I have been in denial for about 6 months but it is high time I face reality: we are really going to France in one week with the 3 kids, stopping in Paris, Corsica, Bergerac and Paris again. It is happening. 5 flights. 3 rental cars. 2 strollers. 2 trains. Why do people insist calling this inane experiment ‘vacation’?
I have planned details of this trip in my head over and over again and considering the little amount of time I am sleeping these days, I am telling you this: it is a shit load of hours. But every single time, it ends with another question, another dead end and another panic attack a la Drew Barrymore in the opening scene of Scream 1. With less blood and more weird facial expressions. Here’s what has been doing my head in.
Transport and logistics
First we have to reach the airport. How to do this when you need 3 car seats ? We pondered all options:
– rented mini van with rented 3 car seats; as costly as an air ticket to Puerto Rico
– rented mini van with our own 3 obnoxiously gigantic car seats aka ‘The Thrones’; but who is going to drive us and bring back the seats all the way to Harlem on a school night? N-O O-N-E
– 2 cabs without the car seats, do I really want to be squishing my babies on the back seat praying our cab driver’s alter ego is not a NASCAR driver?
I have currently (who knows everything can change in a whim) settled for: the 3 musketeers (DH, Thor and Archibald) with the 3 Chucky dolls on the A train all the way to JFK airport and me in a cab with all the luggage. DH is very trustful; it did not cross his mind that I, lunatic mama, could take a cab and come back home for a stay-cation on my own. Pure Evil.
Supply chain management
Second, I need to figure out how to optimize our supply of baby food, fresh milk, diapers, swim diapers, wipes, sun block, pool toys, water, summer and ceremony clothes, presents for all the kids in both our families etc. I also need to figure out the transportation and logistics: which strollers we are bringing where, where to store things, how many high chairs and baby carrier to borrow. Procurement will be key: online orders and getting my sister, my friend Tess who is traveling by car and my mother in law to purchase presents and diapers stash. The major headache is how will we smuggle and store fresh milk to give the kids in the plane as we are landing in Paris after an overnight flight? As you know they are milk addict and do NOT shut up until they get some (one day I will film this and post it; it is worse than Evil Dead meets Kruger). The five of us might get quarantined in the restrooms by the flight attendants. What is mostly depressing about these thorough processes is that their main outputs will be: poop and soiled diapers. OK maybe , some smiles from the kids too but mainly poop really…
Rocking the vacation look
When I was a single gal, I used to love packing because I would spend days visualizing outfits and their variations for every single day of my vacation. I thus always travelled with 3 full bags of accessories (necklaces, bangles, earrings, brooches, hair pieces, ribbons, hair pins, 2 thread bobbins and a needle – always ready to do a hair pin on a whim) and 2 bags of make up including 4 lipsticks: 2 shades of red, 1 brown and 1 gold. I won’t even start on the number of shoes I used to travel with.
When I moved in with DH, things changed a little. First, he is a ‘5 Ts, 5 pairs of trousers, 5 underwear, 5 pairs of socks’ guy …and 2 pairs of shoes (how is it possible???). His favorite Ts brands are: IECS (the French business where we met), Pepperdine (the university where he got his MBA), Bank X (where he works) and NY Knicks. In short, he is all about Cotton-Cheap-Comfort. I started to feel self conscious about how much space I was using in our collective luggage so I started to streamline. But now with 3 babies, I am screwed. I may have to wear the same underwear two days in a row.
DH and I being DH and I, we did not opt for the easy vacation model: get your ass to paradise, do not move your ass in resort and let some people wipe your kids’ asses. Example: Club Med in Punta Cana. Instead we are renting a house in Corsica in which kids under 5 are overpowering the number of adults (7 against 6). The upcoming post in this leg of our trip is likely to be graphic to say the least. If we survive this, we will then join DH’s family to celebrate our nephew’s birthday and the first time the whole family gets together in 3 years. And if we survive this, we will then meet with my eccentric family for my brother’s 600+ guests wedding. It is a guesstimate since I heard that my mom has been copying wedding invitations behind my brother’s back to distribute…She did this for my wedding too. I remembered her showing the color copies oblivious and totally proud of their quality while I almost fainted from anger.
Yes I am stressed out. It does not help that my man, aka Mr Cool Dude, has a very bad case of departure HAADDA, Hyper activity Attention Deficit Disorder Anxiety, whether it is to go on vacation in Thailand or to go to take the path to Hoboken. He babbles random ‘to do’ lists for about a month, asks thousand of questions, puts me in charge and then on departure day he suddenly becomes Manimal: he turns red, sweats profusely, breathes heavily and turns into a yapping hyena. It is scary. He always claimed it was in his DNA. It is actually true. His family is like this bourgeois family in which home you could hear a pin drop but when they have to go somewhere. Oh boy…It is like Game of Thrones: a massacre. Everyone goes out for the jugular. And the weaker fall one after the other. I usually try to hide terrified. You know the one that pretends to be dead until the battle is over? Yep, that is me.
4 days left and I am still contemplating. All thinking, no doing. See my bedroom. Yes it is a sewing machine in the background because I have sooooo much time to make blankets right now. I am so random.