stuggling with idea of taking a vacation

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by sjexpress, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. sjexpress

    sjexpress Guest

    husband and I would love nothing more than to take a family vacation out of state with the kids to a theme park they are dying to go to and have fun. We can't afford long, maybe 3 nites because the cost with flight, hotel, park tix, etc.. is up there. Our real problem is that we are just afraid to go because of difficult child and his behavior, especially the way he treats easy child. Our last family vacation was 2 yrs ago and honestly, I think we are still trying to recover!
    2 yrs ago, difficult child had a baseball tournament out of state. We all went to there and then were going to continue on to more fun things to be gone about 6 nites. It was a horrible, terrible, awful time for all of us because of difficult child. I am surprised at some point someone didn't call the cops because of all the commotion at times! I know on that trip difficult child anxiety levels were up a bit because he wanted to do well in his games, but he could never let go of it. He bullied easy child for every little thing, complained about everything you can think of( the bed was too hard, room too hot or cold, didn't like breakfast choices, he didn't like the place we chose to go for lunch/dinner) If we said no to anything, he threw a fit, frequently screamed at us for the smallest of issues. He caused scenes at just about every siteseeing place we were at. difficult child wanted things his way only or no one would be happy! Finally driviing the 5 hr car ride home, husband lost it! difficult child was tormenting easy child in the car doing really mean things to him. When told to stop , difficult child just kept screaming NO, you can't make me and then was throwing things around the car. We were about 45min. from home, it was about midnite, husband pulled over into an empy parking lot, got out, opened difficult child door, unbuckled him and litteraly yanked difficult child from the car and sat him in the road! husband quick got into the car and locked the doors. easy child was beyond crying at this point and difficult child was slamming on the car begging to get in and screaming. He agreed to calm down and be quiet the rest of the ride so we let him in. Unbelieveable though was when we got home and told the kids to get ready for bed, difficult child started in again! I was never so stressed and sick in my whole life! A few months after that trip I still was not feeling well so I saw my doctor and she said my blood pressure was so high, I had to go for tests and am still on medications to help control it. It still is not low enough.
    Anyway, now 2 yrs later, difficult child and easy child fight like mortal enemies as now easy child doesn't take any garbage from difficult child and gives it right back to him! I don't ever seeing this improving. We try to keep them apart sadly as much as possible. Yet, I feel bad that we really don't do anything together. Even during small day outings, things can escalate. Still, I get so jealous when I hear other families doing all these wonderful trips and having fun memories. I feel it is all so unfair to easy child to miss out.
    So, each day i sit at the computer working out all the trip details, imagining how good it could be or worse, how bad. I never of course have clicked the "book it" button because we can't make that decision. We have spoken to the kids about doing things if they behave better( we try not to always direct it at difficult child). Of course they promise to try which lasts maybe a few hrs!
    THe good news is last month difficult child had a baseball tournament about 4 hrs away for a week. He and husband went, I showed up for 3 days. A family member watched easy child while I was gone. difficult child did great with everything and believe me, it was different than anything he had ever done. The team had to stay in dorms together, eat what was served, when it was served, shower as a team, curfew for bedtime, etc.. husband did get to bunk with the team since he is an assist. but we never thought difficult child would do so well. We are still telling him how proud we are of him. So I do see hope but you never know.
    My big problem is do I book this trip or not.? The deal offered won't last much longer. I wish it wasn't like this!!

  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    JMO... but I tend to be VERY conservative about this stuff...

    I wouldn't make an expensive trip at this point in time, given the recent history.
    I'd be building up on short events and outings (from 2 hrs to 2 days) fairly local and low-cost, where you can pull out instantly if things escalate. And then PULL OUT. Consistently. The kids WILL get it, but they need to learn first.

    Others probably feel differently.
  3. idohope

    idohope Member

    I feel your pain and know how hard a decision this is. We have taken yearly vacations. They have gotten easier each year. But easy child 1 is traumatized by some of the vacations from a couple of years ago. The transitions (getting to the airport, coming home) were the hardest. With the exception of one vacation where difficult child had issues every day (like you I cannot believe someone did not call the cops on us that trip), for many of them we had good days once we got there (not perfect days but good days). I am able to get past the hours of screaming on the way to the airport and remember and focus on the good times we had during the trip. DEX and easy child 1 are not. easy child 1 still remembers one particular trip to the airport as one of the worst days of his life. I did think that day that I was going to have to miss the flight with difficult child but then we did get difficult child in the car.

    Writing the above it sounds horrible but, now divorced, I flew with my three kids this summer on a trip and difficult child did fine. So is this one of those things that getting her thru the experience a couple of times she is now able to manage. Or was it something that just traumatized my other kids? I still dont know the answer to that.

    I do know that I wish we had medicated difficult child at those times. Either prn or consistent medication but DEX was not on board with that so it was not an option at the time. But I think it would have been best (and kindest) to difficult child and all.
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I agree, that the medication helps.
    That is, if difficult child isn't too ramped up to agree to take it. :)
    We've taken our difficult child on lots of vacations, but honestly, it would have been more fun with-o all the drama and anxiety.
    I am glad to say that he has been a lot of places, though. The other thing that helps is to have a friend or relative along so you can go on separate rides or eat separate meals, when necessary. My husband took difficult child on Men in Black in Fla (can't recall if it was Universal or Disney) about 10X. I went once I think. I can't do a lot of motion or I get sick. So I went to the Lucy store with-easy child. It worked out really well.
    If I hadn't had husband, I wouldn't have gone. Period.
    Choose your battles ... and your vacations. :)

    P.S. I also showed my difficult child our hotel online, where I could do a room tour. He used to spazz out, not knowing what the bldg or rooms looked like. He also needed to know whether we were transferring flights and if so, how many times.
    He's much, much better now, but again, planning ahead is worth all the time and effort.
  5. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    I totally understand where you are coming from. We have had some vacations that were awfu because of difficult child and his screaming fits. Tantrums in the middle of the Magic Kingdom, screaming as we try to carry him out of the parks. Been there, done that. It sucks. There is no other way to express it.

    I think that difficult child gets too over stimulated by the amusement parks. It's loud and crowded. There are treats everywhere that he wants to eat RIGHT NOW. He woud always want to go back to the room right after lunch and someone woud always have to go back with him because we didn't want him to stay in a hote room by himself. Then once he got there we couldn't get him to leave again, so I always got stuck sitting in the hotel with him while everyone else got to do all of the fun things that we couldn't do with difficult child.

    This year we did a few things differently and it seemed to make things easier for everyone. First of all we let him bring his laptop with him. The room had free Wi-Fi and he has a few games on there that he likes to play. husband said that he could not bring it, but I put my foot down and said that he could and I was not going to take no for an answer. We also let him go back to the room by himself. We were staying on Disney property and he knows how the busses work, so he woud go back to the hotel and call me on my cell phone when he got there. We had a room with a kitchen so I made sure that there were easy things for him to cook because he never wanted to join us for dinner, so most nights he ate in the room.

    Even though we planned alot of these things ahead of time, vacations ALWAYS fill me it a huge amount of anxiety for the exact same reason that you wrote. I spend the whole vacation waiting for the next screaming fit. And I do feel like you do at times, wishing that things were different and that I coud enjoy our family vacations like other families. Hopefully it will get easier as he gets older.