Spring Break 2014 (NoVa/Washington DC)
This was not “Spring Break woo-hoo!” I don’t think I’ve ever been on a woo-hoo kind of Spring Break and I am definitely too old for it now. Plus my pregnant belly would totally get in the way during drunk limbo contests.
That doesn’t mean we didn’t have a wild and crazy trip to visit my parents in Virginia. Going to DC during cherry blossom season? AND while everyone is out of school? AND not bringing a stroller?? I live dangerously.
Before our trip into the city, we tried to make the best of some pretty bad spring weather. Our neighborhood is full of paved paths, playscapes and little creeks, so I had the bright idea to go play outside even though it was raining. I patted myself on the back for packing boots and raincoats, even though patting myself on the back never, ever ends well. After about 5 minutes poking rocks with sticks and looking for frogs it went from sort-of-drizzly to torrential-downpour. It was pretty clear our trickly little creek wasn’t going to stay cute and shallow for long, so we booked it home for some dry clothes and Disney movies.
The rain cleared out overnight but the sun came with lots of cold wind. I tried to keep the kids entertained inside but they were way too crazy. Bouncing off the furniture crazy. Tantrums over nothing crazy. Make me want to run away and leave them there forever crazy. So we bundled up and walked to the elementary school playground for them to burn off some of the crazy.
And that brings us to Thursday. THURSDAY. The day I realized just how much my oldest child is like me when it comes to crowds, being hungry, being tired and did I mention crowds? I hate crowds. HATE. And if crowds were bad enough, it was crowds of field trips, big families and strollers. So many strollers.
Personally, I am greatly enjoying having children at an age where we don’t HAVE to have a stroller. No diapers = no diaper bag = purse I can fit enough stuff in but it’s too heavy to carry all day + children who have seemingly endless energy = a math problem that defies all logic but means I didn’t bring a stroller into DC. I’m doomed to rejoin the Stroller Mafia in a few months and I still love/adore/worship/etc my Baby Jogger, but NOT dragging a stroller around makes me want to throw my arms in the air and shout “FREEEEDOOOOOOOOM!” It also makes me instantly intolerant of people with strollers who block aisles and hallways and walking paths and generally get in my damn way. It’s just one of the many ways I am not a very good person.
Luckily we planned our trip pretty well, catching a post-commuter-rush-but-still-early Metro into the city so we got to the Natural History Museum 30 minutes after they opened. All the good exhibits were crowded but not so crowded I couldn’t stand it. The kids got annoyed and hungry pretty fast though, so we went for lunch early. It was an excellent (lucky) choice, since when we LEFT the cafeteria the line to get it went all the way to the back entrance of the museum.
I do owe an apology and possibly an explanation for my child’s behavior during lunch to anyone who happened to be in the Natural History Museum last Thursday. I promise I did not actually beat Evan, spank Evan, hit Evan or torture him in any way. I did not tell him I hated him or he was an accident. I MAY have threatened to leave him with DC police after 20 straight minutes of crying, but at that point it wasn’t so much a threat as something I was actually considering. What caused such a huge disturbance in the force, you may ask? I didn’t let him carry his very own cafeteria tray.
Trust me, that was NOT a hill I was prepared to die on, and if I had known he really wanted a tray he could have had a damn tray. He just didn’t NEED a tray, so when we went through the line I said “No, we can share” and then breezed in to grab our food. By the time I realized he was sobbing silently behind me it was too late to go back for a tray and mine was too full to let him carry it on his own. TRAGEDY.
I made him stand in a corner for a while, but the judgey looks from other people got to me so I planted him in a seat at our table and eventually he calmed down enough that he actually ate most of his food, drank some Cherry Coke (DESPERATE MOTHER IS DESPERATE) and ate a dinosaur cookie. SHOCKINGLY, once he was no long hungry he perked right up and we enjoyed the rest of our visit. The crowds eventually got too bad to fight and the kids kept needing to sit down for breaks, so we left the museum to walk on the mall.
I was too sore already (stupid pregnancy sciatica) to make it to any of the monuments, but as soon as they were out in the fresh air and sunshine the gingers got a second wind and begged to ride the carousel. Their very generous grandmother said yes that I am confident it was the highlight of their day.
Based just on our pictures you can’t tell at all that it wasn’t a super fun trip, which is basically the foundation of blogging, right?
We drove home Friday to discover E DIDN’T have to work all weekend, the weather in CT was at least as nice as in Virginia and that both children were totally exhausted from our trip. It was a lovely, relaxing Easter weekend with approximately 75% more sleeping and fewer tantrums. Apologies again to everyone in NoVa/DC/especially my parents.