With an infant.
1. Gone, are the days of whisking off to an exotic locale on a lover's whim.
Enter, the age of the car topper:
Your husband may begin to resemble Clark Griswold.
2. Gone, are the days of a few t-shirts and bathing suits.
Here, are the days of endless packing lists:
Baby will need:
3. Infants do not appreciate being relocated. Upon relocation, the infant will lose all previous sleeping abilities.
4. #3 will turn average wife/mother into raving bitch-lunatic. As one might imagine, vacations are hard to enjoy with a raving bitch-lunatic.
5. If you are lucky enough to have a fair-skinned, red-haired infant you will have to guard the infant from the sun. Think of the baby as a tiny vampire that will start to smoke and/or spontaneously combust if one errant ray of sunlight hits its porcelain skin.
This is an enormous task...especially if you have chosen a beach destination.
6. Going to the beach will require a caravan of heavily muscled people, and possibly a few camels.
You will need:
a. A sun tent.
b. Cooler with drinks. (Not the fun kind. Mostly water for the vampire baby, and protein-packed foods to fuel up for the trek back from the beach.)
c. Toys. (May give you a few peaceful moments. A precious few.)
d. Towels. (Many, many towels)
e. Beach chairs.
f. Diaper bag. (Packed for every eventuality. In a bizarre chain of events, that will undoubtedly unfold, you will have need for: a lighter, 2 ounces of prune juice, a pair of socks, one pair of infant sunglasses and a small Pakistani man.)
7. Once all items have been transported to beach and assembled, you will have exactly one to one and one-half hours before infant will need to have a nap and/or exorcism. Set your stopwatch.
8. Infant will eat sand.
9. "Swim Diapers" are purely decorative and serve no actual functional purpose.
10. Unless you like the surprise warm sensations that will result, put infant in real diaper. See #9.
11. Around you, people on real vacation will cavort and drink cocktails merrily. This will result in feelings of anger/jealously/frustration.
12. Prepare yourself for these feelings. Adjust expectations of the meaning of "vacation" now that you have an infant.
13. Wife/mother will require several 'attitude adjustments' throughout week.
14. Average loving husband/father may file for divorce.
15. The baby will not remember this "vacation"...
But you always will.
16. You will remember that you got to show him dolphins and watch the sunset over the ocean together.
17. You will remember that you took him (when he was awake in the early morning hours...see #3) and got to watch the sunrise on the beach.
18. You will remember dipping his toes in the ocean.
19. You will remember helping him back-float in the swimming pool, and teaching him to kick his legs in the water.
20. You will remember your first real "Family Vacation."
You are not a bad parent if this adjustment is hard for you, and several times you consider trading the infant for a large rum-runner at a nearby beach tiki bar.
You're only a bad parent if you do it.