It sounded so good on paper - go to Hawaii, stay in the same timeshare with a big group of fun people with similar-aged kids, all chip in to help each other and the kids entertain each other. Right? Wrong. So, so wrong.
You know what happens when you get a bunch of toddlers and preschoolers together? They scream and fight over toys (and by "toys" I mean light switches and garbage), push each other and hit each other with sticks. So you can't leave them to play for half a second. And you certainly can't leave your four month old baby unattended, so he has to be in a carrier all the time, which he hates, so he lunges and screams and claws you with tiny razor-like fingernails all day long.
Then nobody can decide where to go or what to do so everyone just goes off on their own, which means I spent yet another miserable day alone on a beach with a baby and a toddler, trying desperately to keep the toddler from drowning while simultaneously trying to keep the baby from drowning as the toddler yanks and pulls on me so hard I am nearly always on the brink of falling into the water with the baby on my chest. It's horrifying and exhausting. It's also hot, my back hurts like hell from the baby in the carrier, I am constantly worried that we don't have enough sunscreen on and are about to burn to a crisp, I get wicked headaches and am always thirsty or hungry but can do nothing about it because the second I take my eye off Bumpus a wave will come and sweep him away and that'll be it.
To top it all off the stupid timeshare is making me pack up and check out of my room at 10 tomorrow morning, melting groceries and all, only to be roomless until 4 PM when I have to check into a new room. Why? Who the hell knows? Apparently several in our group have to go through this rigmarole, which according to the front desk should have been explained to us by the timeshare owners. I'm extremely pissed about this, but what can you do? Just another totally irritating and inconvenient thing to endure.
This morning I considered taking us home today and saying the hell with it. I'm pretty sure this would cost a fortune otherwise I'd do it in a heartbeat. I have no desire to try to see if things improve - it's pretty clear that this is just how things like this go. I've said it before - one person simply cannot go on a beach vacation with a baby and a toddler unless you're at a special resort designed for your kids' age group, and you can get tons and tons of childcare. Unless you like having a screaming baby strapped to you in the hot sun while you try to prevent your two-year-old from drowning for several hours a day, then returning to your chaotic timeshare where your toddler wants to do nothing but tear the whole place apart while the baby screams on a towel on the floor and you futilely try to cook dinner while simultaneously trying to prevent the toddler from running the filthy carpet sweeper over the baby. The fact that neither of them are horribly sunburned, injured, or dead at this point is a minor miracle.
So tomorrow I will drag us to some playground I was told was good (today I dragged B away from one, kicking and screaming, because there were some mean little boys not playing very nicely with a toddler girl whose parents had left her there alone - it was awful and I didn't want Bumpus to be their next casualty). Then maybe I'll hit up the crappy Taco Bell drive thru on the way home again because it's the only way I'm going to get any kind of dinner.
Right now I'm in our dark, a/c-less hot bedroom with the lights off and a sleeping baby and very much awake toddler who keeps slamming the mirrored closet doors open and shut even though I've asked him not to about fifteen times. How on earth am I going to force this child to sleep when he clearly doesn't want to? Should I let him out into the living room to ransack the place again just to wear him out? How do I do this?
And how the heck do I pack everything up first thing in the morning and haul us all out of here, only to be left with no room for six hours? What the hell are we going to do with ourselves all day???
Here is a picture of my awful Taco Bell dinner eaten in the car while Theo screamed and Bumpus sang tunelessly in the back seat. It was the most enjoyable moment I've had here yet.