Monday, November 03, 2008

The Times Are a Changin'

I used to fear daylight savings time. Not so much the actual moving of the hands on the clocks, but what would happen to Jake. His little inner body clock would be off for weeks, and instead of happy well adjusted Jake, you'd have the one whose head spins and growls and is something reminiscent of The Exorcist.

Of course things like full moons, schedule changes, overnight visitors and vacations did the very same thing.

There were times that I remember being so tired that I practically cried that Jake was wide eyed and ready to take on the evening-particularly one Christmas Eve when he was 5, and we were spending the holidays in a hotel room.

All I can say is this: NEVER spend Christmas in a hotel. Just DON'T. I don't care who you are seeing, where you are going, if you have family traditions and small kids to play Santa for, just don't bother because no matter how you slice it, the Best Western is NOT the place to be on Christmas morning. I don't care how nice of a breakfast they put on or the fact that the room was clean. There was no tree, no stockings, no music or fireplace, and most of all, it wasn't home.

The only way I'd even consider doing that again is if we were staying here, because it sounds just amazing (and we could ski!) or...well, Hawaii would be good too.

You'd think I may have figured out that maybe this wasn't the way to go before we went on that little adventure, but I was so wrapped up in the holidays that I didn't even consider what it would be like.

Then of course, since Murphy's Law always seems to descend on families with small children, all three of us immediately became sick the very DAY school was out for the holidays. Not even just a little bit sick, either, but more of a "oh my God stay in bed you sound terrible sick."

So we traveled for 5 hours, did the family thing, and retreated to our room for the evening. No tree. No stockings. No way to put out milk and cookies for Santa.

Wait a sec. Santa? Oh, crap.

By the time I realized one of us had to play Santa, all three of us had loaded ourselves up on Nyquil. I'm not sure how Nyquil affects most people, but it usually puts me in a sleep induced coma very, very quickly, so soon the battle to stay awake began. It was like a contest of sorts; Jake wanting to catch a glimpse of the man in red, and Hubs and I so that one of us could actually play Santa. We SO didn't want to explain to the 5 year that yes sweetie, Santa couldn't find you but...OH! Your presents are in our suitcases! Cool!

Within 10 minutes Hubs was snoring, and so it was between me and Kevin to see who could last the longest. It was only sheer will power that I finally won out at 4am-quickly doing last minute wrapping and pulling out all the presents before his little eyes flew open at...you guessed it...6 am.

I wanted, at that point, nothing more then to just poke pointy sticks in my eyes because then it was...family! Goodies! Gifts! Smiling! Be Happy! I just wanted to curl up in a corner with my bottle of Nyquil and go happily to SLEEP.

Seriously, I don't even have to tell you. It was the longest and most painful Christmas. EVER.

Eight years later, we have finally convinced Jake that traveling during the holidays again could possibly be a good idea.

"No hotel this time, promise."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, your sister has invited us to stay at her new house. There might even be SNOW. Just think Jake, a real, white Christmas! But there's dogs. Their tradition on Christmas morning is to walk the dogs from the kennel after a big fancy breakfast."

"Well...okay. As long as I get a small dog, and only if I can sleep in until at least 9 o'clock Christmas morning."

Oh, I just LOVE teenagers.

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