Our Surprise Vacation Is Taking All The Fun Out Of Parenting!

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Over four months ago, my husband and I planned a family trip to Disneyland. We thought it would be such a great idea to keep the vacation a secret and then surprise the pants off our kids. Thursday is finally the big reveal day and it can’t come soon enough because this secret has been absolutely killing me!

At first I loved the idea. But as the months ticked by, it got harder and harder to keep my lips zipped. If you really know me, you know that I’m not the most skilled keeper of secrets. I once told a friend that her boyfriend was cheating on her, I revealed to my sister what her husband bought her for Christmas and I even accidentally mentioned to my aunt that her kids were surprising her with a trip to Italy!

Do you know what’s the most difficult part? Not being able to hang this little gem over my children’s heads. 

I kid you not – this is the type of parent I am. Sure, I want to surprise them. I want to watch them freak out so much it becomes the must-see video this month on You Tube! But what really galls me the most about this surprise is all those moments I’m missing – those golden Mommy moments. You know the ones I’m talking about, the juicy little bon mots like “If you don’t stop flushing your brother’s head down the toilet Santa isn’t coming.” 

For example, I can’t say:

“If you don’t pick up your toys we won’t go to Disneyland.”

And I certainly can’t say:

“I’m going to tell Mickey Mouse if you don’t stop hitting you’re brother.“

And I most definitely can’t say:

“If you don’t eat your breakfast, we are not getting on that plane!“

For someone like myself who uses what might be loosely termed “threats” as a parenting tool, these last four months have been truly difficult. You would think this ordeal might have helped me grow as a parent – I might have found better way to discipline my children, had a few parenting breakthroughs that would land me on the cover of Time Magazine like the Tiger Mother – but nope, not me. 

Instead I’ve just bitten my tongue so much that it’s permanently black and blue. And all I’m left with is a sense of longing, a sense of missed opportunities, and a sense of woulda-coulda-shoulda. Why? Because we just don’t get that many opportunities like this. The kind that turn our kids into instant angels – ready to do just about anything for me; lug the laundry up the stairs, clear the dinner table, stop beating the crap out of each other, heck, I probably could’ve gotten the four year old to blacktop my driveway – it worked for my mother! 

One thing is for sure – once the big surprise is over if these kids are not hyperventilating to the point of vomiting, I will consider this DISNEYWORLD SECRET MISSION a complete wash. 

For now I’m just consoling myself with the thought that once we get to Disney… all bets are off! (In fact, I’m actually giggling with excitement.) Just imagine it – the “You’re not going on that ride/in that pool/having breakfast with Mickey/getting that t-shirt unless you…” possibilities are endless!! 

I guess it just goes to show you – Disney World really is the happiest place on earth.

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