voodoo.


Michael said...

Yikes, sorry to hear about this disaster (though your account livened up my post-lunch Tuesday).

Just a couple things:
1) Suspend all major family travel plans until youngest child is at least five.
2) The mexican food in mexico is sketchy enough - but asian food? Really?!
3) You failed to mention your sunburn (or at least I missed it)? Anyway, the photo of you on amy's blog looks PAINFUL. Like, I think I see flip-flop-shaped white spots?

Wells said...

I will say at least your horrible vacation spawned a wonderful blog entry, and for that I thank the wonderful country of Mexico.

hope it's better next time.

lang said...

Just to echo Michael's #1... who the hell takes a 4 month old to Mexico?

mr. kyle said...

Appreciate the comments and condolences.
@michael - all I can say about the sunburn is that a) the pictures don't do it justice, and b) the fact that it didn't even rate a mention on my list of disasters tells you all you need to know about the trip. Apparently applying sunscreen after a sleepless night with sick children is a bad idea. My arms, where I applied it liberally, are milky white, and the rest of my body looks like a stop sign.

itstartedwithawindmill said...

You should have video of it all to show the kids' friends when they're in those awkward teen years. There must be some actually planning for revenge, no matter how cute the little rugrats are.

Asian/Chinese food blows unless you're talking rumaki or crabmeat rangoons. Rumaki is chicken livers wrapped in bacon and fried. The rangoon things totally baffle me as far as actual contents. They both are as healthy as eating spoonfuls of lard...but actually yummy.

Anonymous said...

I was once told to read your blog because it would make me want to have a kid and not fear it.

Tim said...

Damn, Kyle...damn...

jfa32 said...

I'll start planning next year's vacation ASAP!

AKB said...

Is this a bad time to ask when you're going to come up to visit us in Madison?

Rand said...

Holy Crap! I signed my family up (for this!?!) about 6 months ago. Since then, we've been anxiously awaiting the arrival of May 23rd. . . the beginning of our family's fun-filled trip to Cancun. (Cancun's in Texas, right? You'd have to be an idiot to take a 2yr. old and his baby brother - 6 mos. to MEXICO? Aw, surely their parents or their uncles or aunts will step in - right?) H-E-L-P!!!

Paul G. said...

We're taking our 2YO twins and 5MO baby on a trip from Texas to Los Angeles. So nervous that I might puke.

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