Tip 1 – Bring help. If you have more than one child and you do not have help...turn back. Turn back now!
I arose Saturday morning filled with holiday spirit and an itch for a little day-cation. It is not uncommon for me to wake up and tell my husband that the kids and I are going away. I throw the necessities into a bag and drive off to Connecticut or some other nearby place in search of new adventures for the kids and I. I pride myself on being a cool and spontaneous mom. Childhood only lasts so long and I want my kids to look back and remember fun, fun, fun! So I was gung ho and ready to go when I woke up that morning with the idea to take the kids into the City to visit FAO Schwartz...by myself. Now to say that my boys are well behaved at all times would be...well, a lie. They are good boys but very rambunctious and they egg each other on to no end! Still, the train and cab rides to Herold Square were painless and I was feeling on top of the world. Sadly, I underestimated what a major toy store would look like during the holiday season, on a Saturday, during Santa Con!
The store was packed and I had two kids and a carriage to try to maneuver through the masses of shoppers. It wasn't easy and there was a lot of sweating on my part, but still the boys were in good spirits so I was still feeling at the top of my game. When we left the store however, things took a turn for the worst. No cab drivers wanted to pick up my brood and I — apparently the kids, the carriage and the packages were a bit of a turn off. But, after 15 minutes of waving my hand frantically on a street corner some poor guy picked us up. Now, I call him “poor guy” because it really hit the fan once we got into the taxi. The kids refused to sit still, fought over who would play with the TV and spent the last 10 minutes of the ride trying to climb through the dividing window of the cab.
In this situation what the heck is a mom supposed to do? I'll tell you what I wanted to do. I was torn between wanting to beat their little butts into submission and wanting to jump out of the cab and leave the boys to their own devices. I mean really, what is your best option in this situation? You can start yelling at them and look like a crazy person, beat them and go to jail, ignore them and look like an idiot or run screaming from the car, leaving your beastly children behind. There is no winning! So the cab ride was hell on earth...really! We skipped seeing the tree since I really wanted to let my kids live to see another day. The train—since it was Santa Con—was the next disaster. The train was packed with tons of intoxicated Santas. What kid doesn't want to ride a train home with 57 vomiting Santas?
There weren't any seats on the train so we had to stand. The little one fell asleep in the carriage and the other begged to be picked up so he could sleep too. My older son weighs about 45 pounds and I had to hold him for an hour and a half while he drooled on my shoulder—probably exhausted from the exorcism he performed in the taxi earlier. Not one person offered me a seat so I stood there with my arms burning with the weight of my son, nearing tears. I contacted all of my friends and family members that evening with this message: “If this time next year I tell you that I am taking the kids into the City for some holiday fun, reach through the phone and slap me.” So my tip for trips with kids is don't do it alone! If I had had an extra set of hands it probably could have gone smoothly, but I was outnumbered and they broke me down! Sorry to put a Bah Humbug on your gusto, but it was just not worth it! At least I will have a story to tell and I do still pride myself on being a fun seeking mama, but next time I'll remember to bring reinforcements. Happy Holidays!