How fast can you say oxymoron. A cottage vacation is the only kind of vacation where you work harder on vacation than you do at home....that is especially if you are the mom in the scenario.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner--made by me! Laundry done while you wait! My best offering? Location services. I am a Location Services master. Are you missing a mitten or a sock? I can find that baby for you faster than you can say "These two don't match!" Ahhh, but it doesn't matter, it is the cottage.
Yes, at the cottage you can choose to brush or not to brush (I am talking about hair, though I suppose if you don't tell me, it could be your teeth). At the cottage you can wear clothing that does not match, but dress for maximum comfort and coziness. At the cottage you can ignore all texts and emails. Why you might ask? We don't have WIFI, cable modems or Ethernet.
You can chop wood and build a fire. You can make a dinner out of Kraft Dinner and leftover ham by mixing them together. Yes, that would never fly at home, but at the cottage, somehow it is magically all right. You can go for days without a true bath, especially in the summer, yes, those folks call it "Lake Hair."
There is no make up required. There are no dress codes. Even at the local store curlers and pajama bottoms are fabulously spotted on a regular basis. There really are no standards of acceptable beauty. No one is talking about the stylist for so and so at the Oscars. No one is talking about botox.
Yet, meanwhile back in the kitchen, that is where you'll mostly find me. There is probably a dip in the floor in my 3 foot triangle that goes from fridge to stove to dishwasher. And yes, having a dishwasher is the best thing ever. This is especially true when you are serving dinners of 10-14 people nightly.
In the deep woods of the cottage vacation you can make your teenage children watch movies like "The Exotic Marigold Hotel." After the screening, Ruth declared that in addition to G, PG and R there needed to be an O rating. An O rating that means "old people movie." Yes, if the movie was made for old people it should be rated O so that the younger folks should know what they are in store for.
On these movie nights you can also have popcorn from our air popper that spews popcorn kernels all over the room. Only about half of the kernels pop, and of those kernels only about half land in the bowl. Yes, I am popcorn popper and clean up crew on my cottage vacation.
Last but not least, on the cottage vacation, you can have epic games of Risk. This is the one moment when the moms can sneak off and leave the fathers and kids arguing about breaking treaties and cheating. I grab my glass of wine or cup of tea, and stare into space. Of course I uncorked the wine or brewed the tea, but I don't have to be playing referee for that one brief moment.
Oh, while we are on the subject of referee, that is another cottage vacation job that is pretty all consuming. When your three kids see each other in passing most of the time, when the change to full time sibling cohabitation, there is a lot of refereeing. There is a lot of laughing, but there is a lot of refereeing.
On the cottage vacation, when I get up early, and enjoy a peaceful morning with my coffee, then I am truly on vacation. In the olden days, when the kids were younger, we used to put them to bed early to have this delightful quiet time. Now, I am the one putting myself to bed early and getting up while all is still quiet. I drink my coffee, then I start doing the dishes that are leftover from the bedtime snacks and it all begins again.