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It was 30 degrees outside and
we were about to leave the Natural History Museum in New York, but my kid wouldn't
put on his coat to go outside. "Put on
your coat," I said for what seemed like the 18th time, "Or I'm taking
He looked at me incredulously and said, "You can't take me
home. We don't live here." He was right.
We didn't live there. We were on vacation for the Thanksgiving holiday week in New
York and unless I wanted to get on a plane, I was in no position to take my kid
home. At home, I'd feel more comfortable
standing my ground until my son did what I'd requested. But on vacation, all
bets were off. Sometimes, it's just too hard to deal.
Throughout the rest of our week in New York, I couldn't help
but notice one exhausted traveler after another dealing with his or her kid's
travel meltdowns. I felt for each and every one of those beleaguered parents
because, chances are, I have dealt with the same bad moods from my
kids. Because even though our kids are having a blast on vacation, they are
still out of their elements, off schedule and on the go, which can make for
some pretty cranky kids.
So if you're planning on traveling this holiday season,
you're in for a lot of family fun. But you're also in for some of your kids to turn
into vacationing Crankensteins. You may
need an extra sip of eggnog to get through that museum meltdown or bad weather blues. But rest assured, you're not alone. Every traveling
parent is in for these kid meltdowns while traveling this holiday season. Ho, ho, oh-no!
You may never see those historic dinosaur bones, but you will see your kid lose his mind.
You'll have spent an arm and a leg for
tickets and you'll wait in line for an hour to get in. But as soon as you do
get in, your kid will decide her or she is bored and begs to leave. You may
never see those historic dinosaur bones, but you will see your kid lose his
mind. And so will everyone else in the museum. Fun!
2. The Now I Have to Pee Whine
Kids don't have to pee when they are, say, near a bathroom.
They also don't have to pee when mom tells them they should try to go. They do
have to use the bathroom "really, really badly" when you've waited in an hour-long line, when you're on a snowy mountain road driving to Grandma's or when
you're about to miss your flight. It's
3. The Hangry Meltdown
Kids turn into demons when they're
hungry, but they never seem to be hungry at mealtime. My kids think I'm a human
diner and that I somehow always have a meal for them on the ready. When we're at the top of the Statue of
Liberty or going up the gondola for skiing, suddenly they're ravenous. And hangry!
4. I'm Not Wearing
That Sweater Grandma Made
sometimes have to fulfill a clothing requirement over the holidays like wearing
a tie to Christmas dinner or putting on that hot, itchy sweater Grandma spent a
year making. Your kids will act like they are being tortured because they have
to wear that sweater and their behavior will feel like torture to you.
5. No More Pictures!
Actually, on vacation I get tired of pictures, too. But the kids will make it
nearly impossible to get one good family photo on holidays. Boo!
6. I Want to Sit
Next to Mommy
We can't get through a meal on vacation without the kids
having a brawl over who gets to sit next to me. It's exhausting and happens
every single meal.
7. The iPad Isn't
There is no angrier human being than a child on an airplane whose iPad isn't fully charged.
Stand back and take cover
because there is no angrier human being than a child on an airplane whose iPad
isn't fully charged.
8. She Got More
Presents Than I Did
Kids want everything to be equal, even if they don't
want the gift the other one got. But somehow those well-meaning aunts and
uncles will still give one kid something more than the other. This will cause a
meltdown of colossal proportion that will never seem to end. Never!
9. Are We There Yet?
Even if your flight just took off, your
children will get antsy and freak out, wondering when they will arrive. You will
too, just so you can stop hearing them whine, "When are we going to get
10. I'm Not Eating
Traveling kids think moms are magicians who can magically make any
kind of food appear anytime. So when they have to eat something new,
they just fall apart.
11. We're All Sharing
A Hotel Room?!
It's rare that
traveling families have enough space in hotel rooms or at a relative's
house. Sharing close quarters can make tired kids and parents combust. Thank God for the minibar!
12. The Car Trip Tantrum
Despite playing I Spy, taking a car nap and stopping to fuel up on junk food,
kids get cabin fever in cars and become the most annoying people on Earth. I'm
not sure why. All they have to do is sit there. Mom and Dad are doing all the
13. The Snow Day Meltdown
Just pray there's an open movie theater on
the bad weather day on your vacation. Otherwise, you'll be in a hotel room or
relative's house with bored kids who will get on each other's nerves, fast!
14. The Souvenir Shop
Before entering any
tourist attraction you will warn your children they will not be buying a souvenir
in the gift shop. Before leaving any tourist attraction, your children will
freak out that they can't buy something. It never fails.
15. But We Don't Want
Grandma to Babysit Us!
A bonus to
visiting to relatives over the holidays is a slew of willing (and free!)
babysitters. But just because you and the hubs have earned a well-deserved date
night doesn't mean your kids will be happy about it. Ignore the tears and enjoy
your night out. You probably need it
after traveling with the kids.
16. I Lost My Lovey!
Parents will do anything to find a lost lovey
while on vacation just to avoid their child's crocodile tears for the duration
of the vacation.
17. I Am Not Doing Homework on Vacation!
It's nice to know that
the meltdown your kid has over homework at home can be transferred to vacation.
Turns out, kids don't have to be at home to hate homework.
But even though your kids will freak out for a good portion
of your holiday vacation, there's nothing better than being together with loved
ones—even if some of those loved ones are furious you won't
let them buy a museum toy. Happy holidays!