“I’m Not Going to Say It Again” and Other Ridiculous Things We Say On Family Vacation


family vacation

It’s summer and we’re on family vacation. It’s just me and my husband, and our four kids ages 7, 5, 2 and 1. We’re experiencing more time together than usual while having less snacks, laundry, space and patience than we get when we’re at home. And money is flying out of our hands for important purchases like a bag of rocks or a test tube with a fake bug encased in slime just so that we can have a few minutes of quiet. (Yes, these were real purchases).

We’re taking our kids hiking in the woods so that they can see beautiful gorges or scenic views from the cloud observatory at the top of Whiteface Mountain, but their favorite part of the day so far has been the candy shop in town. We’re also getting a constant running play-by-play of how burning or freezing, stuffed or starving, bored or exhausted our kids are (apparently they live in a land of extremes). But, we’re all loving it out here on vacation – really, I swear.

If you pass us on the street in town, or see us running around at the beach, or listen to us while you drive by our car, you might hear some of these conversations on repeat and will know what a good time we’re having:

“Can I get some privacy please?” (Variations include, can mommy and daddy just sit down for one minute? Can everyone please just sit quietly for a few minutes? Can you guys go play over there for a little while?). Apparently, the answer to all of the above is, “No, no and no.” The minute my husband or I sit down, we are swarmed and bombarded by requests for snacks, requests to play, and/or tattling about which sibling touched whom last. We obviously want to see our kids – that’s why we took them with us on vacation and ignored the complimentary kids camp at our hotel. Still, it would be nice to have just a few minutes to ourselves, so we optimistically keep asking for it.

“Watch this!!” This one is on repeat from our kids. Most of the time, I don’t even know what I’m supposed to be watching, but when asked, I will always reply that it looks “really cool.”

“Poopy, poopy.” Somehow, almost every conversations devolves into poop. I don’t know how it ends up there, but it always does. I think I just heard my one-year-old say it and laugh hysterically.

“I have to go to the bathroom.” This one usually comes either (1) after we asked three or more times who had to go to the bathroom before we left, or else it happens (2) right after they just went. If you ask in disbelief, “Didn’t you know we had to go before we left?” Or “Didn’t you just go?” they will look at you equally shocked. “But I have to go again!” Sigh.

“Are we there yet?” This one starts the second seat belts are buckled.

“When can we…(have a snack, go back to the hotel, go in the pool?).” These are apparently the only 3 things our kids want to do on this trip.

“Keep your hands to yourself.” We keep saying it, but the hands keep flying around…

Which brings us to “Don’t make me say it again.” Which of course, we will…over and over again. It’s hard to follow through on empty threats when we just want to relax ourselves.

Of course, this list is tongue-in-cheek as we really are having fun making memories and laughing along the way. After all, if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry, right? Exhausting as it is, we are having a great time exploring and sharing experiences outside of the normal routine. We know that what we remember and enjoy will be totally different from what our kids do, but as long as I find my two sons laughing and throwing themselves back in their beds saying, “This is the life,” I know we’re doing something right.

What will you remember (and hopefully laugh about) on your family vacations?


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  2. Kate S,

    We have a vacay coming up and I hear myself saying the same things! You are giving them experiences, that is very important! Now they know so much more about the world than before even if those facts include where the best candy store is! You are lucky to have had a vacation because many people can’t afford too. Enjoy it all now because before we know it our kids will be traveling with other peoples families and want to bring friends along with them. You will miss the poop conversations! Safe travels!


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