Adult Swim

I had a night away this weekend, a night away.  It has been 6 months, almost to the day, since the last time I had a night away.  Yes, I am on the half year excursion plan.  Twice a year I take the long ride from Weston to Fort Lauderdale, or South Beach, or Naples and spend a single night with as much day wrapped around both sides as my parents or in-laws will allow.  We couldn’t go far, and because I was looking for optimum veg time, proximity was second only to my first criteria – NO KIDS.

Yes, I said it … NO KIDS.  I had to find a close hotel that was kid free during spring break, when every cold frostbitten family packs up their 2.5 children, takes their pets to the kennel, and comes to Florida hoping to thaw out.  I, on the other hand, needed to chill out and the best place seemed to be this boutiquey hotel on Lauderdale Beach called The Atlantic.  The pool was off-putting to children, a long and narrow rectangle with no slides or falls.  The décor was very hip, mod in an Ian Schrager, “don’t touch that kid, it will break” kinda way.  I would avoid a place like this at all costs with my kids, as it blared “BORING” to anyone under sixteen.  I banked on other families’ sense of “funless” to be on par with my own.

Wearing my too teeny bikini, I immediately found the pool and within moments I was donning an ipod, reading my book and sipping champagne.  Totally enthralled with my book, I must not have noticed the influx of people at my tiny boutique pool.  But then I heard someone scream, “Marco!” and though I am in South Florida where a name like Marco is not so uncommon, I could tell this was not some adult woman calling her adult husband to come put sunblock on her back.

“What the fuck was that?”  I asked Mark, like I had just heard a gunshot.  “A kid,” he nonchalantly replied, like my gunshot was just some car backfiring.  I looked up and, Lo and behold, it wasn’t just one kid it was a whole pack of them.  Maybe five ranging in age from about 4 to 10.  I shuddered as the largest one, who was undeniably their bossy leader, demanded another pool game that had them screaming answers to random questions, and swimming all over my tiny boring lap pool.

Kid 1:   “WHAT?”
Kid 2:   “She said what’s your favorite show,” the little one repeated shaking in fear.

Why are they screaming?  They’re 5 feet apart.

Kid 1:  “I SAID 2 WORDS!”
Kid 3:  “I think I know what it is.  Can I guess?”

Oh, come on, give her another hint already.

Leader:  “WHAT IS IT?  I DON”T KNOW.”

iCarly, iCarly, don’t suggest the game if you suck at it.  I mean hello?

Leader:  “UMMM, I GIVE UP.”
Kid 1:  “I CARLY!”

I knew it.


Had this really happened?  Had my ipod faded into the background and the passage of my book still not registered after reading it 3 times over?   I was actually angry.  I am so capable of tuning my own kids out, why was I not able to use this skill on someone else’s?

My penthouse suite, which was graciously extended to me when I explained my bi-annual excursion plan, wouldn’t be ready for hours.  I watched as kid 4 goaded kids 2 and 3 by bobbing up and down chanting “DIVE!” every time his head cleared the water.  I guess he hoped this would annoy them. I gave the parents a sideways glance to let them know that it was working on me, but they pretended not to notice.

Then it dawned on me.  I am the crotchety lady that shushes other peoples kids.  Maybe it was all the trips to the cardiologist, maybe my patience had been worn paper thin trying to get my own children to listen to me for half second.  Each “Can you do it for me?” “Not now, Mommy.“ “No way, Jose.“ scratching one more layer from the surface.  One would think, out of politeness, I would be less overtly bothered by other people’s children, but the truth is I have to save that rigorous acting job for when mine send me over the edge.  So as my son would say to my daughter, “Too bad, so sad.”

The bobbing continued and noodles burst across the pool like fireworks. This is the reason they invented adult swim… and boutique hotels.  While frantically searching for someone with a whistle, I noticed the other adults.  Why were they so calm?  Why weren’t they shooting looks at the over-permissive parents like I was?  Were they not being over-permissive? —allowing their children to have so much fun around the pool on vacation?

Then it hit me…the hot tub.  The one refuge that still belongs to us serious adults.  With my book in hand I crossed the trendy stretch only to find another pack; they were multiplying faster than I could count, and now they had infiltrated the sacred whirlpool area.  An area that actually has an age requirement.  It was so unnatural, like seeing raccoons scavenging during the day, it was just wrong.  Two kids watched the third one diving to the bottom against the current of the jets, kicking his feet all the while.

I thought, can I tell these kids to scram?  But wait, aren’t I supposed to be representing the next generation of parents?  The cool parents.  Not our parents or their parents’ generations who would have scoffed before entry and sent the kids running for the hills.  We “hip parents” have a rep to protect, right?  We’re like kids ourselves.  In fact, if you hadn’t met our children you would think we were too young, too fun, too awesome to be “parents.”

I told myself, say something funny and endearing thereby shattering their vision of adults as naysayers and fun-enders.  So, after carefully choosing my words I let my tension go, eased into the whirlpool and said, “Could you please stop splashing, it’s getting my book all wet.  I don’t know if you guys should even be in here.”  I turned to pat my book with my towel and when I turned around they were gone.  “Awesome, shmawesome.”

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20 thoughts on “Adult Swim

  1. Barry

    Didn’t the name,Chucky Cheese Motel, give you a clue? Sorry. Sounds almost like you’ve become your parents. You say ” G-d forbid.” I guess it could be worse, you could have become your parents parents.

  2. Bari

    I say the world is over populated. There needs to be more room for the older aldults to rest, relax, be sexy etc. without being pestered by little feet that simply take up way too much space. Enough said, however, this space should be limited to one week. After that even adults are way too boring!

  3. rachy

    if you really want a break from kids, think of something really boring for kids — maybe an art museum, a concert of atonal music, or a good romantic movie!

    also, don’t you recall from science that all kids are hydrophilic – there is a magnetic-like force that draws all kids to any body of water from a small puddle that must be stepped in to the ocean draws kids to it! next time, find a resort without a pool!

  4. Insanitykim

    I have the exact opposite problem.

    We have two pools in our complex, one is an ADULT pool, small, cute, attached to a bar, the other, is the FAMILY pool, which of course, we take our kids to.

    Last year this wrinkled crotchety old man was sitting, and smoking, right next to the corner of the shallow end, and had the gall to be totally crotchety about my kids having fun with other kids in the FAMILY pool. He even had the nerve to say “these damn kids are too loud” while polluting our lungs and getting ash everywhere, when he could have been at the ADULT pool smoking and being crotchety all by himself…I guess company loves to dole out misery. If I see him again I might have the nerve to tell him to go to the adult pool, or at least the deep end, where he can jump off…hmmm, I don’t have “closure” yet I realized.

  5. Erica

    Your post is shamawesome! I hope to be half as cool as you, when I have kids of my own. One day in the near future you will have to send jake and Ryan to stay with me so you and mark can have more than one night of kid free time. I still have some patience for the little ones.

  6. Zeemaid

    Hysterical. I am so there with you. If I was getting away from my kids, it’d be away from ALL kids. Followed you through your post on twitter.

    Great blog!

  7. Confessions of a Mom

    Great post. I’ve been on both sides. It is killer when you finally get time away from your kids to enjoy quiet, and you have “replacement” kids not near as cute or well behaved as your own.

  8. Cherie

    We’ll you have finally become that crotchety old woman that used to complain when you visited you Grandparents on Spring Break in Miami. Sounds like you need to find an even more upscale hotel that doesn’t allow children at all. I really feel for you ya.

  9. jennydecki

    Great post! I have fantasies about someday going on a vacation sans-kids. When I do I’m going to find some swinger’s hotel. Not because I’m a swinger or even remotely adventurous like that…but at least if I go to a porn convention or something equally offensive…there won’t be any darn kids!!

  10. Glynns

    I’m living vicariously through you…you got to go on a trip without the kids?! Wow!! My last trip without the kids, and without hubby, was to the CA state PTA convention. Now that I think of it, that trip is coming up again. Oh no. How sad. Kids suck all the coolness out of you. We are headed for Naples in two weeks for our Spring Break (with kids). It’ll be our first time to Florida.

  11. Petula

    Thanks for the chuckles and the longing feeling I now have to be somewhere besides sitting in front of my laptop trying to tune out my own children. 🙂

    I don’t think I’ve seen a pool, a kid-less pool, in more than two years.

  12. Pavanne

    I know exactly how you felt – you could have been me! It’s so overwhelming to deal with my kids and their friends sometimes, to keep my cool and be “nice, fun, cookie-baking mom,” that I find other children unbearable when I finally go somewhere to be by myself! Perhaps one day when we’re famous multi-millionaire writers, we’ll be able to afford a vacation that’s so expensive, so exclusive, and so difficult to get to, that it will be quiet! Of course, we’ll probably get bored and miss the noise after a day or so…

  13. Vickie

    I know what you mean. When I go somewhere with out my kids. Other peoples kids get to me. I have to hide in my room. How fun is that?

    I saw you at twiitermoms. I think I have seen your blog name before.

    Anyhoo, I subscribed to your emails. I will also put you in my google reader.

  14. Rebecca

    Found you from the twittermoms~
    You know, there should be a rule, or a flashing sign or something that lets everyone, be it a hotel, a dinner, a 5 star restaurant, or a coffee shop, when one is on a break, especially from one’s own children, all other children should remains……..respectfully away.
    I’m a Mom, is that bad to say??

  15. Alison

    Finally a parent who understands my plight! Being a childless adult, my husband and I are always looking for the “Adult Swim” areas, and if that doesn’t work we get totally wrecked and join in on all of the hull-a-ba-loo! Usually the parents of the children that we are now harassing, due to our state-of-mind, usually leave the area because we are not acting appropriately. Which allows us to go back to enjoying our “Adult” environment without another sole around. Sometimes joining ’em is the best way to beat ’em!!!!

    You’re the best Jenny—miss you!

  16. Kelby

    Sorry… Sure I will get slammed for this, but why would you expect to be guaranteed adult swim? You just say it is a boutique hotel (or did I miss where you said no children allowed? I apologize if I did). If children are allowed at the hotel (my children have traveled to plenty of fancy places), and there was no ban on children at the pool (again, perhaps I missed it?), then kids will be at the pool. And believe, just because a pool is nothing but a rectangle of water does NOT make it off-putting to kids. I can assure you. It could be a puddle in a field of mud and kids will run for it.

    Also, I don’t buy that kids are only supposed to go places that are “kid-friendly,” where all is wrapped in rubber and chicken nuggets are served. I’ve taken my kids to museums, European cathedrals, etc. If they get noisy, we leave. But I’m not sure I want to be handed a list of preapproved places where kids are allowed…

  17. Liz

    Hey I feel ya! I guess your place to chill out away from noisy crazy kids did’t work out too well. Maybe try Costa Rica – everytime I have been the family/kids don’t go – adult playground.


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