We have been working on most weekends since March to make the Big Woods Cabin feel like a home away from home. The whole family has enjoyed the brief visits we have had so far, but there are a few noticeable differences from our primary home.
For me it is the king sized bed (woohoo, we have a queen at home) and a second story. Our primary home is a single level. After the first weekend my calves hurt from climbing the stairs over and over (that’s what a desk job will do to you).
The girls, on the other hand, finally got a doll house and to make it a treat it has to stay at the cabin. They also like sleeping all together in bunk beds. But after the first weekend, they would have said that the biggest difference was the “broken” tv… I didn’t realize how much the no antennae, no satellite, no WiFi, no Netflix affected them. The week after our first stay I had to make a Sam’s Club run and they asked if I was taking the broken tv back. I told them the tv works just fine we just hadn’t ordered any of those services yet.
Well, the next weekend was full of whining and fighting and redirection and punishment. I was disappointed in their inability to creatively find something to do besides tv. We have a huge front porch, a safe yard, new toys, books, and nature. At my low point I pulled out the “when I was a kid I had to walk to school, barefoot and in the snow, uphill” or in this case we only had cartoons on Saturday morning and no internet stories. I even tried the if I told my dad I was bored I had to shovel chicken poop for hours story. Nothing seemed to help.
Then weekend three came and at about 10 am on Saturday morning I noticed the house was quiet. There was no fighting. I found all three girls sitting together around the kitchen table coloring. They got it out themselves. I pointed it out discreetly to Dustin, afraid to ruin the moment. After that, they got a puzzle out to work on together. At nap time my oldest read a book without me suggesting it. She even asked to read on the porch. Victory!! They didn’t ask one time to watch tv and they were better for it.
In case you are renting, we should have all those services hooked up in a couple of weeks, but we’ve decided that we are not going to tell our kids and try to keep this new-found peace and creativity going. Even once they figure it out, I sincerely hope we stay committed to keeping it off. Sometimes unplugging is good for your mind and your soul.
Do you “unplug” while on vacation?