Four Things I Learned About My Marriage by Vacationing With my Husband
My kids were on vacation from school recently and while my husband was convinced our kids would be fine with a simple cardboard box- I didn't think playing in or with a cardboard box would hold their attention for longer than 15 minutes. I knew we had to find some way to break up the monotony of the week or else I might just have a lord of the flies situation on my hands, and I'm really just not in the mood to be tied up by anyone but my husband--but I digress.
Although my husband was still holding firm to his cardboard box theory- my kids incessant whines over not being able to fly to the Bahamas with all their friends had me feeling their peer pressure. So I was determined to provide them with an experience that perhaps might not be as dazzling as a white sand beach but would include lots of water fun-- yes in the dead of winter in NYC.
We decided to pack up the brood and head to the Poconos and a little establishment called Great Wolf Lodge. I use the word little facetiously, as there is nothing miniscule about the scope of this veritable indoor city. They've got every type of water slide a man could conceive of, and of course lots of indoor amenities like a Starbucks, Pizza Hut and many places to spend your money on stuffed animals, t-shirts and wolf-inspired nick knacks.
Being a major consumerist, this establishment likely had me personally in mind when crafting their selection of wares, trinkets and extra-added activities like the kid's spa, a hair feather station, and well, I could go on. Unfortunately my husband who only sees dollar signs when he looks at a cute as a button stuffed animal did not share my enthusiasm.
Still as we sat across from each other at the restaurant and I ordered a SECOND diet coke (which I think elevated my husband's blood pressure several points- as he is constantly reiterating how all restaurants are out to get ordinary folk like me with their inflated drink prices) I realized just how much I learned about my marriage over the last couple of days and thought I'd share four tips with you to use as a cautionary guide to vacationing with your husband.
#1 The Garmin GPS is saving my marriage one road trip at a time. My husband and I have a little problem; we get lost every time we need to venture outside of NYC. And of course the quarreling ensues once my husband gets this puzzled lost look on his face at which time I deduce that we are indeed lost. Then we launch into a verbal tirade over who to ask directions from and then attempt to muddle through said directions. Trust me, it's not a pretty sight, and I'll admit I'd be more likely to stick pins in my eyes than have to take a road trip with him, that is until the Garmin. We finally bought one and all I can say is it has revolutionized the way we get where we need to go and now my husband and I can shift our focus to other pressing matters- like who gets to listen to their radio station on the drive.
#2 Even if your husband CLAIMS he's in shape-- taking on four hours of non-stop watersliding with a six and 10 year old could easily put a man over 50 years old in an early grave. Sure my husband says it's no big deal, but I'd say the fact that he took a four hour nap in the middle of the day speaks volumes about the fact that water sliding with your kids is a young parent's game.
#3 If you give your 6 yr. old an iPod to bring with him on vacation, even though your husband admonished you for doing so, it will come back to bite you in the butt. I'm the parent who always wants to be the fun one- and so I will likely acquiesce to any of my kid's demands, within reason. Unfortunately my six year old somehow managed to misplace his iPod somewhere, somehow in the great expansive Great Wolf Lodge after he'd been playing MagicQuest, a game that takes players into every crevice of the hotel which essentially meant it could be ANYWHERE within its vicinity. After attempting to retrace our steps for sixty minutes- I gave up and finally admitted to my husband that the transport of all electronic devices outside our home will here on in be subject to his approval and that I will no longer be my kid's yes-man. Three hours later a gracious person turned in the iPod and so my little boy was reunited with his love.
#4 When it comes to embarrassing our ten year old, my husband and I are perfectly in synch. At dinner the server gave us these adorable pair of wolf's ears to wear and both of us, as if on cue, put them on much to my tween's chagrin. And then in unrehearsed unity we both said, "Honey it is our duty as parents to embarrass you" and we then proceeded to wear our ears for the duration of the meal. At least I can count on him as a partner in crime when it comes to parenting-- and well that is priceless.