“Avery & Kaitlyn Eve” – Celebrations on the Road
So I knew we would have some bumps in the road. A little turbulence so to speak. And I knew it would happen soon. We’re dealing with jet lag, sleeping four to a room, racing around a country to see as much as we can, living life a little to exhaustion so to speak. I should have expected that on what my girls have now termed “Avery and Kaitlyn Eve” (after all there’s a “New Years Eve” & “Christmas Eve” they tell me), the night before their 10th birthday- double digits, we would experience extreme travel meltdown. The crying, throwing fits, the “you’re the worst mommy in the world”, “how could you do something so mean as to make us travel around the world” kind of fits….think fits like the one that occurred with Our Trip to the Travel Nurse …
IT WAS BAD NEWS
We were staying in an adorable little cabin – one just 2 hours previously kids had declared as “perfect”, “so cute”, “this is the best place ever!”. It was conveniently close to two other adorable little cabins. So close that certainly at 9:30 pm we were affecting the sleep of the occupants of those two other quaint, closely located cabins, as my girls asked if they really weren’t getting presents for their birthday.
After silently kicking myself for giving them their new earrings prior to our departure, I patiently started going over the fact that we are backpacking (hence carrying everything we own) and that this was a “year of experiences not stuff” (which I thought I had previously covered obsessively to avoid just this situation). Suddenly I was lambasted. My 10 year olds, on their self-declared “Avery & Kaitlyn Eve” screamed, hollered cried about why they couldn’t be with their best friends on their birthday. It was like this entire experience was a surprise. Like I secretly whisked them away on a surprise trip on their birthday when they thought they’d be having a slumber party with their friends and now they weren’t going to have it.
I JUST COULDN’T WIN
Hmmm, so this one was hard. I get it. I really do. Double digits. Birthdays. Friends. It’s important. I really do get it. But in my mind (and perhaps out loud – and perhaps loud-ly – again think miniature cabin with no distance between them, now 10pm) I point out “tomorrow, for your birthday, we’re taking a tractor to see the puffins and hiking on a glacier!!! Who get’s to do that on their birthday?!?”
BAD MOVE MOMMY
Kaitlyn agrees. Avery not so much. It’s “what mommy wants to do. Not US!“. Ok. True, I think. However, instead of leaving it alone and diffusing, I continue to engage “It’s only what I want to do because I’m the one who’s doing the research. You’re welcome at any time to do the work and choose where YOU want to go!”
Ok, deep breath, Mommy. I’m now completely losing my cool. I’m feeling (and again maybe saying) that children are being selfish. That yes, I’m excited about this but I’m doing it for them, blah, blah blah. I must have really lost it because Liam is telling me he loves me, Katilyn is trying to convince Avery they really do want to climb glaciers and Avery is still insistent I’m terrible, she’s terrible and she really does love me! It’s the meeting of tired mommy versus almost ten year old girls.
IT’S ALL COMPLETELY FALLEN APART
And then it’s so obvious.
We’re all so very tired. We need sleep. And we’re all being irrational. I declare bed. Kids eventually fall asleep ensuring the end of “Kaitlyn & Avery Eve” and I go to work changing hostel reservations, in turn shortening the travel distance for the next two days, and preparing for “Avery & Kaitlyn’s 10th Birthday”- Iceland style.