Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Remember Your Sunscreen!

1. If you were planning a vacation on honor of your own 60th birthday and taking along your extended family, including two toddlers, would you look for a destination:
a. close to home, minimizing travel but also minimizing the sense of getting away from it all
b. somewhat more distant, necessitating a few hours’ worth of travel but increasing the exotic factor
c. so remote that it requires thirteen hours of travel, including one long plane trip, one short plane trip, a boat ride, and a car ride
2. If you were deciding how long said vacation would be, would you choose:
a. a couple of days, since it’s so hard for everyone to get away
b. a whole week, since if we’re going to get away, we should really have enough time to enjoy ourselves
c. nine days, since otherwise you can’t use your frequent flier miles
3. If you were selecting a place to stay on said vacation, would you choose:
a. a family-oriented resort, with lots of opportunities for toddler recreation and babysitting though it might be less appealing for grownups
b. a house on the beach that could be babyproofed to some degree
c. a villa on a cliff, with a central courtyard containing a lovely “eternity” swimming pool as its centerpoint that cannot be blocked off from the rest of the house in any way, and with overhanging balconies without safety rails, and with beds that are three feet off the stone floor
4. If you were planning for how everyone would be fed on said vacation, would you choose
a. a place with all-inclusive meals
b. a place with a variety of restaurants around
c. a remote villa with a kitchen and directions to a supermarket an hour away
5. If on said vacation one of the 20 pieces of luggage was lost, do you think it would it be
a. The suitcase containing the snorkeling gear that could easily be rented at the destination anyway
b. The suitcase containing Daddy’s shorts and t-shirts
c. The suitcase containing the baby’s clothes and sun-protection suits, Mama’s clothes and bathing suit, and Mama’s soap, lotion, toothbrush, and tampons (said tampons being needed for the first time in two and half years)
6. Prior to said tropical vacation, do you think Nana was diagnosed with
a. a freckle
b. a mole
c. melanoma
The true answer to all of the above is, of course, c. Yes, my in-laws decided that they wanted to do Nana’s birthday up in style, and take everyone (me, TrophyHusband, and AngelBaby; my pregnant sister-in-law, her husband, and PerfectCousin; and my brother-in-law and his girlfriend) on a Big Trip. Which was very, very generous.

The biggest problem, of course, was #6 above. Nana had a little mole removed from her back a week ago, and two days before leaving, the diagnosis came back as melanoma. Which sounds terrifying, and it is; fortunately, it’s superficial spreading melanoma, which if you’ve got to have a melanoma, is the one to have, because the vast majority of people who get it do just fine. Of course, this diagnosis makes being in the tropics seem a little less appealing to everyone, and we’re all leaving the puddles of grease wherever we sit, we’re so slicked up with sunscreen. Nana is holding up wonderfully well – she’s one of those people who have an amazingly positive attitude at all times. I do tease about her, but she’s a wonderful person, and I love her dearly.

The missing bag has been located, and is supposed to be put on the boat to this island today. Until then I’m wearing my mother-in-law’s clothes and spare bathing suit. She’s a MILF, so it could be worse, but seeing me in her sexy bikini gave my husband a little frisson of utter wrongness. (Can’t borrow anything from sister-in-law, since she’s 17 weeks along now.)

AngelBaby was pretty great throughout the entire thirteen hour trip. PerfectCousin, on the other hand, actually cried on the plane, vomited in the airport, and trailed snot everywhere he went. I guess we’ll have to call him SlightlyImperfectCousin from now on. (He only vomited the one time, and sister in law thinks it was a Slurpee that didn’t agree with him, not a virus. I would be suspicious, but this kid does get stuffed like a goose for foie gras, so it may be true. No one else is looking green around the gills yet.)

We’re on a remote island in the Virgin Islands, in a truly stunning, if toddler-unfriendly, villa. We discovered a wonderful product that made me far less frightened for the life of AngelBaby. We’ve put the bands on the toddlers’ ankles, so they look like convicts on house arrest. I’m watching AB napping right now; can’t leave him, since the fall from the bed to the floor is truly concussion-risking. (Can’t put the mattresses on the floor – lizards and giant cockroaches, you know.)

But tonight? Daquiris, pina coladas, Mai Tais, Panty Rippers … Spring Break! Woo-hoo! (Apologies to Feral Mom.)

(We’re also occasionally a Naked Family. I’ll leave you for now with that somewhat disturbing picture in your head.)


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if you're in Virgin Gorda, but we took our now almost 4 year old there when she was 11 months old. It was all fine, except for the teeny 64-seat jet from Puerto Rico to St. Thomas and then the oldest, ricketiest ferry from St. Thomas to Virgin Gorda. Let's just say that my daughter had her first taste of Corona MIGHTY quick through the old mam's milk, about 5 minutes after we finally arrived!

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking: Let's see...my mother? C, C, C,C, god forbid the melanoma because my mother has spent most of her life in the tropics without sunblock. Sorry about your lost luggage.

I completely sympathize here. She makes us do 'c' even with a villa on the side of a cliff, an ungated pool and a scenic bridge with a 30 foot drop onto concrete. When I'm freaking out while pregnant and trying to climb up giant rocks on a riverbank or freaking out with a newborn on a speedboat ride over coral reefs she's like "Oh, Ozma, how do you think I raised you? You survived." Sort of like--What's wrong with kids these days! Won't even take their toddlers on one lane highways without a carseat. Or cross rushing rivers with toddler in one hand and a beer cooler in the other.

I guess it made us interesting but I do think she was lucky we all survived our childhood.

I hope you have an amazing time! There's an upsaid to all this, I have to admit. And Hellboy will have a fantastic time in the ocean.

Orange said...

Look on the bright side! Nana could have chosen a Disney resort in the Orlando/Kissimmee area, and bought Parkhopper passes so everyone could spend every day at the theme parks. I hope this perspective slightly makes up for the 13-hour journey, the stone floors, the cliff, and the waylaid tampons.

Hooray for Naked Families! (Provided you're not talking about you and the Trophy being naked together with his parents and sister, that is.)

Mignon said...

Sounds, um, wonderful? Except I can't get past the no-tampons and Naked Family image. Plus, I just got my first period after almost 2 years and it was a fucking torrent. Needed two boxes of supers.

Thanks for the link on that turtle thing. We have a creek in our yard and I'm slightly OCD about the baby getting near it. That little bracelet is perfect.

DoctorMama said...

monica -- it WAS Virgin Gorda -- how did you guess?

ozma -- you have me beat. I will stop complaining.

orange -- that perspective is excellent. I hope to go to my grave never having seen Disneyworld, but I could imagine inlaws thwarting this dream. No comment on when/where Nakedness took place.

mignon -- the turtle worked great. He was actually very good about the pool, but he did mess around with the hose and set the thing off a couple of times. It was reassuring to know it worked. He enjoyed wearing it, too -- naked except for the turtle and his sandals.