Vacation with Kids is No Vacation

For the past two weeks, my kids have had no camp or day care. My wife and i have swapped time mostly, so that one of us can get some work done. Last week, we stayed in Upstate, NY. My wife typically gets up with the kids first and then wakes me after an hour or so and goes back to bed.

We are trying to move forward on our film about the Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn so my goal was to give her as much time as possible to work. At the same time, I was trying to paint our house. I’ve found that when I’m just with my two kids, ages 3 and 7, they tend to really get on each others nerves, so I sought out some friends for them. One family that we hang out with has three kids and the mom was busy fighting mold that had creeped into their house. I ended up taking 5 kids to a river to swim. It was actually easier than bringing just my two- but it was still exhausting. My younger one is a bit needy and wants to be held all the time. By the end of those days, I was exhausted.

I’ve also found that the kids respond really poorly to having no structure like camp or school to give them a focus. As much as I try to keep things scheduled I can’t seem to keep up a momentum.

“Hey, let’s get going to the river”

“NOOOO,” they respond.

It always goes like that. At some point, I lose my patience. I can stay calm for a long time. After a while, my calmness and patience seems completely ineffective- and when I realize how ineffective it is I often just… explode.

“All right let’s go go go- get in the goddam car- we’re leaving now!!!!”

Unfortunately, that’s often much more effective than calm gentle pleadings.

There’s only a few more days till school starts and both my wife and I are shot.

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