As any stay at home parent can attest, summer holidays are really a survival game. Can you survive two months of constantly being surrounded by your kids, their friends, their mess, and their demands, without becoming a raging alcoholic?
I am here to say, so far so good!
There have been some tense moments, I’ll not lie. For instance, dropping the hot queso dip all over myself and the floor at Taco del Mar. Fun times! Or, even better, closing the dressing room door on my youngest daughter’s fingers! Yep. That felt good!
You know what made it even better?
They both happened on the SAME BLOODY DAY! Yep. Good times!
I .. we .. made it through. And not even a drop of wine touched these lips! Swear to God!
Okay, that may have been because my insides have been acting up so much lately that I’m actively avoiding anything that could remotely set me off! But hey, a win is a win is a win. Right?
Life Lessons Progress Report
Queso flavoured hoodies and crushed fingers aside, this summer we have been having fun and learning things as we go. This is largely due to my Mummy’s Camp. The girls look forward to new lessons each morning and were slightly disappointed they are only to be Monday to Friday! As if I could keep up that intensity 24/7!
You can read in depth about our first three lessons on wardrobe planning and creating a traveler’s notebook in last weeks post. On Thursday we talked about map reading. That may seem like a skill that’s not needed now with the rise of Siri and Google Maps, but, as I pointed out to them, learning symbols, conventions and how use them to navigate in unfamiliar settings will always be a good skill to have. In the specific case of our cruise, there’s no Siri on board to help them find the pool, the buffet, or our cabin again! Rockin’ it Old School became more important to them after that!
** Edited to add: Foiled! Yep, there’s an app for everything, even finding your way around your cruise ship. Doh! Oh well, the youngest two will have to work with the paper versions as they are not allowed to bring their devices on this cruise.
We talked about nautical terms and how to figure out your port from your starboard even when you’re in the bowels of the ship and can’t see which way the water is slipping past the hull! And finally we went over the route our boat will take up the West Coast to Alaska.
On Friday we learned how to properly pack our suitcases. And yes, there is a proper way! LOL! As someone who has traveled extensively since a very young age, I feel uniquely qualified to teach them a thing or two. They watched me demonstrate with my eldest daughter’s case as she was the only one with clean clothes ready to pack. Not sure how well that lesson stuck in their heads. Time will tell, but at least they seemed interested. Baby steps, right?
The last thing we talked about on Friday was all the things that parents normally do to shut up your house before an extended absence. You know, cancel the newspapers, arrange to have a neighbour water your plants and bring in your mail, those sorts of things. These are the tasks that I don’t think too many children even realize need to be done! I tried to assign responsibilities to get them more involved too. Like emptying all the garbage bins and turning off all the lights. I even printed off the list and stuck it to our fridge so they can be involved in crossing them off. Giving them nagging rights over me and their Dad was a big hit!
I may live to regret that!
On the other hand, any time you can give your child a sense of ownership and responsibility, they gain confidence and we gain trust. Everyone wins!
So what are we doing this week on the cruise?
Our first week learning all about ways to prepare for a trip is done. Now the trip is here are we are putting our lessons into practice.
This Mum doesn’t believe in taking a holiday from learning. That being said, I also don’t believe in forcing my kids to sit through hours of “lessons” instead of hanging with Mickey and his pals. So my lessons are quick, fun, and maybe a tiny bit “out there”.
Monday – more map reading as we explore our deck plans and the ship thoroughly. (**And check out that blasted app. Darn you Disney!) We will also go over basic safety tips, participate in the safety drill, talk about behaviour expectations, and look at itinerary planning as we explore our options for on board entertainment. Probably be some lessons on compromise here too!
Tuesday – stateroom etiquette including how to show respect for your housekeeping staff by not leaving your underwear in the middle of the floor, and how to make a bed with proper hospital corners. The latter is one of those skills that is completely lost now with the practically exclusive use of duvets. But I’m old fashioned enough to think it ranks up there as something everyone should know how to do. You just never know when you may need it! And as for the first part of the lesson, showing respect for all people, no matter what their position in life, seems to be extra topical at the moment!
Wednesday – wild life and scenic expectations of Tracey Arm Fjord. Binocular pointers as well as simple photograph composition tips will be talked about too. Their travelers notebooks will come into play as I will get them to talk about what they saw. And maybe draw a picture.
Thursday – exploring Skagway, including learning about the Gold Rush, and some money management as we shop for souvenirs. We looked into doing an excursion to the Yukon but it is fairly pricey. Seeing as the scenery is quite similar to what we saw last summer during our Rockies road trip, we will most likely opt to wander the town itself. I’d like to have been able to say I’d “been to the Yukon” but … guess I’ll just have to make it there another time!
Friday – exploring Juneau and the Mendenhall Glacier. We did walk up to the base of the Athabasca Glacier last summer so this is also not new scenery to us. But after almost a week of cruise indulgences, a long walk will be good for us! Hopefully the weather cooperates! If we have time, I’d like to take them to the State Capital Buildings and see if we can’t manage to learn a few things about how our Southern (or in this case, Northern) neighbours govern themselves.
Each day I will be encouragimg them to add both written and artistic entries into their traveler’s notebooks. Call it a “What I did at Camp” kind of assignment! I’ve thrown a glue stick into my bag if they want to glue any memorabilia in as well. I can’t wait to see what they do!
Well, that is my plan. I am currently writing this before we leave as I’m flat out not paying Disney’s exorbitant WiFi fees on board! Should I find some free WiFi I may add to this post with specifics but otherwise you will have to wait until next week.
I hope you are all having a fantastic week! Talk to you soon.