Ahhhh vacation. Mexico. Sun. Sand. Surf. Margaritas. Sounds like heaven – except for the boy.
We know we were lucky to be able to have a family vacation in Mexico this spring break and leave Fort Collins for five days. And, we had fun. I certainly don’t want to sound ungrateful. BUT we also had the boy. Our son is five and that alone makes a travel vacation risky. The boy is beautiful and smart and energetic but can sometimes be a real downer. He is a pessimist. He always finds something negative about every situation. We could be walking along the beach at sunset and he can complain that it is too windy. We could be looking at whales on a sunset cruise and he can complain that the water smells too fishy. He can complain about anything.
I never really thought about it before, but if you know an adult like this, one who is very negative, they were probably negative as a child as well. My mom was like that – and my husband says that the boy is channeling her. I try to talk to him about it in the most simple well-chosen mommy words that I can muster. I try to ask him about his feelings but I am usually only met by a stony silence and pouty lips. What to do?
One of the worst consequences of this negativity comes from my daughter who loves to say ,“I wish we never adopted him” followed by “he is ruining our vacation”. I mean, he can really be a killjoy but I worry she is picking up this message from me.
We try to work around him and his sullenness, but it can be draining especially when all you want to do is kick back and escape your problems. Travelling as a family means that most of your problems come too.
I try not to let his moods get to me. Sometimes I tell him to sulk somewhere else so he doesn’t ruin everyone’s good time. We try to have alone time with each child hoping that they will feel special and also get a break from each other. I suppose I will REconsult with the child psychologist again - to just check in and see if he has any useful parenting advice. I try to check the things I say out loud so both kids don’t get “permission” to think similar thoughts.
And then there are moments when everyone is happy and we all just click. The dinner has been to everyone’s satisfaction. There has been laughing and free flowing conversation. I have a slight buzz from my Pacifica. Those are the moments I will try to hold on to and remember.