"Did you bring clean undies?" my 3-year-old asked. I shrugged. She sighed. This is why we were late, she said.
My 3-year-old mounted her rocking horse.
"Get on," she said, adding that we were late for our trip to the hotel.
"Did you bring clean undies?" she asked. I shrugged. She sighed. This is why we were late, she said.
She scoffed when I admitted that I was too big to sit on the rocking horse, moved up an inch and patted the seat behind her. "Hold on," she said, "we're going fast."
We traveled over a hill and through a valley, the scenery looked an awful lot like our basement. A mid-week vacation sounded like a great idea, I told her. Maybe we could do some sightseeing, maybe some swimming?
"No, we're just going to the hotel," she replied before stopping the horse and telling me to get off.
"Where is the hotel?" I asked. She shrugged as if to say it's the journey that's important not the destination.
On the other side of the basement, her older sister loudly tapped the side of a plastic cash register. She wanted to play something else and only agreed to play vacation if she could run the hotel. "OK, but I get to be in charge of everything," she demanded. Her little sister agreed; she was on vacation time and had no interest in running a hotel.
My 3-year-old handed me a packed bag, and I put it over my shoulder. Then she handed me another big bag, then a smaller one. Then she gave me the lunch bag. Then she handed me two pillows for us to sleep on. When I could hold no more, she motioned for me to follow her.
"Wow, it's like we really are on vacation," I said.
At the front desk, my 6-year-old asked for a valid credit card. My 3-year-old turned to me and asked for it. When I told her I didn't have it, she shook her head. This was not the answer she wanted to hear after traveling all day.
I looked around and picked up a stray baseball card. "Oh, here it is," I said.
They both looked at me. "That's a baseball card," my oldest replied.
"Can we just pretend?" I asked. They agreed. "Are my hotel points valid here?" I asked.
My oldest showed us to our room, great grandma's old couch. "This is nice," I told her.
She smiled and handed me a cat and walkie talkie.
"Call me on the walkie talkie if you need anything during your stay," she said.
"What's the cat for?" I asked.
"Oh, she's just fuzzy," she replied. "It's one of the things we offer here. Just pet her a couple times and let her go."
The cat was fine with this.
We spent our trip calling the front desk to bring us crazier things, like cake, milkshakes and another cat.
"You know, when you're caught up in the day-to-day, you don't realize how nice it is to get away," I told my daughter.
She put her feet up on my leg and agreed.
Reach Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @DaveManley