All-in-all, the vacation was a success, and I'm glad we decided to take a trip with the kids. We spent a majority of our time at the resort - swimming in the ocean, drinking, lounging by the pool, eating, watching the entertainment/shows, drinking, eating... Did I mention we did a lot of eating and drinking?!?
We reserved two hotel rooms for our vacation; one for my husband and me, and one for his three kids (step-son age 16, step-daughter age 13 and step-son age 11). My step-daughter was none too pleased at the prospect of sharing a room with her brothers for a week, but she was even less pleased at the prospect of staying home in order to have her very own room at her mom's house. So... with no small amount of complaining, she decided to grace us with her presence. Lucky us.
Throughout the week, she made sure to tell us at every opportunity how unhappy she was with the sleeping arrangements. I was determined to ignore her complaining, and would often just break out into song whenever she started to whine. Trolololololololo....
My step-daughter is quite possibly the messiest/sloppiest person I've ever encountered. The state of her bedroom at her dad's and my house is a constant point of contention between us; she feels it's "her room" and she can therefore keep it in whatever state she would like. I (and often her dad) feel that she'll be forever sloppy if we don't help her change this soon. So far, she's won out and her room is a huge disaster at all times. On vacation, however; she took advantage of the room-sharing situation as a way to boss her brothers around. At one point, I actually heard her say, "There is a place for your shoes to be put away, and you need to put them in the appropriate place; this room is a disaster". Now, I'm all for her being neat and orderly and wanting her room to be clean - but COME ON! This is the same girl who leaves a trail of clothes and school items each and every day she walks through our door after school. Not only that, but I walked into the kids' hotel bathroom immediately after she delivered her cleanliness lecture, only to find HER clothes piled three feet tall under the bathroom vanity.
I think it bothers me so much because the kids' mom often delivers double-standard messages to my husband and myself, and I do not want my step-daughter to turn out like that.
Regardless, we were on vacation and I just wanted to hit the pool and read a good book. So I kept my comments to a brief "Wow, would you mind if I went to get my camera and got that statement on video?", to which I received the glare of all glares. No worries, though... it's nothing seventeen Strawberry Daiquiris couldn't fix for me. KIDDING, only kidding! It was only thirteen.
Really, it was a wonderful time. We managed to squeeze in a zip line adventure - something we all really enjoyed, and we swallowed enough saltwater to last until our next visit to the ocean. I'm very glad we went on this vacation as a family. We made memories that will last a lifetime, and as a step-parent who missed out on the early years of these kids' lives, I am glad to have these types of experiences that they can look fondly upon as they age.