Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Notes from Paradise With a Preschooler

Well, I'm not exactly pool-side. I could be, except the sun is so bright that I couldn't see my computer screen at all. So I had to high-tail it up to the resort lanai and curl up on a comfy chair next to some giant green-leafed, red-flowered plants and a plethora of little chirpy birds. The screen is still a bit dim, so forgive any misspellings (I assure you it's too early in the day for the errors to be the result of adult beverages--although I guess when you're on vacation it's always noon someplace...or is that 5pm? Either way...). And now that I'm sitting in the sun, I can see how many tiny-fingered smudge marks there really are on this screen and that someone needs yet another reminder to keep his play-doh'y, snotty, syrupy fingers off mama's computer screen. But I digress...most likely because I haven't had a clear train of thought since the alarm clock went off at 4:30 last Friday morning.

Ethan and Husband are currently frolicking in the pool (let me amend that: Ethan is frolicking in the pool; Husband is getting pruney and wondering how long it's going to take me to blog--but is tolerant and loving about it because he knows that when I don't write, my mood turns inordinately cranky, they way others' do when they don't poop. It's not pleasant). They are in the pool right now during a sunny rain shower. We've had them on and off for the past 2-3 days, but I am so relieved that the weather is better than the forecast I'd been reading for the 2 weeks before we arrived. It's been warm, but not really hot, and sunny, but super windy. The only rain we've had have been these random little sun-showers which hardly require a change in activity, since if you're in the pool, you're already wet anyway. And the showers always leave us with a rainbow that lingers for an hour afterwards. Sweet.

I have to admit, i've gone a bit Clark Griswold on this trip. Determined to create memories! experiences! adventures! I've crammed our schedule with day trips, and given the way the island is spread out, that means lots of time in the car for a kid who is not a fan of spending a lot of time in the car (unless it's parked in a drive way and he is pretending to drive it). It's made for some great moments--climbing on lava rocks on Bay Perouse, taking a glass-bottomed semi-submarine boat tour of the reef off of Lahaina (and the submarine was yellow, so please, Ethan was beside himself), and a super cute tour of a goat farm in the Upcountry of Kula after a miserably botched, tantrum-ridden trip up to the top of Mt. Haleakala, the dormant volcano Ethan's been talking about visiting since we booked the trip 2 months ago. Let's just say that the idea of a volcano is way cooler than the reality of it when you're almost 4 years old.

So today and tomorrow are agenda-less days. Lounging in the room for a couple hours after waking up, wandering down to the pool by 11am and seeing where the day takes us. No packing a lunch and getting in the car at 8am to drive 2 hours. ::gnashing teeth. compromising with an almost 4 year old is hhhhhhhaaaaarrrrrrd::

But Ethan is over-the-moon, punch-drunk, stick-a-fork-in-him-he's-done in love with the pool. And he's 4 (well, almost), so fine. I give. We don't need to drive into the rain forest and see the 2000 foot spire that Mark Twain called the "Yosemite of Hawaii" in Io Valley (::gnash gnash::) or go down to the beach 100 feet from the pool to watch for humpback whales jumping in the ocean (::gnash gnash::). We can play in the pool! All day! Until we're pruney and water-logged! When is happy hour????!!! This whole compromising what you want to do for the sake of familial harmony and fairness is just one of those parts of parenting that, as an only child myself (and someone who was single into my 30's), I really struggle with.

But really, we're having a lovely time. I'm trying to get over my need to pack every day with activity (a mentality that's been building up over the past couple of years as a stay-at-home mom and one that sometimes whips up more anxiety than activity) and just live in the moment. These next two days might make me twitchy with the "but we're missing x, y, & z and this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience!!!" of just sitting by the pool and playing in the hyper-chlorinated water, while the rainforest and ocean beckon, but. It doesn't have to be a once in a life time experience. We can come back. And see those things next time. And I realize, before anyone hurls "gah!!! spoiled brat!!!!" at me, how incredibly lucky we are to be in a position where this isn't necessarily a once-in-a-lifetime experience for us. But my reality is that relaxing is harder work than I first thought. But as far as "challenges" go? I know. It's pretty sweet.


cicadalady said...

i'm glad you at least got to do some touring around the island and that the weather is (mostly) holding up!

Anonymous said...

I had a feeling while reading this that you guys will spend many happy vacations in paradise. As for me, I think the super cute tour of the goat farm puts things in perspective. Tat and the Yellow Submarine. Sounds like a great trip!!!!

Uncle Al

Inge said...

Relaxing can be tough. I always struggle with the "but, we're going to miss X if we just lay here all day", but probably Ethan's biggest memory will be that super duper pool!

Corinne said...

I'm getting so envious with all the pictures on Facebook!
Enjoy the rest of your vacation :)

Amy said...

Enjoy the rest of your trip!

Sue said...

Much as I would love to see the sights, I could be persuaded to come and stay in the pool with Ethan while you go explore! I'll be waiting for the FedEx guy to bring my ticket to paradise!! ;)

Sarah said...

Sarah! We need to vacay together. You and P and Ben can sightsee and parasail and snorkel your faces off, and I will bob in the pool all day long with E and whoever else like a lazy vacay. Then after the kids go to bed, we can drink a million cocktails. Let's book it :)

Have a great rest of your trip!!

Becca said...

Sounds nice! Enjoy.