The saddest words ever if I listen to the 6-year-old in my life. “I was finally getting to like not going to school and now I have to go again!” Well, I was going to let the child know that this feeling will continue and amplify through his life. Sunday evenings are the same always getting ready for the work week to start-up … again. Then I thought, nah, maybe I should not let this child know how most of the adult world is living just for the weekends and holidays.
Considering my crowd really did not do anything very spectacular this break I was sure that going to school this morning would have been a highlight to the boring week. Apparently hanging around one’s house (for the most part.. with the exception of a troop tour of the science museum, the doctor and a movie….although not all in that order) being hassled to do chores and spring cleaning was more exciting. Who knew? I despair of ever getting these kids out and on their own before they are fifty (I have no idea how the husband thinks they will all be independent by age 21!). With the exception of the 13-year-old (NO… she already WANTS to go back to school and how)!
I have heard all week about the kids’ friends and their trips on the March break to all over the globe. I did consider leaving home and taking a trip…then I remembered the fire regulations…so in a nutshell…NO…decided to remain home!
Families this size cannot just “pickup and go” on a trip. Yep, I hear some of you thinking well if I had fewer children this would be possible…well actually not necessarily so. About 16 years ago my brother-in-law passed away in another town about 4 hours from here. In order to attend the wake and the morning funeral, I took all the children (plus “the Husband”) to this town. At the time I only had four children the youngest of which was a newborn and the eldest was just 5 years old.
I called the main hotel (small town) and asked for a room with 2 double beds and a cot (baby would be in a carriage) thinking that this was a reasonable request. Well I got quickly acquainted with “fire regulations” that apparently dictated that no more than 4 to a room regardless of the fact that all three children were hardly bigger than Garden Gnomes. After many rounds of rationale I was able to strike a bargain, I would get the one (and only) “suite” they had that also came with a sitting room therefore I would be allowed the 3 gnome children and the tiny baby. I was charged $350 for the suite. I chalked this up to a small town and a super vigilant representative of the hospitality industry. By comparison a double occupancy for the fire regulation friendly family (only 2 kids) across the hall only cost $87 per night.
A few years ago I tried again, this time to take a tribe that had grown to the size of seven children (youngest just weeks old and the eldest only twelve) although still sporting several kids the size of lawn ornaments. Well the hotel told me that to accommodate my family I would require three rooms at the approximate combined cost of about $500 per night (!!!). (This was eight years ago.) The money issue set aside, I could not get the inn keeper to understand that traveling with only two parents meant one of those three rooms would be “unsupervised” definitely more dangerous than by the book fire regulations.
The hotel manager told me he understood and would be sure that all three rooms would be linked together. I was worried some of the smaller children (you know the ones garden decoration size) would escape and be wandering all over town (not to mention at large on the hotel premises). No matter what concern I had the hotel was focused on the fire regulations. I cannot imagine how having unsupervised school-aged children in a room could be so fire-safety friendly (at least on the paperwork) as opposed to less fire-safety compliant but fully supervised by parents.
In the end we were able to find a motel (in the same town) where the owner had a corner banquet room he let us stay in and moved in queen bed (and pullout couches/cots) to support the entourage. This was quite a bargain as nightly it only cost $125 and included a kitchenette.
So unless something wild happens March Break around my house continues to be a time to have some free time, see friends, go to a few local places and spring clean like mad.
Memo to myself: I must work harder next year to make sure school is seen as more attractive than hanging out here (perhaps add home repairs to the ongoing list of chores)…Although I must admit my greatest moments are when the kids are home….(no comment on them being here and fifty!) and happy to be here.
The Garden Goat