Thursday, January 9, 2014

Doing it right.

[Note: This post was originally published on The Mrs on July 14, 2012.]

Last weekend marked the end of a (wonderful!) whirlwind week for the Lannis family.

Our favourite American relatives (okay, our only American relatives) came to visit.

It’s Mr Lannis’ sister, Rhonda, her husband, and three daughters (ages 8, 6, and 3.5 years).

It was (naturally) psychotic around here — a little upside down to say the least.

If they weren’t sleeping here, then we were driving to see them where they were staying (an hour away at Nana’s house), and that was just to rendezvous.

The day’s actual agenda would range anywhere from local parks, to sandy beaches, to Canada Day celebrations, to monstrous theme parks (Canada’s Wonderland: despite the early-onset of gastro-intestional pain, missed rendezvouses, vertigo, nosebleeds, feared migraines, and not enough time in the day, you were surprisingly good to us).

And we’ve been riding this whirlwind approximately once a year since the kids were born — it gets easier every visit.

Years ago I learned to put a laundry basket of possibilities in the back of the van; backup clothes including PJs, bathing suits, towels, underpants, short and long sleeves for every family member, and just replacing whatever we’ve used from it each day. It’s been a godsend, not needing to pack and repack for each outing, simply replenish the snack cooler and jet...

In years past, this visit was a longer (closer to three weeks), but with all that distance between us and North Carolina, we’ll take what we can get. Those girls are absolute gems, and Mr Lannis’ sister and her husband are the kind of warm, hilarious, and laid back people everyone needs in their lives.

Truly, they make me feel blessed.

All the running around and kid-wrangling has got me thinking, though, about what makes these visits so successful. Somewhere along the line, quietly, without discussion, Rhonda and I have made an agreement when it comes to these five adventurous kids...

It has never mattered who belongs to which kid — if they are hungry or need to go to the bathroom, you feed them and take them, no question or thought about it. Granted, we establish food allergies first off, but after that there’s no, "well, go ask your mom," kind of foolishness.

We each discipline our own kids (unless, say, it's a violence-related infraction, in which case whoever is supervising the kids deals with it instantly, of course — and these issues, thankfully, are few and far between).

But food, drinks, and bathroom breaks? Especially in big public places like Wonderland? Just handle it.

We'll ALL benefit from the even blood sugar and lack-of-accidents... ha!

To our American Beavers: we love you and miss y’all already. ♥

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