For this past Canadian long weekend, Victoria Day weekend, my parents gladly look our 2.5 year old daughter off our hands for five days. FIVE DAYS! That’s like an eternity and a blip of a second in Parent World. My husband and I thought, “We have to cram everything we’ve wanted to do in the past two years into this one weekend!” and thankfully, he had three of those five days off!
Now, our fun could have been maximized had I not been 6.5 months pregnant and been able to drink booze (or move without pain, for that matter), but we did our best with what we were given. We’d only had two days to prepare for this impromptu child-free weekend.
If any of you parents ever find yourself in the position of having no children for a few days (I think they call this a “Staycation”) and are looking to take advantage, here is a quick list of some things that we did, some that we wanted to, and some that you could do…
1) SHOP!! ~ I don’t know about you, but we go everywhere with our daughter, because our babysitters live 45 minutes away from us. I’m glad of this, though, because she’s learned well to behave herself in public. But you get those times where you just want to pull your hair out, scream, and run around in circles, with foam flying from your mouth as you shout “Make it stop! Just make it stop!” And then animal control comes to take you away because it’s pretty clear you probably have rabies.
So, what did I do? I shopped. But for flowers. Because I was going to GARDEN. Because it was the long weekend, the nurseries were extremely busy, and bringing a kid into the mix would have been Hell on Earth. Boy, did I enjoy it. We also bought lumber. And went to Walmart! No kids! So fun!!
2) TEST DRIVE CARS ~ Ever decide you need a new car but can’t test drive with your kids because you’d have to move all your car seats just for a 2-5 minute drive? And deal with whining kids while you’re trying to hear the VEHICLE whine instead? We were going to do this, but had groceries in the car. Plus, we don’t really NEED a new vehicle yet. It’s just always in the back of our minds. Although, it did cross our minds to take that Corvette for a spin—but then we figured we’d just look like a couple of joyriding teenagers!!
3) GARDEN ~ Ever try to garden with a 2.5 year old and keep an eye on them at the same time? Back yard might be okay, but I have 5 big gardens in the front yard to build and we live on a busy highway. Needless to say, with my brother-in-law gardener and his friend over to help me, I had a great time! No shouting “GET BACK HERE!” every two seconds. A dream!
4) GO TO THE CASINO! ~ Casino? What’s that again? I love me some Las Vegas (read my post about what I loved and hated about Las Vegas here), and when my husband and I went last time, we actually gambled! We had a blast! Since then, we have a newfound respect for the tables (slots have a long way to go to gain my full respect, but they’re still my favourite). But you can’t go to a casino with kids! So we NEVER go! But while my brother-in-law was over, the four of us took it upon ourselves to go to the casino and have some fun! I even won back most of the money that my hubby and I lost! Woo!
5) GO TO THE BEACH ~ It’s hard to push a stroller at the beach, hard to get a kid to walk through hot sand and around thousands of strangers, and hard to get them into the water without crying at the initial shock of cold! It was so nice to just go by ourselves, wade through the water to the pier, and just people watch! Seeing my big baby belly, people began to assume we were just a ‘young couple in love about to embark on the most chaotic and stressful time of our lives’… But they didn’t see the bags already under our eyes because of the bright glare of the sun, and they didn’t see our eyelids recovering from their enduring battle with twitching, and they didn’t know that with each foot we walked in the sandy, cool water, tension oozed from another muscle and into the lake, where no one, especially not us, could see it.
6) GO TO A BAR ~ Now, I’m not condoning drinking and driving, but I’m saying, stop and have a drink somewhere. At the beach in Grand Bend, they have a few new bar/café patios now, and I was so jealous that I couldn’t partake in the easy-going, kick-back-and-enjoy-people-watching drinking that the patrons were doing. I would have loved to do it. So, you go do it for me. Have a drink for me, relax and people watch for me.
7) GET SOME WORK DONE ~ Did I mention that I had a day of complete solitude to myself while hubby was at work? No child running around the corner to ask something of me, no cartoons on in the background while I’m trying to get my mind into “thriller-writing mode”, no messes. I actually got work done! And outside, my hubby and I managed to get quite a bit done, too! What a great feeling!
8) CLEAN FIRST ~ Clean your house before the kid goes (or just after). I cleaned my house, expecting that my parents would come inside, so I didn’t want them to see what this place REALLY looks like on a regular basis. And you know what happened? THE HOUSE STAYED CLEAN! That’s right. During that entire five day period, the only things I had to clean up were a few empty water bottles and the kitchen!
9) GO SEE A MOVIE OR SOME OTHER FORM OF ENTERTAINMENT ~ We’re always trying to babysitters so we can go see a movie, but it’s hard when schedules are always colliding. We probably should have taken advantage of this, but being that it was such a gorgeous weekend, we wanted to spend as much time outside as possible!
10) INDULGE IN YUMMY FOOD ~ So you’re supposed to feed your kid right, blah blah blah, but when she’s away, what better time to eat that bad-for-you food, or to grab a handful of chocolate – and you don’t even have to sneak it because the kiddo’s not watching – or eat a few chips? I know I can’t even go into my kitchen cupboard without Zoe wanting to know what I’m doing, what I’m eating, and if she can have some, too… So this was a nice break!
11) VISIT FAMILY ~ So nice to be able to attend a family gathering without constantly wondering where your kid is, what they’re getting into, who’s giving them what candy, whether they have to go on the potty, or whether they’ve already done so in their new underwear and pants… Not having to worry about getting their dinner at the same time as your own, balancing two plates precariously in your hand or on your wrist. Not worrying that you can’t stay for fireworks because the kid just WILL not have that loud banging.
12) IT ~ This should not require telling. Do it. Take advantage of the quiet and the lack of kids pounding on the door. Enough said.
So, you may not have all of the above activities available to you, nor may you enjoy ANY of the above, but we had a great relaxing weekend with just the right amount of fun! If you have any other ideas to add to this, comment below. I’d love to hear what else I could do when my parents are so kind as to take my kid-soon-to-be-kids off my hands!