We are having a delightful time island hopping, and the exotic places in Hawaii always seem to catch us by surprise. But first quickly, because everyone likes an educational article, here are the things we’ve learned from our family trip, with no grandmas or uncles or friends along to cushion the bumps in the road.
1. Stop caring what people wear.
The same pajamas all day, that night, and the next day? Fine. No problem. Lincoln refuses to take off his long pants even though it is 85 degrees outside, and if I squint, they SORT OF look clean. No tears? No complaints here.
2. Stop caring what people eat.
Pretzels? Pretzels in the car? Pretzels in the car so often that we start calling them ‘Car Pretzels’? Fine. Do you love it? Do pretzels and shouting out to us about how nice our new rental car is keep you engaged? Then I love it.
3. Stop caring what people watch.
Last night after 2 days of no naps, constant going and going and going, we watched three episodes in a row of ‘Alaskan Bush People’. I mean, at home, we barely watch two educational TV shows a week. But bring on the tarp houses, constant talk of survival, and the great outdoors reduced to family arguments that look far more dramatic than they actually are. There were bear tracks! (For Lincoln.) And a dog! (For Eliot.) And everyone sort of sitting on a couch! (For me.) It was a magical thing.
4. Stop caring what people think.
Five minutes into a meltdown down the east side of Kauai, we stopped, partially to reconvene, figure out a plan, but also mostly so Joe didn’t run the car into a telephone pole to STOP THE CONSTANT CRYING PLEASE we went to get hot dogs and shave ice (see number 2, stop caring what people eat).
But THE HOTDOGS WERE ALL GONE.
How is this possible? Aren’t there hot dogs in every single grocery store from here to Timbuktu? Couldn’t you just quick run over to the store and then plop them in some water? I promise you my toddler will never know the difference.
And if you thought we were in meltdown mode before, well, we learned the truth then about where rock bottom actually was. The hot water for Eliot’s bottle was gone, the pretzels were gone, it was 6pm and we were 45 minutes away from our place, and there were no hot dogs. So when I ran up to a restaurant to get hot water, Joe watched the boys.
And by watched the boys I mean, watched the boys simultaneously throw themselves down into parking lot mud puddles. And then we just let it all go.
Parking lot? It wasn’t THAT busy. Mud? We’ll take the clothes off. People judging us from the restaurant windows? Well, I had a speech all ready for them, but I didn’t have to use it. Most people laughed delightedly at the boys having the time of their lives, and the few people who didn’t studiously avoided our glances and our puddles.
Less fun for them.
So that’s the way to vacation with littles.
Just. Stop. Caring.