A fantasy, some beds and cold, hard cash will get you into a lot of trouble — especially when you’re contemplating a family trip.
Do you imagine all of you blissfully sleeping in your hotel room and then waking up to a rosy new day?
Unless you are co-sleeping champs, it’s ridiculously difficult to have your whole family sleep in one room. Yet somehow, people in the olden days did this all the time and called it existence. Nowadays, we save it for special occasions and call it vacation.
Recently, my family enjoyed two nights of intense togetherness in Leavenworth.
Picture it: the snowy forest of fir trees, the Wells Fargo that looks Bavarian, the Nutcracker store with outrageously expensive tchotchkes — and me yelling at my son to not sled headfirst downhill.
“Smash your face, Young Man, and we’re leaving!”
Intersperse that with multiple trips to the bathroom with my 4-year-old daughter who tanked up on hot chocolate and wore a snowsuit designed by Houdini.
“You just went 10 minutes ago. Can’t Daddy take you this time?”
“Gross, Mommy! Urinals are yucky!”
If you notice a touch of crankiness in this winter-land vignette, that’s because we played musical beds the night before in our hotel room at the Sleeping Lady.
Silky sheets, European duvets and hand-hewn log beds; how could we not sleep well? The answer lies in the “we” of that rhetorical question.
We were so excited to be in a hotel, see snow and wake up and go sledding that we could not possibly stay in our own beds and fall asleep.
Plus, one of us (and I’m not pointing fingers) woke up to pee 10,000 times and needed help unzipping her bunny pajamas.
I had the foresight to pack a flask of peppermint schnapps. Unfortunately, it is illegal to give schnapps to minors, even as a sedative. (Extra liquids wouldn’t have helped anyway.)
But really, every family adventure has a twinge of crankiness, right? Sleep deprivation comes hand in hand with children, no matter where you are.
So forget the fatigue. The warm glow of time will blur all of it away like schnapps. Eventually, all that will be left is the hot chocolate and the fun.
What I plan to remember about our trip to Leavenworth is reading books with my son in the library, watching my daughter’s cheeks pink up in the snow and gorging ourselves at dinner.
The best part was waking up in the middle of the night and listening to my family finally fall asleep. It was so magical that in a very weak moment I found myself thinking, “Gee, maybe we should go to Disneyland.”
Jennifer Bardsley is an Edmonds mom of two and blogs at teachingmybabytoread.com.