When your kids are old enough to want you gone.

This is the third year in a row that I’ve shipped my two children off to their grandparents for part of their summer vacation.  Although this will be their longest trip yet, it will probably be the easiest.  On them.

Apparently, they are now old enough to not give a crap about leaving their mother behind.

I started to get an idea of just how little of a crap they would be giving a few weeks ago.  Emma was in our bed and the two of us were awake in the middle of the night because her skin was itching after an afternoon spent in a neighbor’s pool.  To be clear: I was awake with the kid at about 2am.  Her father was fast asleep beside us.

And yet…

In an effort to soothe her, I started talking about our upcoming vacation plans.  “We leave for Iowa in just a few days,” I whispered as I stroked her hair and held her hands to prevent more scratching.

You are going on my vacation?” Although we had discussed this part of the plan numerous times, she seemed to require the haze of 2am to pick up on this little detail.

“Yep!  I’ll be there with you!” I knew she would be relieved, especially since she sobbed last year when I sent her off.

“Why?  Why would you do that?”

“uhh…”  She was – well – pissed.

And then she started to cry.  “Why are you coming on my vacation?”

“I’m not going to be there the entire time,” I assured her, hoping that my impending abandonment would calm her. “I just have to take you to Iowa.  You can’t fly by yourself!”

“No!  Just send Dad then!”

Dad.  The same Dad that was literally snoring beside me at 2am in the morning.  Parental justice is a bitch.  I woke up Dad and made him go get her more lotion.  Marital justice is petty like that.

Flash forward a week or so and we’re waking up for the first time in Grandma’s new house.  Everyone is asleep but Emma and me.  I am awake because Emma is awake and hungry and she needs someone to get her breakfast.  As her mother, I happily drag my butt out of bed at not even 7am on vacation so that she can be fed.

“What do you want to eat, Kid?” I ask as we snoop through Grandma’s brand new refrigerator and cupboards.

“I dunno.”

“Hmmm… looks like we have eggs, fruit, cereal…” I continue opening and shutting dozens of doors.

“Pop Tarts,” she decides.

I check the cupboard that seemed to contain the most amount of food.  No Pop Tarts.  I go back to surveying the 13 varieties of cereal. “Doesn’t look like Grandma has any Pop Tarts.  How about Raisin Bran, Honey Nut Cheerios, or -”

“Pop Tarts.”

“Yeah, I heard you.  We don’t have any Pop Tarts.  Do you want some cereal or eggs or -”

“Pop Tarts.” Like she’s two again.  Or maybe 16.  Or 80 and belligerently senile.

“Emma,” I turn around to face her, “Grandma. doesn’t. have. Pop Tarts.”  I’ve found that children are like foreigners and speaking slowly makes it less likely that they will argue with you.  I turn back to the cupboards, “besides, you never have Pop Tarts.  I’m not sure what makes you think you absolutely have to have them this morning.”

“WHY are you ON my VACATION?” she wailed, her voice filled with as much desperation and helplessness and sense of injustice as a 5 year old can muster.

“Excuse me?”

“WHY are you HERE?”

“Do you think that if I wasn’t hear you’d be eating something else?”

“Yes!  I’m on vacation!”

I assured her that she would be eating the same thing for breakfast whether I was there or not.  She crawled down from the bar stool and disappeared from the kitchen.  She returned a few minutes later with her grandmother in tow.

We had pancakes fresh off the griddle for breakfast.

Missing the shit out of me. Clearly.

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  1. Bet she will have Pop Tarts soon!!
    I think your kids and your Mother are very lucky that they get this time together. They all will have such close bonds and memories forever. Grandparents are very important people and Grankids are a gift.
    I am a little envious of you but really I hope you enjoy every second of your break too.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @J from Ireland, they are really lucky because they get to share their time with my mom, my dad and step mom, and Jared’s parents. The nice thing about family being in one place. ;-)

  2. Yeah, she’s just like my Claire. I went on their vacation to Gramma’s last week and she was PISSED I tagged along. Every time I told them “no,” she told them “sure.”

    I’m amazed they even got in the car to come back to Orlando.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing], I’m pretty lucky I guess that no one flat out defies me, but I do hear a lot of “ohhh, it’s fine” and then we have to have the “nooooo, it’s not” conversation.

  3. MB says:

    I’m sure Grandma is stocked with Pop Tarts by now. Enjoy YOUR vacation!

    • Miss Britt says:

      @MB, I bet you’re right. Apparently there was a whole discussion before our arrival about whether or not to buy Pop Tarts, but they weren’t sure if the kids still liked them.

  4. toywithme says:

    Next stop “You’re ruining my life!” But they are so cute when sleeping :)

  5. I dropped my 10 year old daughter off at for a week of summer camp on Sunday and she literally pushed me away when it was time to go. She’s pushing me back to the car and was like, “Ok Mommy, you can go now. Go! Go! See you later Mommy!” Geeezzzeee way to kick me in the mommy heart!! I wanted to hug her (for the 4th time) but she didn’t want anything else to do with me. *sad mommy* I want my little girl back who always needs me. She’s growing up and becoming so independent. It’s a good thing, but *sniff sniff pouty lip* I miss my babygirl!

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Betsy @JavaCupcake, when I said “I’m leaving for real this time, bye!”, my 10 year old said “this is the third time you’ve been leaving for real! See ya!”

  6. Darla says:

    Oh that is HILARIOUS! The rudeness of you going on her vacation like that. What were you thinking. :P

  7. Ren says:

    I’d have gone straight back to bed when she again questioned your presence. Of course, I probably wouldn’t have gotten up in the first place, but that’s another matter.

  8. Lisa says:

    Dude you are SO screwed when she hits 12! Emma is awesome.

  9. Sybil Law says:

    Oh, yes – they turn on your pretty quickly.
    And those damned grandparents making everything so special! Can’t compete! :)
    Enjoy your vacation!

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Sybil Law, I swear it was just yesterday that she couldn’t leave my side.

      Her brother, on the other hand, hasn’t had a loyal bone in his body since birth. lol

  10. Hockeymandad says:

    Haha, you got served. You also might want to have some pop tarts when she gets home.

  11. Nix says:

    Smart girl, that Emma, when all else fails… get Grandma!

  12. I’m in the phase where my kids don’t want me to leave their sight, which is equally exhausting.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @designHer Momma, I was in that phase two weeks ago, I swear. And then all of a sudden… *sigh*

      I have to admit though, leaving them when they don’t want you to is way more heartbreaking. The next stage is easier (I promise).

  13. Mandi Bone says:

    My Amelia told me the other day she couldn’t wait till she was old enough to drive so she could drive away from me.

  14. avitable says:

    When did she go from 5 to 15? It’s crazy!

  15. hatta says:

    If that was my daughter Grandma would have driven her to the store and bought pop tarts or figured out a way to make home-made poptarts :D
    They spend 1 week every summer with her and even though it’s 6 weeks away the count down has started and I will be expected to leave shortly after dropping them off. Seriously last time I stayed 1 night and my kids kept asking when I was leaving…it makes me wonder what really goes on at grandmas.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @hatta, my son does that, too! “Didn’t you say you were dropping us off? I thought that meant you were leaving.”

      Same thing when we get a sitter at home. “OK, so you should go now, right?”

  16. Robin says:

    Yeah, I remember going to visit my grandparents they would dote on me and fawn over me. I would get sugar cereal and they’d take me shopping. Damn, just realized this story here has a depressing ending so I’ll just leave it there, with no point whatsoever.

  17. muskrat says:

    When they get back, tell them Disneyworld burned down after God sent a lightning bolt into the driest part of the theme park as punishment for her attitude of ungratefulness. That’ll learn her.

  18. Finn says:

    This is almost as funny as the cat pooping in your purse.

    I bet Emma had something to do with that…

  19. Nancy says:

    Ahh yes. The moments you wish that dropkicking your kids across state lines was legal.

    I hope the Pop Tart people are reading your post. They apparently need to hook up Emma, STAT!

  20. Steph says:

    Honest to God I am currently wishing I could ship my two off to grandma’s house for the Summer. I used to go every year, I spent very few Summer weeks at home. I know I’d be miserable without them but with our weather this year I am miserable WITH them and I need a vacation!!

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