Last week, I told you about our family vacation to the sunny south. This week let me tell you why it is good to be the Carpenter (or any man, really) on vacation.

Let’s start with the issue of packing. The Carpenter’s suitcase was like Noah’s ark: it held two of everything except one coat and one baseball cap (the man goes nowhere without a baseball cap). Because his colour palette consists of three guy colours, everything was basically going to match (like he cared). His in-flight bag consisted of his iPad, a charger and his personal choice of snacks. He was packed in five minutes. Done.

I packed a series of pre-coordinated outfits in a colour-wheel of whites, blacks and coral hues, complete with sensible shoes, flip flops and dress shoes, plus accessories, just in case we went somewhere special (I like to delude myself often; it helps).

My in-flight bag contained the airline tickets (which I booked), the passports (which I applied for on behalf of the entire family), and all the theme park details, hotel reservations and accompanying identification (also my job) secured in a sealable file agenda.

On the plane, the children insisted I sit with them; naively believing if the plane went down I would be the least hysterical parent. Fools. The Carpenter was seated in the opposite row, until, that is, the pilot announced that the 737 aircraft required a rebalancing of passengers for the plane’s equilibrium (exactly what the composed parent in charge of two children wants to hear before take-off), which meant the Carpenter found himself alone in a row, stretching out comfortably over three seats.

I have two hyper children, one of whom is terrified of flying and the other who realized fear made her sibling a target, and both of whom asked me no less than 3,000 questions before the plane took off.  I looked over to the Carpenter for moral support, but he was sleeping soundly.

When we arrived, the first thing we did was head to the swimming pool, because nothing makes me feel more relaxed than a public appearance in a bathing suit. Did I say we all went? Wrong. The Carpenter can jump in a pool without needing to manicure his armpits, legs or lower bikini area. While he was playing dolphin with the kids, enjoying the Petri dish that was the public hot tub, I was still in the hotel trying to make sure I didn’t make cricket sounds with my bare legs. A dad is always ready for fun; a mom always needs “just a minute.”

For instance, when he jumps out of the pool, the Carpenter runs his hand through his hair, does the doggy shake, and he’s good to go to the next adventure. I, however, need a blow dryer, hair products and a miracle before anybody is going anywhere. I am a drag.

Of course, when we do head out as a family, the realization that I have to carry a purse means I get to carry all the crap that is bought, needed or lugged around just in case. By the end of a day at an amusement park I am not a mother; I am pack mule.

Is it wrong that I wouldn’t want to have it any other way? Probably. One week away only confirmed that it’s good to be me because of the Carpenter. That’s good enough for me.