A little more about our weekend away with four kids in one hotel room…
The sleep situation was, shall we say, less than ideal. The second night Ivy and Oliver alternated crying for at least half the night. At one point Ivy cried for basically two and a half hours. I fed her, rocked her, cuddled her, threatened her, etc. Nothing worked. Eventually I just dozed in bed while she hollered. I sort of forgot that there were people on the other side of the wall. Not that I feel bad. That’s a risk you take when you go to a hotel- there just may be a screaming baby in the room beside you. Sorry folks.
The kids did had a lot of fun swimming in the hotel pool, and I did manage to sneak out for a bit while Neil was watching napping babies and our friends watched the big boys. I hit up the fabric store and came home with a fantastic pile of fabrics. My sewing machine hasn’t seen so much action in a year probably- feels so good!
In regards to shopping on the trip: The main reason I was looking forward to this weekend away was the shopping. I love me some Target and we don’t have it here (yet). So we packed the kids up and headed out for some shopping. And don’t get me wrong, our kids are actually very good little shoppers and generally really well behaved. But we made some mistakes, and I’ll share them with you. First of all, we had promised the kids they could each pick out a small toy that weekend. So when we got to the store, the first place we went was the toy department. Fast forward 45 minutes and Neil is still there while the kids hum and haw over every toy in every aisle. I’m running around as quickly as I can with Ivy (and I had Oliver, who was happily distracted by some new Mickey Mouse shoes) trying to cover as much store as I can before she loses it. Eventually we give the kids a t-minus-five-minutes and they manage to finally make a decision. Then we tried to continue shopping, but of course all the kids wanted to do was play with their new toys, plus they were already tired of being in the store because they’d been there for so long by the time they picked out a toy. Everyone was starting to melt down. Including Neil. Or maybe most of all Neil? We left the store with plenty of stuff but it was a stressful crabby experience. I left feeling like I didn’t get to wander slowly and happily around the store like I like to.
So we made plans to go again the next day, after we hit up the waterpark. Seth and Ben had so much fun there- especially Ben. He just went on that waterslide over and over and over again. It was kind of awesome, because Ben is not always very comfortable in the water, and is usually not good at doing things independently. That day was the opposite of Ben’s usually very cautious personality. He actually kept taking off on us (we’d look away for a minute and he’d be gone). We’d find him on the waterslide again and again. As much as it was frustrating that he kept leaving us and could not focus on listening and staying with us, I really enjoyed seeing him have so much fun. It was just so uncharacteristic of him to be so independent and confident- it was great! Seth had fun too, and Ivy loooooved the hot tub. Oliver was a bit of a downer- I think he was really tired from the late nights. Oh well! We got our moneys’ worth anyway.
When we left the waterpark we went to Target again, but this time much more prepared. We brought the kids’ Nintendo DS’s, strapped all the boys into a cart roughly the size of a small bus, and tried again. It was a remarkably smoother shopping trip. In fact, neither Ben or Seth said a word for the entire hour and a half. Those DS things are magic.
Shopped and shopped, packed everyone in the van, and headed home. Everyone was quiet, and most kids slept almost the entire two hour drive home. All in all, not too bad.
That being said, we will likely NOT take all the kids on a weekend away that involves mostly shopping for a long, long time, if ever again. We WILL take them for weekends involving pools, beaches, camping, or other family-friendly things. ONLY. Remind me I said this if I try to pull something like this off again.