Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Puking in Dutch trash cans

So, this morning sorta-kinda blew chunks.  But it's okay.  Now.

We had a first-thing-in-the-AM dermatologist appointment for Jack and Simone.  There was an address confusion (I guess the street designer thought chronologically addressing the street was an unnecessary hassle), and I was 5 minutes late.  So, we were moved into the "next available spot"- which meant I was at the non-child-friendly dermo for TWO HOURS with three children under 6. She spent 2 minutes on Jack's thing, about 5 minutes on Simone's...and we were done.  

Not awesome.

Note to self: Apparently there are pediatric derms.  Didn't know this.  Maybe they would have at least had a Highlights magazine in the office.

Being confined in a doctor's office is pretty much a fate worse than death for a mother with curious Littles.  Thousand dollar machinery just asking to be played...everything looked like a spaceship control panel.   Red HAZARD trash cans filled with needles...combined with two little boys who are hardwired to wrestle as the main form of communication. No one likes the distractions or food I brought, of course, so being prepared didn't really matter.

All of this in an 8x8 foot room with only one chair and an examining table.

If they had POW Motherhood camps, this would be one of the challenges, I'm sure of it.

Oh, and Simone is teething her canines.  So she's not much fun right now (but... we love her anyway).  I'm sure they were curious about all the crying coming from Room #2, but no one kicked us out.

In the midst of this terrible, terrible, terrible life situation, I was thinking a few running thoughts:

(1) Holy cow.  Motherhood is not fun.

(2) I will never be 5 minutes late to anything ever again.

(3) I really hope no one breaks anything worth more than $5.

(4) If a doctor's office is this miserable, why do I want to travel with them?

And then I came home and re-read an article that I love, about adventure travel with the under-4 crowd.   I fell in love with this sentence in particular, which sums up my logic more perfectly than I could have:

"Just getting out of the house and to the airport can seem as challenging as our Himalayan expeditions of yore, but it always gets easier once we leave our house behind and settle into the spirit of family travel. There are very few moments of relaxation in the type of travel we do with our children. Long airplane rides and waiting periods here and there require being on top of things every single minute when small children are along. With two children it's not easy for parents to take turns. And when things get hectic, they get unimaginably hectic."

In some ways, it's so true that parenthood is hard no matter where you go.  Our days spent just at home aren't really relaxing.  Food on the kitchen floor, raspberry handprints on the walls, tearful pre-nap periods, bonked heads, stubbed toes, lotion used as finger paint on the bathroom floor, loads of laundry, etc.  

Family life is just kinda chaotic.  I saw Malcolm in the Middle yesterday, for the first time in years and years.  I found it hysterically funny, and I don't remember finding it that funny before.  But the madness of the family resonated with me.  We don't talk that way to each other, thankfully(!), but the backdrop of chaos rang true.

But harnessing that chaos and doing something with it...going out into the world, seeing what there is to see, knowing that things don't have to be easy to be amazing and soul-changing, well...that's what it's about to me. 

Because if there's going to be family chaos, we might as well be somewhere interesting. :)  A bit like when I had my first trimester of Andrew's pregnancy, in the Netherlands.  I remember saying to Steve on my gazillionth puke of the day: "Well, at least it's more interesting to puke in Dutch trash cans, right?"  

That might be the thesis statement to my entire travel love. :) 

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