1. Take your kids.
2. (Okay, forget number one.)
3. Rent a vacation house from people who don't have kids and don't like kids. Rent a house from people who are fond of model ships in bottles, glass sculptures, and white, wall-to-wall carpeting.
4. Pull your kid out of camp a week early for your family vacation. Let him miss end-of-camp Carnival. Listen to him cry. Promise him that if he stops you'll get him a digital pet.
5. Listen to Tamagotchi Digital Pet's beeps and wails for hundreds of miles.
6. Forget to bring the car sick bag. Believe your kid has outgrown that problem anyway. Discover you're wrong.
7. Pull off the road and watch your son and husband have a peeing contest.
8. Watch your 8-year-old son win the peeing contest. Endure your husband's muttering about it for the next hundred miles.
9. Listen to your younger child whine, "Mom, he's breathing on me."
10. Listen to the older one ask, "Couldn't we find a nice family to adopt him?"
11. Take along your child's friend who thinks it's hilarious to jam his cheek full of grapes and make gagging noises while you're driving.
12. Arrive to find that when the realtor said "rustic," she meant no indoor plumbing.
13. Call the realtor and inquire about maid service. Listen to her cackle.
14. Week One: Unpack those ten novels you've been dying to read. Week Two: Repack them unread.
15. Forget your kid's favorite Bunny at home. Listen to him sob, "Binky, Binky!" for three nights running.
16. Realize you didn't pack a bathing suit. Have to go buy one. Have to go buy one in the resort boutique where no suit is larger than a size 2 and the dressing room is lit like an airport runway.
17. Let your spouse carry his BlackBerry to the beach. See how well it operates when you get sand in it. See what happens when your toddler drops it in the pool.
18. Discover it's black fly season. Apply the local bug spray called "Irving's Fly Dope." Discover the dope is Irving; the flies love it.
19. Endure 37 rounds of mini-golf with an 8-year-old who cheats.
20. Call home only to hear your mother ask, "And when are we going to see you?"
21. Buy your kid a book of knock-knock jokes to keep him quiet. Be subjected to each one while maintaining a glazed grin.
22. Restrain yourself from slugging your spouse after his hourly query, "Are you relaxed yet?"
23. Be forced to referee your kids' burping contests.
24. Drive by miles of antique shops and craftsmen's galleries without being able to stop and see a single one.
25. Spend 45 minutes sweating on-line in a quaint, un-air-conditioned candy store so you can mail chocolate fudge to all the folks back home.
26. Climb down a steep beach bluff with a toddler on your hip, only to have him immediately need the bathroom back up top.
27. Offer large cash rewards to the child who can keep quiet longest.
28. Realize that ice cream is the only source of protein your kids are getting.
29. Arrive at the famous seafood restaurant you've wanted to try. Discover they don't have hamburgers. Let your kids starve.
30. Forget letting your kids starve. Find a hamburger joint.
31. Ask your older child to watch his brother so you can go to the bathroom for two minutes. Return to find your older child's nose pressed to the TV, the front door open, and your 4-year-old playing in the road.
32. Yell at your older child for letting his brother play in the road. Hear him say, "Well, I only did it once." Hear him ask, "If something happens to him, then can we get a dog?"
33. Bring the babysitter on vacation with you. Have no privacy.
34. Don't bring the babysitter. Have no privacy.
35. Do laundry. Cook. Clean. Sweep sand. Bathe children. Spread suntan lotion. Pack beach toys. Make snacks. Tell yourself it must be a vacation because you've got an ocean view.
36. Finally get that the phrase "family vacation" is the ultimate oxymoron.
Originally published by errant parent.