Monday, July 18, 2011

Cottages, Kids and Chaos

My family did the typical Ontario summer week "vacation" in cottage country this week.

Definition of vacation according to states that a vacation is freedom or release from duty, business or activity.


Freedom or release from duty as a parent does not exist.

You didn't know?

No.  It does not.  Especially when you are surrounded by sewage issues, diggers and bulldozers....mix in a dozen children and freedom from anything but ensuring your child is not getting inadvertently bulldozed, splashing around in cesspools or getting run over by a train.

Oh yes.  There was a train nearby.

Nearby, although it sounded like it was running directly through the resort.  Complete with about 5 TOOOOOOT......TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT.................TOOOOOOOOOT.......TOOT's.

And just when you thought it was over.


This happened in the middle of the night.

Many times.

We showed up to the cottage rentals while construction, dirt, digging and dust was in full force.  Apparently there was some sewage/plumbing/toilet issues in the cottage next to us (that our friends stayed in) along with the addition of 5 more cottages being built that we were not made aware of prior to arrival.

Breath in.  Ahhh...the smell of excrement mingled with dust.  Mmmm.  Try not to vomit and sneeze at the same time.  That never turns out well.

"Where'd my kids go?"

"Oh just playing in the sewage"

Good times.

(this never actually happened)

Maybe you thought I was exaggerating.
I was not.
It took several days to dig, repair, bulldoze and then sod, requiring all families to be forced to hang out on the beach all day long.

It was rough.

Looks like a pretty terrible time doesn't it?

Dwelling on the negative is certainly not my style so despite this post starting off all Debbie Downer like it was actually a really, really fabulous week.

Although inconvenient and certainly not entirely safe requiring some extra vigilance on our parts (imagine...being a vigilant parent), the week spent with 7 different families with children ranging from 5 months to 9 years was pretty awesome although not entirely free from duty or activity as the definition of vacationing is so described above.

I feel as though I need a vacation because of my vacation, although a long hot shower followed by a good night's sleep in my own bed with air conditioning will have to do.

I also learned a few things this week and I would like to share them with you.

1.  My tolerance for bugs but especially mosquitoes on a scale from 1-10 doesn't even register on the scale.  I hate mosquitos.  With a passion.  I don't care if I inhale and apply chemicals on my skin and clothing that could melt my glasses and quite possibly give me cancer.  As long as I don't have tiny vampiric  bugs buzzing in my ears and feeding on me leaving enormous itchy welts on my skin, I will do whatever it takes.

2.  Reading to kids is pretty darn fun.  And it keeps them from running around like maniacs in a 500 square foot cottage while it rains outside.

Clearly in my element.
Check out the stunning background scenery.
It's breathtaking ain't it?

3.  14 adults and 16 children can all get along exceptionally well for an entire week.  Our group of  friends are so easy going and such great parents that there were unbelievably no major skirmishes between kids (or adults).

4.  An afternoon siesta on on the beach with your baby is one of the best things in life.

5.  Dinner time with all families  compounded with a day full of fresh air and activity results in a meal time gong show with every parent exasperatingly demanding that their children sit down and eat. something. anything.

6.  One doesn't actually require a shower every day.  Twice a week is sufficient enough so long as you have a dip in the lake everyday.  Oh and your kids?  Well, they don't really need to bath at all.  A wipe down with a warm soapy wash cloth and a couple baby wipes before bed works wonders.

7.  The game of Jenga should probably be a competitive was a heart pounding, breath holding, edge of the seat, loud cheering kind of night simply taking blocks from the bottom and putting them on top then taking blocks from the middle and putting them on top...  "That's how you build the tower you just don't stop...."

I still know all the words from the commercial jingle.
So much useless information in this brain of mine.

8.  You really can get over vacationing at resort cottages with a cesspool nearby, an obnoxiously loud train with a horn happy conductor and heavy machinery when your children are swimming, playing, boating and fishing in beautifully clean water getting along famously and fed snacks at 15 minute intervals as well as drinking insane amounts of juice boxes.

Because ultimately if the kids were happy, so were we.

The afternoon adult happy hour certainly helped too.


Amber_D said...

I wondered where you were! Sounds like you guys made the best of a really crappy (Ok maybe that pun was intended) situation. Did you at least get a break on the price of the cottage for the trouble?

momosyllabic said...

The photos! OMG. Vivid. YIKES.
The kids do look happy though.
Don't you wish you could take off on your own and spend a few days at a really great, quiet hotel?

Lisa said...

Awesome pictures!!I can totally see us and all our friends and their kids doing this. :)

January Dawn said...

Thanks! It was a great time however no compensation for all the 'shit' we had to deal with....yet. Working on it!