July 26, 2009

Kid Unfriendly

Filed under: Kids and Life — jenny @ 6:06 am

Those of you who were reading the posts from afar know that we really enjoyed our Portland time. My kids turned out to be better than travelers than I’d hoped for. They weathered the time change, the askew schedule, catch-as-catch-can naps, long walks, and occasional periods of being lost (I am not a good map reader…OK, I have a severe disability when it comes to maps). They did fine without separate rooms or their abundance of toys–leading me to wonder whether we have too much damn stuff.

But that’s a separate post, maybe a separate blog.

The purpose of this one is to say that even though I really enjoyed traveling with my children, I’m feeling a little child unfriendly at the moment.

I realize we didn’t go to Disney, or Great Wolf, where everything is about the kids. But in some ways this was harder. The contrast was so extreme.

We’d go out for a nice meal…but we’d go at six to accommodate the kids’ hunger level and bedtime. The twenty minute wait for a table–de rigeur in any even approaching hip spot–was borne only with copious amounts of made up stories. And instead of leisurely perusing the menu, I snatched glimpses at it, then barked an order at the poor waitress who’d only approached for our drinks to prevent an I’m starving meltdown. It was hard to enjoy the delicate wings and forget about peeling the uber fresh prawns! Way too much trouble–I just tore meat off a spare rib bone and thrust it in the direction of both kids, who gulped like hungry dogs. It was hard for me to appreciate the unusual treats at all when I was simultaneously focused on wiping greasy mouths before they slicked a passing customer, making sure drinks sans sippie cups didn’t spill, and extruding bones from fish.

I know, poor me. How lucky I am to get to eat in such a restaurant. To have kids who enjoyed it, the assistance they still require notwithstanding. (We did get lost afterwards though. But my six year old calmly told me not to panic, so even there I have no right to feel so…kid unfriendly.)

Naps have bisected–or even trisected–our days for six years now. I’m used to seeing only half the zoo because we have to rush off for lunch. Or doing a two mile hike instead of a four mile one. For the most part I love these compromises because they place me squarely in the early childhood years, and I really love this time.

I think, after fourteen concentrated days of moving, going, and being on, all while trying to make sure the kids’ needs get met in a totally unfamiliar environment, that I could use a little adult friendly time.

Or maybe it’s just me who needs a nap.


  1. Probably a little of both!

    And when kid things get you down,remember: eventually they move out. And if you’ve done your job, they buy you and your husband tickets for a Caribbean Cruise for your 40th anniversary.

    Comment by Terry Odell — July 28, 2009 @ 8:55 am

  2. oooh, Terry, have fun (or did you already) I still can’t believe it’s your fortieth–congrats!

    Comment by jenny — July 28, 2009 @ 9:06 am

  3. This is why when your kids are my kids’ ages, you send them to sleep away camp for a month every summer! :)

    Comment by Judy — July 29, 2009 @ 4:53 pm

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