Last week the kids were on spring break. Coincidentally, Sara was gone to a conference all week, which left me minding the store while she was gone. I was a little nervous about this (a weekend of solo parenting sounds bad enough, but a whole week??), but actually it was totally easy breasy.
I think that 99% of the parenting induced stress in my life comes from having to get the kids to school on time. During spring break, with nowhere in particular to be, all of that come-on-kids-we-have-to-get-out-the-door stuff is just on the back burner. It also probably helps that, with no one to hang out with in the evening, I was pretty well rested (and a special thanks to my extremely early riser, who chose to occupy herself in the morning and let daddy sleep in).
We tried to make spring break something special, including a pajama party with friends (and pancakes for lunch!), a visit to daddy’s work (including a hike), a couple of play dates, a trip to a water park, and an “unplanned” visit to Aunt Rachael’s house.
I wanted the trip to be a surprise, so I didn’t mention it to the kids until it was time to leave. I just dropped it in casually: “Hey guys, you want to do something crazy? Let’s go visit Aunt Rachael!”
Evie was immediately suspicious.
“Did you call Aunt Rachael?”, “Does Mama know about this?”, and “You can’t just show up at someone’s house”. I don’t know how much of it is her personality and how much of it is her knowing *my* personality, but she just absolutely couldn’t believe that we were doing something spontaneous. As we were walking out the door, she said, “What day is it?” and then checked the calendar. “What does I-N-D-Y spell?” she asked.
She would seemingly forget about it for hours at a time, but you better believe she never stopped thinking about it for a second. As soon as we walked in the door: “Did you know we were coming? What does I-N-D-Y spell?” Everybody was playing along, but you simply cannot trick her. Rachael and I were putting away dishes in the kitchen and Rachael said, “When you called last night, I was…” and Evie immediately popped her head into the kitchen. “Daddy called last night, huh? I knew it!” Rachael had some snappy comeback like, “Did I say he called last night?”
While we were there, we had a cold and rainy trip to the zoo that was kind of awesome. We basically had the zoo to ourselves, and the animals were feeling particularly frisky. We had a lion roar at us, seals barking like mad, a walrus spitting fish skin at us (repeatedly), and we reported an umbrella in the cheetah enclosure and got to watch the zookeepers go in and get it with only sticks to protect themselves. We also got to pet some sharks, and even though I knew it had to be safe or else they wouldn’t let you do it, I still felt pretty nervous sticking my hand in there.
Unfortunately, I had a WICKED cold the entire time and felt absolutely miserable. On the other hand, it was much better to be sick at Rachael’s house where someone could occupy the kids then at home where I would have had to deal with them by myself while sick.
Despite all that, I managed to keep the house clean, and the dishes, laundry, and baking current, of which I was unreasonably smug.
So smug, in fact, that I wrote an entire blog post to brag about it.