A few weeks ago, Mike and I went on our first family vacation with Max.
When parents go to a resort with their children it's a mixed bag of emotions. You're so happy to be away from work and from the stresses and headaches of home, you're so happy that your child has a change of scenery and that he'll swim in the pool until it's dark and his head turns into a raisin, but you're also looking at all of the couples (sans children) at the resort and thinking...F-CK YOU.
Yeah, remember those times? Remember being able to leave at the drop of the hat and go to Vegas or Palm Springs or Target? Remember being able to throw a bathing suit and flip flops into a bag and go? Remember not having to remember EVERYTHING? Packing Max up for a trip is a three day process and involving a myriad of lists on the Blackberry, the iPad, the fridge, the nightstand...
DON'T FORGET: sippy cups (2), bottle (1), shorts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, socks, shoes, swim trunks, swim hat, swimming "rash guard" (don't even get me started on that business-whatever happened to the days when we'd all go to the beach and let our skin become a handbag...I miss that), swimming diapers, overnight diapers, regular diapers, wipes, Desitin, Aquaphor, baby tylenol, baby ibuprofen, baby thermometer, nose frida (yeah...google that one...it involves sucking your kids snot out of his nose), sunglasses, toys, books, and my personal favorite...FOOD.
He has to eat? Really?
So you get to the resort with fifty bags and you're staying for two nights and when the bellman offers to help you, you're like, "Honestly? If you take one bag from me, you'll f-ck up the balance and I'll fall over so I'll just be a pack mule. It's fine." You walk to the room and you pass the "adults only" pool(s), the adults only golf course, the adults only spa area. Oh, you mean, you want to lie in the sun and read your New York Magazine without the screeches of Marco Polo around you? You're an assh-le.
But, you know your life's changed when you arrive at said resort and you're THRILLED that they have so much kid sh-t to do. You're ecstatic that your kid's ecstatic. "There's so much for him to do here!" you exclaim to your spouse as you walk by the adults only lawn and the adults only snack bar and the adults only breathing zone.
After we check in, we get to the room where Max immediately goes insane over everything simply because it isn't his. New drawers to pull and try to kill myself. New bathroom to run around in and try to kill myself. New closet to destroy. New bed to fall off. And we take forty five minutes to get him ready to go to the pool (you'd think we were waterboarding this kid by putting sunscreen on his face).
With push car, stroller, floaty device, hats, sunscreen, lunch bag, snacks, etc. we're off to the FAMILY POOL.
And as we make our way there, we walk past the stunningly beautiful, newly renovated spa pool that boasts strawberry water, cabanas and a lavender garden replete with surround sound bossanova tunes. As we make our way through the, you guessed it, "adults only" area, I ask (beg) the attendant, "S'cuse me. If...if my son were...let's say...asleep...you know, like, completely passed out in the stroller and I was completely certain that he wasn't going to be waking up...would it be a possibility to...and, I know the sign says 'no children' but he's really not a 'child' he's a 'baaaybee' and so...if he were passed out which would be like he wasn't really even here...would it be possible to, you know, hang out at this pool?"
And...you can guess what she said.
And...you know you're officially a parent when having places that are off limits to kids kind of pisses you off. You completely get why it is the way it is...you completely get that if you were lying at the spa pool and say a kid, a baaaybee, rolled up in his stroller, you'd think to yourself, "Goddamnit. That kid is going to wake up and ruin this entire experience for me." But you're a parent and you've lost all perspective on what is decent and lovely for couples and what is to be left at the FAMILY POOL.
So we get to the family pool and we sit down for lunch and Max is an absolutely angel. He's enjoying his meal with us, chatting away, eating everything we give him to try and enjoying all of the sights and sounds of his vacation. In fact (and this is something that, as a parent, you know you're never ever ever supposed to do...it's a cardinal sin...), we (I) remark that "He's such a wonderful baby. He'd be amazing at that spa pool. They'd love him." And as Mike lifts my delicious baby out of his high chair and leads him back to a pool chaise, I think, "I have the cutest baby in the world. He...."
He...oh God. He has a giant, wet, green spot on his adorable new seersucker bathing suit. That spot can only mean one thing...
"Mike!" I shout. "Don't let him sit on the..."
And I watch as Max plops onto the tan chaise lounge with poop seeping out from the now, five pound swim diaper, onto the cushion, leaking all over the pool area where, some kid playing Marco Polo will undoubtedly slip and break her neck.
"Mike!" I shout louder as I leap over the seemingly endless trail of shredded cheese, peas and other goodies my son seems to have thrown out of the high chair as I was lauding him for being such a little "adult."
"Mike...Mike...he has a giant poop!"
At the adults only pool, this would have stopped time, but at the FAMILY POOL, no one raises an eye brow. In fact, no one even looks up as we run to the grassy area, stripping Max down at the same time, letting chunks of poop dump to the ground all the while shielding out faces hoping we don't get hit. No one even skips a beat as we wipe our naked child down screaming "more wipes! more wipes! one more...yup, get me another one!" and as I pick up stray poop with a plastic bag all over the area surrounding the pool, no one blinks. In fact, most of them look up and make comments about how cute Max is. Most of them are thinking, "Been there. Done that."
"I'm pretty sure this is why they don't want us at the spa pool," Mike enlightens me. "I don't think this would have gone over so well." And as one of the servers comes by with popsicles to everyone, I hand one to Max who procees to devour it with utter delight.
"And I bet they don't give out popsicles at the spa pool either," I remark over the hollers of Marco and Polo.