Re-entry to regular family life at home is rough. It makes me want to get up only to brush fuzzy teeth and then return to bed and hide under the blankets all day. I did that in college, but now I suppose it would only take the kids four minutes to find me and jump on me. Ouch.
For stay-at-home moms, usually the only thing that changes on vacation is the location. There are still kids who wake up at the buttcrack of dawn, car seats to buckle, spilled milk, impetigo medicine to apply, teeth to floss, sunscreen to reapply and whining to ignore.
This recent Oregon vacation was super for so many reasons; the kids’ first canoe trip, inner-tubing on the Deschutes River, date night with spice shrimp spaghetti, micro brew sampling, water skiing, s’mores, a tiny frog the kids found and the neighbor’s SeaDoo jet ski speedy thing.
But, I attribute most of the vacation awesomeness to my own Mother’s ability to step between me and my daily nemesis: DINNER.
For 10 days, she had dinner planned and organized. There was no last-minute trip to the store with three hungry kids for hamburger buns. She had them. There was no substituting rice for pasta. She had both.
Sure I tried to help a bit. “What can I do, Mom?”
“Oh, just cut up stuff for the salad.” Ah yes, she had the plan. I’ll gladly follow someone else’s kitchen orders, but when it comes to making the dinner plan, it sneaks up on me every day. Everyday single day.
My mom is a great planner. Probably because she spent so many years feeding our family in remote Alaskan villages. Each spring she would fill out her ‘grub order’ and then mail it to Anchorage where someone would assemble our selections, pack them onto a wooden pallet and deliver them via ocean barge in the fall. Can you imagine ordering your groceries once a year? Yup – she was that good.
They only mess-up I remember was the year she ordered a case of ‘mixed jelly.’ In her mind she thought she would get 6 strawberry, 6 raspberry, 6 peach and 6 grape or some similar combination. No, what we got was 24 jars of mixed fruit jelly. And mixed jelly was exactly what we ate all year. Luckily in February we were able to trade with some neighbors for some of their marmalade they were sick of.
So, on our first night home from vacation, I suddenly looked at the fridge and looked back and the hungry kids and remembered that the beautiful kitchen fairy was still in Oregon and we were not. Ouch.
So, are there any cures for a vacation hangover?
Maybe planning another trip? Maybe looking at the vacation photos? Maybe ordering take-out. Maybe?
I’m open to your ideas, especially if you deliver them with a hot dinner.