Monday, May 05, 2008

Mini-Break Blues

Put up your hand if you knew that my mini-break would be far from relaxing. Yeah, I figured the only one who didn't factor in the workload was me.

If you decide to take a trip with two kids under age four, you have to be one of two kinds of people. Person A is strict about schedules and follows them to the letter no matter what or where. She plans for nothing but scheduling feeding and nap times, because she knows that this will pretty much eat up the whole day. Any sort of sightseeing or culture absorbing would be icing on the cake to Person A.

Person B doesn't give a flying hoot about schedules and just goes with the flow. So what if the kids don't nap at their normal times, or eat anything other than hot dogs for two days? Person B is on vacation and everything else is secondary.

I fall somewhere in between and A and a B, leaning more heavily toward the B, but not being able to let go of the guilt that I'm not being an A to the letter. So our little jaunt to Blue Mountain proved to be heavily tiring and taxing.

The day started out OK. We planned to leave at noon, but gave ourselves an hour buffer to allow for any last minute scrambling. The kids were fed, our lunch, clothes and provisions were packed and we were on the road at noon as planned. A miracle really.

The Goose napped for most of the journey there. Nate was also about to doze as we rode up the 400, but then we passed Canada's Wonderland and made the mistake of screaming with enthusiasm as we noticed the new mega coaster, the Behemoth. Our commotion woke him out of his daze and we lost that window of opportunity. It should have taken us between 2 and 3 hours to get there. But we're potty training. It took us 4 hours to reach our destination.

Nate asked to stop 3 times on the way, to pee. Had we ANY sense, we would have limited his intake of fluids. While Nate and Daddy took care of business, my job was to keep the car moving to prevent the Goose from waking up. I did 360s in truck stops, packed or empty. I barreled down side roads. Anything to keep her highness from awakening and becoming instantly demanding.

We checked into our awesome king bed, jacuzzi suite. We got a great deal online with breakfast and dinner included, and the king suite was the same price as a double -- you just had to ask. It was the benefit of booking mid-week, off-season. Though the Blue Mountain Inn is older and nowhere near as cute as the ski-condo-village at the base of the hill, we were glad to be in the same building as the restaurant and the pool.

As soon as we approached the door at the end of the hall I said, "What's that smell?" Upon entering the room we were greeted by a leaky gas smell. After a call down, the maintenance guy came to check out the problem and found everything to be fine. (Nate kept hounding him though. "Hey buddy, it stinks in here.") But I couldn't relax -- even after he turned the gas to the fireplace completely off. We called down again and were so courteously upgraded to a one-bedroom condo suite in the village that I was smiling again in no time.

The main section of the Blue Mountain resort is designed the way more suburbs should be designed. Shops and restaurants dot the pedestrian only paths, with condo/hotels above. On a Wednesday night, it was pretty dead and we felt like we had the entire resort to ourselves. There's a playground, an aquatic centre, a giant checkerboard and a toy store. There's a pizza place that looks like a fire hall and a chocolate factory next door. And no cars! It's ideal for families, yet grown-up enough that you could have a romantic weekend there, or attend a professional conference as well.

All was relatively fine. The new room had a kitchenette and a bedroom with a door. We could effectively put the children in the living room and keep the king bed to ourselves -- or so we thought. The kids had other plans.

After dinner the first night, our game of musical beds began. Lucy is teething and no longer sleeping through the night as a result. Nate is potty training and middle of the night wakings are becoming more commonplace for him, too. It's frustrating after working so diligently to train these kids into awesome sleepers. We pretty much went through every possible sleep combination possible: Mom and Nate in sofa bed, the Dog and Lucy in the king. Dad and Nate in sofa bed, Mom and Lucy... well, you get the picture. I didn't even get to watch Model and there were two TVs in the room!

Day 1
The next day was spent trying to figure out how we would do anything between naps and feedings. We hit the playground after breakfast, came back to the room to get ready to swim, only to realize that Lucy had to nap. When she woke up, we realized she had to eat. In the meantime, we had several different Blue Mountain staff give us varying info about which pools were open. Between naps and feedings and pulling on doors to pools that were not open, it took us 3 hours just to get everyone to the one pool that was open.

The Dog took Nate to be changed, while I got Lucy into her adorable new Joe Fresh red bikini. Oh crap. I forgot a swim diaper.

We'd met a mom (40-odd, brunette, designer sunglasses, and the 20-something girl at her side -- possibly her nanny) and her two children in the playground. She was here while her husband was at a conference. I happened to run into her in the changeroom. Crapity crap. Maybe I should put her in a regular diaper, I thought. I did not want to look like a dirty mom in front of this other together-looking mom. She approached me while I was debating this. "Is that just a regular diaper?"

"Um, oh yes, you're right. It is. I've forgotten to pack swim diapers," I stammered like an idiot.

"Oh, she'll sink like a stone."

"Oh, I'm sure it will be alright," I tried to downplay my shortcomings as a mother. "Not sure what else to do..."

"Does your daughter have regular bowel movements?"

"Oh! Yes! And she's already gone today," I answered happy that there was a possible way out of putting my girl in a wretched diaper and ruining the cuteness of her new bikini.

"Well swim diapers don't hold urine anyway. Just put her in the bikini."

Once in the pool area, after all that work, Nate freaked out and started crying because the water was too cold. It was embarrassing. And now I had to face Other Mom in the midst of a meltdown. She looked at me sympathetically, but I couldn't help to sense a bit of smugness behind her knowing nod.

I handed the Goose of the the Dog. They are one and the same and she took to the water with great joy. I managed to convince Nate that dipping his feet in the hot tub would make things better. That boy HATES water, much to our dismay. No amount of coaxing and support will make him enjoy it. After getting over his fear that the water was too hot, he did immerse his feet and sat with me contentedly.

I waited until the other families had left the pool and changeroom before heading downstairs ourselves. I showered with Lucy -- a feat in itself -- while the Dog didn't bother struggling to get Nate dechlorinated. (Hence a huge eczema outbreak on his lower back.) After getting Lucy clean, I wondered how it would be possible to wash my own skin and hair. I wheeled her -- me sopping wet, she dressed and dry -- to the men's and banged on the door until the Dog retrieved her and headed to the game room. I took a moment in the sauna, hoping to de-stress, but all the while thinking of how they must be waiting for me upstairs. Argh.

So that was it. Really. I showered and dressed and we headed back to the room to get ready for dinner and that was the ENTIRE day. Gone.

After dinner, we decided the best course of action was to put Nate in between us in the king-size, while Lucy cried it out a bit in the living room. This strategy worked well -- Lucy only REALLY woke up once. I read my book by flashlight, my two boys snuggled to my left. The Dog was asleep before Nate.

"It's very telling that you did not pack condoms, nor I lingerie," I quipped the next morning. "What did you expect?" the Dog answered in a tone that suggested he had married a crazy person. "Nothing," I replied, "Just noting it. I keep forgetting how different our life is now and that it affects everything."

Before we checked out, I consoled myself with a trip to the L'Occitane store for some shea butter hand cream and moisturizing gloves. The Dog found solace in a big hunk of fudge. Nate got an addition to his Thomas the Tank Engine vehicle collection. Lucy? Lucy just took it all in. She is swiftly becoming the anchor of this family.

So there you have it. Overall, Blue Mountain is great and the staff are so incredibly friendly and helpful. It's totally family friendly without a licensed character to be seen anywhere. I did get to have some serious quality time with my fam before I trade them for cupcakes and paycheques. I love these kids dearly and it's a pleasure to be in their company.

But the greatest pleasure may have come when we drove straight from the resort to Grandma's. "I'll honk the horn, while you push them out of the car onto the driveway," the Dog joked. "Then we'll just peel out." Heh. Thank you Grandma! You're worth more than a million pretty mountain view hotel rooms.

No comments: