I look good in BCBG Max Azria clothes. Particularly the dresses. So good, in fact (this is me, tongue in cheek), that I thought I would pack an incredibly cute one for our beach vacation with our favorite college-friends couple, Heather and Jarrod.
This dress is darling, let me tell you. It's a knee-length sleeveless number, in lightweight chartreuse material with a slight sheen that totally compliments the 1960's housewife cut, complete with two open front pockets. Almost like an apron, only smashingly darling, with a fitted waist and A-line skirt. Looks faboo with chunky Bakelite jewelry, finishing off the retro vibe quite nicely. Perfect for a patio dinner overlooking the Gulf of Mexico over drinks and good conversation about how crazy we were in college.
Someone forgot to mention to me that three toddlers would be attending this dinner.
Three little boys, ranging in age from 1-3, do not mix with easily wrinkled, easily stained dresses. They also do not mix with scenic dinners overlooking the water, unless you don't mind a lot of negotiations over meal choices, bites to be taken of those damn chicken fingers that you swore you wanted you little booger, and an endless acrobatic display of bending over to pick up toys dropped (or thrown, thank you Goose, you are hilarious) onto the floor.
Fortunately, I don't mind such dinners. I just forgot that those would be the kind we would be having.
I'm not sure who exactly I thought would be babysitting our crew of dudes while the four of us went out together. Swept up in anticipation of time with our old friends, I just overlooked that small detail. And then I packed that cute dress. With cute shoes. And cute jewelry. None of which were to be pieced back together during the mad dashes to grab anything clean out of the suitcase on the way out to The Crab Trap with purses laden down with "busy toys" rather than powder and lipstick.
Our lives are so different now. Sometimes I do get caught off guard by how different. I love it, but I also miss the old days. I miss drinking with my friends while jockeying for position in front of the mirror, getting ready to go out at 10:30 at night. Now, if I'm not in bed by 10:30, I want to cry. I miss grinding with boy-friends on the dance floor, our feet sticking to spilled drinks on the ground, until we shut down the place. Now I grind my teeth to keep from overreacting to the nth spilled juice drink of the day, making my floor a sticky mess that I'm supposed to clean up. So different. Good. Wonderful. But different.
A few days into our vacation, Jarrod said, "I don't feel like my vacation has even started." I hear you, brother. I don't know what I was expecting, as this was our first vacation with the boys, let alone our first vacation with another couple and their boy, but it in no way resembled what I used to think of as a "vacation." I truly loved every minute of it, but it wasn't like vacations pre-offspring.
Particularly as a stay-at-home mom, our vacation felt more like every other day at home, except with sand. And more noise. And lots more water.
It's not like the boys took a vacation from being toddlers.
The best difference was that these vacation days I had someone with which to commiserate. Someone who met my overwhelmed sighs with a knowing smile and a mimed "let's strangled them, huh?" across the room. I love Heather.
I think Heather and I were better prepared for this not-quite-vacation than the husbands were. At least we knew how to make it through a day full of negotiations, tantrums, and messes. Picture a day of negotiating with Donald Trump. Now make him be drunk. Then put him on the beach. With a water gun. And no nap. That was our vacation.
Maguire and Jarrod were the Apprentices. In this reality show, however, they wanted to be told, "You're fired." Ha ha. Very funny, man-boys. But you aren't getting off that easy. Our contracts here state that you will remain on the show until cancellation. Those contracts being marriage contracts and cancellation being death.
So we adapted. We lowered our expectations. More specifically, we changed our expectations. And we laughed. A lot.
And our vacation finally began.
After some serious negotiations with our own drunk adult Donald Trumps, Heather and I broke out for a girls' night out. Because I like to stick with what works, we went to see SUPERBAD and then out to dinner, just the two of us. The next night, we gave the men "Get Out of Jail Free" cards and, because they like to stick with what works, they hit Hooters. Niiiiice. Chicka Chicka YeYeah!
I used to revel in vacations replete with pastries and mimosas. Now I relish vacations crammed with biscuits and beer. And I love it. And I love Heather and Jarrod for inviting us along. Pants talks daily about "his new friend, E" and is clearly disappointed each and every day when I have to tell him that we won't be seeing them today.
We are absolutely looking forward to our next vacation as a family. Hopefully, again, as an extended family. Because it's after 9am and I could really use a biscuit and beer.