I have two girls — ages 2 and 5 — so getting out of the house is only slightly less difficult than dealing with a family of greased chimpanzees who have just inhaled a pot of coffee. Take this morning: the minute I put away some stray toy, the two-year old was pulling out markers and coloring on her hands. Pack a bag with swimsuits and towels for camp? Those clothes are mysteriously on the floor again. Get the breakfast dishes in the dishwasher and actually remember to take my lunch out of the fridge? Someone is already going through her lunch bag looking for a snack. And while I may say “Get your shoes on,” my kids only hear, “Go into your room and find a toy you haven’t seen in three months.” And of course, if we are running late, without fail, there will be poop.
And don’t even get me started on sunscreen. In our house, we call it “sunscream.”
So, yeah, it’s hard to get out of the house with kids, let alone actually enjoy the time out. When I planned a trip to the zoo, the kids threw a temper tantrum because they wanted to go to an indoor playground. Because, well, toys. Take a walk to the playground? They complain that they wanted to take the car. Does your kid whine about not taking an uber? Mine does!
And no matter what, when we do take small trips, the same scenarios inevitably happen like some demented game of travel bingo:
- Someone’s hungry and I forgot snacks
- I brought snacks but they weren’t the right ones
- I brought snacks and the kids are now fighting loudly over who gets to hold them
- We get to our destination, but there’s no bathroom and we need to go NOW
- We get to the destination, but the kids are more excited about finding new rocks/sticks/garbage than the main attraction for which I paid too much money
- I forgot sunscreen
- The stroller doesn’t fit among the crowds
- The older one complains that her “legs don’t work”
- The little one wants to walk
- The little one screams that the older one is in the stroller
- The older one is crying because it used to be her stroller
- All the snacks have been eaten but the kids are STILL starving
- Someone falls and skins knees/hands/face/ego
- Mommy needs wine and it’s not even noon
So, I really only have two options. I can either stay at home, all the blinds drawn in my 800 square foot apartment in Boston and bide my time until bedtime. Or I can try to figure out how to plan good trips with the kids.
And since I don’t want to raise mole-people (as cute as moles are!) I’m going to force that damn sunscream on their pale, pale faces, comb out the knots in their hair so they look slightly less like orphans, and get them to explore beyond the boundaries of what they know. So welcome to Itty Bitty Itineraries where you can learn from our trips.