Well guys, I promised you something humorous, pointless, and absurd … I think I delivered, but you be the judge. (We could certainly use it!)
Last holiday season, I got a night away over winter break, a night away. It had been 6 months, almost to the day, since the last time I’d gotten a night away. Apparently, I’m on the half year excursion plan. Twice a year, I take the long ride from West Ft. Lauderdale to East Fort Lauderdale, or South Beach, or Naples and spend a single night with as much day wrapped around both sides as my parents or in-laws will allow. When choosing my resort for said trips I look for something close (for optimum veg time). Proximity is second, only to my first criteria: NO KIDS.
Yes, I said it … NO KIDS. The last thing I want to do on my “vacay” is deal with other people’s children (who I usually like way less than my own) or worse, go somewhere so kid friendly, that I spend my 36 hours imagining how much fun my kids would have had if we’d brought them…
So, I had the daunting task of finding a close hotel that was kid free during winter break. Winter f@cking break, when every cold frostbitten family packs up their 2.5 children, takes their pets to the kennel, and migrates south hoping to thaw out. I needed to chill out — and the best place seemed to be this boutiquey hotel on Lauderdale Beach.
It screamed over 21. The pool was a sleek long, narrow rectangle with no slides or falls. The décor was very hip, and mod, in an Ian Schrager, “don’t touch that kid, it will break” kinda way. I would avoid a place like this at all costs with my kids, as it’s clean lines, it’s “is that a book shelf or a sofa” esthetic and over thought-out minimalistic light fixtures blarred “BORING” to anyone under 16. I made my reservation and banked on other families’ sense of “funlessness” to be on par with my own.
Wearing my too teeny bikini, I immediately found the pool and within moments I was donning headphones, reading my book and sipping champagne (just like at home). Totally enthralled with my book, I must not’ve noticed the influx of people at my tiny boutique pool. But then I heard someone scream, “Marco!” and though I am in South Florida where a name like Marco is not so uncommon, I could tell this was not some adult woman calling her adult husband to come put sunblock on her back.
“What the hell was that?” I asked my hubby as if the sound came from the wild.
“Um a kid,” He replied, confident it was not some rare mating call.
I looked up and, lo and behold, it wasn’t just one kid it was a whole pack of them. Maybe five, ranging in age from about 4 to 10. I shuddered, as the largest one, who was undeniably their bossy leader, demanded a pool game that had them screaming answers to random questions, and swimming all over my tiny boring minimalistic pool.
Leader: “WHAT‘S YOUR FAVORITE SHOW?”
Kid 1: “WHAT?”
Kid 2: “She said what’s your favorite show,” the little one repeated shaking in fear.
Kid 1: “OH. I’LL GIVE YOU A HINT, IT’S TWO WORDS.”
Leader: “TOTAL DRAMA ISLAND?”
Kid 1: “I SAID 2 WORDS!”
Leader: “TOTAL DRAMA ACTION?”
Why are they screaming, they’re 5 feet apart?
Well, after 20 full minutes of guessing and screaming the answer turned out to be iCarly. (In case you were on the edge of your seat, like I was.)
The sintillating conversation ending like this:
Leader: “THAT’S CHEATING. MAAAAAAAAA, MOM, MOMMY, MOM! HE CHEATED! HE SAID IT WAS TWO WORDS AND iCARLY IS JUST……..”
Technically the leader was right.
More importantly, was this really happening? Had my music faded into the background and the passage of my book still not registered after reading it 3 times over? I’m so capable of tuning out my own kids, why was I not able to use this skill on someone else’s?
I watched as kid 4 goaded kids 2 and 3 by bobbing up and down chanting “DIVE!” every “DIVE!” time “DIVE!” his head “DIVE!” cleared the water. I guess he hoped this would annoy them. It was a valiant effort.
I gave the parents a sideways glance to let them know that it was working on me, but they pretended not to notice.
One would think, out of politeness, I would be less overtly bothered by other people’s children, but the truth is, I have to save that rigorous acting job for when my own send me over the edge.
The bobbing continued and noodles burst across the pool like fireworks. This is the reason they invented Adult Swim… and boutique hotels. While frantically searching for someone with a whistle, I studied the other adults.
Why were they so calm? Why weren’t they shooting looks at the over-permissive parents like I was? Were they not being over-permissive? —allowing their children to have so much fun around the pool on vacation?
Then it hit me…the hot tub. The one refuge that still belongs to us serious adults. With my book in hand I crossed the trendy stretch only to find another pack; they were multiplying faster than cellulite dimples on my outer thigh area, and now they had infiltrated the sacred whirlpool area. An area that actually has an age requirement.
It was unnatural, like seeing raccoons scavenging during the day, it was just wrong. Two kids watched the third one diving to the bottom against the current of the jets, kicking his feet all the while.
OK, “Scroodgelady,” let’s regroup. I’m supposed to be representing the next generation of parents; the millennium parents, cool overly permissive parents that spoil our children and treat them as friends. Not our parents generation, who would’ve scoffed before entry and sent the kids running for the hills.
We “hip parents” have a rep to protect, right? We’re like kids ourselves. In fact, if you hadn’t met our children you would think we were too young, too fun, too awesome to be at such a boring pool in the first place.
I told myself, “Say something funny and age-inappropriate to shattering their vision of adults as naysayers and fun-enders.” So, after carefully choosing my words I let my tension go, eased into the whirlpool and said, “Could you please stop splashing, it’s getting my iPad all wet. I don’t think you guys are even supposed to be in here.” I turned to pat my iPad with my towel and when I turned around they were gone. “Awesome, shmawesome.”