Thursday, July 17, 2008

Summer vacation is driving me crazy

When Diana and I are forced into one another's company, unrelieved, for weeks at a time, we both get a little tired of each other. She, like many children, has a real knack for knowing the difference between fooling around on the the computer, and working. She only interrupts when I work. Lately, she has taken to standing right next to my chair and talking directly into my ear. If you don't think that's maddening, think again.

Marc has a few days off from work, and has suggested we do something fun, the three of us, on Friday. It's going to be hot, so that really leaves out going to the zoo, and so many other things are outrageously expensive. I suggested Indiana Beach, and rather than go into the park where all the amusement rides are, actually go to the beach. I didn't realize how long a drive it would be from here. And given that it might be a disaster (more on that in a sec), I don't know if it's worth the risk and the gas money.

In the past, we have tried to take Diana to things we thought she would enjoy. When she was a small child, still in a stroller, Marc took her to Navy Pier when they were having a Sesame Street thing at the children's museum. It was noisy and crowded, and she shut down. I had to work that day, so I wasn't there to see, but I did see the pictures. Her face was blank; the lights we on but no one was home. It was creepy. It was sad.

When she was older, we took her to a model train show, since she enjoys her wooden train set so much. It was crowded, so much so you could barely see anything, and it was almost more of a retail situation than exhibition. She wanted to touch and could not. She doesn't like to hear "no" any more than any other child.

We took her to Boo at the Zoo once, where there we hundreds of jack o'lanterns carved and lit. She wanted to get popcorn, a sucker, and go home. And whined when we didn't leave immediately.

Most recently, we went to Starved Rock. It was my birthday, and I wanted to do something I wanted to do. (How selfish is that?) She was OK with that until she realized that she couldn't get down to the Fox River to play in the water. Diana does not hike. She started complaining the minute she saw that she wasn't going to get to play in the river. We were only there about 90 minutes. We spent more time in the car.

One thing she does enjoy is riding the Metra train into the city and going to the aquarium. For a few weeks, she and daddy were going in every Sunday. We bought a membership, and she rides the train free on weekends, so this was a really nice and reasonably inexpensive entertainment for her, and us.

I am stressed about the California trip. She may be perfectly fine. It may be a disaster of epic proportion. I need this vacation, too, but mostly I don't want it to be a disaster. If all goes well, it opens the door to other possibilities for us. It would be nice to take family vacations, all three of us, and have them be pleasant. Mostly what we've been doing is taking trips that don't include all of us. 

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