I planned an adventure day for my fall breakers, since I firmly believe that a vacation from school should include some intentional fun (even if the mom has to be far more intentional than she once was).
It was mostly a smashing success, except for the one or two hiccups that accompanied every single thing I planned.
We started with Starbucks in the morning. Because who can't go for Starbucks in the morning? Well, clearly not me. And I'm raising a couple of baristas. I'm sure of it. A collection of iPhone games for one boy, a barrage of educational websites on my laptop for the other, and I have found myself a bit of time to be quiet and read on my own. It's like a traveling DVD player in the car. Three cheers for parenting with technology. Hip-hip.
We had lunch at a pizzeria. An order of breadsticks, a slice of pizza for each, a root beer for the tall boy, and an orange juice for the short one. (Who doesn't love pizza and orange juice? A creative combination, undoubtedly. Extra points for acidic content.)
Having lunch alone with two small boys is really a romanticized idea that doesn't quite pan out like I ever think it will. I always picture conversation and memories. What I get instead is kicking and spills and jumping in the booth and peeking over the side and one boy finding gum under the table and the other boy putting it on his nose.
We did some wishful shopping at the toy store - the child's equivalent of my visiting a dressing room to try on a coveted item that I know I'm not going to buy. Sometimes it's just good to tangibly enjoy the display.
Somebody was so busy at the train table that he delayed his bathroom signals, and suddenly there was a big mess on the floor. The store clerk looked at me with wide eyes and a furrowed brow, but I assured him I would clean it up. I spared him the trauma, since I'm sincerely accustomed to it. He offered me rubber gloves, disinfectant spray, and a meek thank you.
This same somebody now had soaked clothes. Off we went to a nearby clothing store to give him a complete overhaul to make it through the afternoon. His brother got a new t-shirt out of the deal, and everybody got new underwear. Score.
The restroom was 400 yards away, so I huddled them in the corner for the wardrobe change into dry clothes. Yes, I am that mom who encourages subtle disrobing and promises nobody will look.
We strolled to the movie theater to see what was playing that might get six thumbs up from our trio of reviewers. DolphinTale won out. "Three tickets for the 3:05, please. And it would be great if you could seat us near people who don't mind the four-year-old's color commentary throughout. He likes to verbally replay everything that just happened and then ask a dozen questions about what he missed during his own instant replay. We're working on that."
The day turned out almost like I planned. We bring the party with us, my friends. Or, perhaps they do. And I tag along for the adventure.