the joys of quality time
the joys of quality time
Next time the kids are on school vacation, I'm hiring a sitter and going to work. It will be cheaper in the long run than me staying home from work to spend quality time with them. Oh yes, we did the money-less things like playing board games and taking walks and going to the library. And that was all very lovely. Only one person's quality time is another child's boring time.
So we also did the arcade, where I spent about two minutes total actually talking to them and the rest shooting at space aliens. Food and games: $40.00
We did the movies, which is really not conducive to sharing family warmth, but which the kids loved. One adult, her two children and one child's friend: $21.00 in tickets. But what is the movies without snacks? 3 popcorns, 3 sodas, a box of candy and a pretzel: $33.00. Yes, that's right. 33. I embarrassed the kids by making the guy ring everything up again and show me the receipt because my brain would not comprehend that movie snacks could cost that much. Next time, we sneak in our own food.
We went out, on various days, to breakfast, lunch and dinner. I don't know the total cost of all that but I do know that the machine in the lobby of the diner that sells football bumper stickers for 50 cents each cost me ten dollars until we finally got a Packers sticker. Ok, that was my fault.
Lunch was interesting. We met Natalie's new "friend" and his mother at the restaurant. I was relieved that the mother feels the same way as me, meaning our children are way too young to date. I mean, there they are, at the table next to us (DJ and the neighbor's kid were also there), trying to look all serious and mature. Within three minutes of sitting down, the boy was playing with his food and Natalie was making spitballs. So much for mature. When I asked Natalie later on, just out of curiosity, if she felt that she was edging anywhere towards her first kiss, she exclaimed "Eww mom, didn't you see he had a booger hanging out of his nose the entire time?" Yay for boogers, then.
And I must be some kind of sucker because we went to Modell's yesterday to get DJ new cleats and somehow I walked out of there with not only cleats but hockey pucks, a basketball, two Jason Giambi Yankee jerseys and an assortment of athletic wear. They almost convinced me to buy a trampoline. It must be my subconscious wallet wanting to throw dollars at the kids in an effort to bury my guilty feelings over not having enough time to spend with them. Either that or I am an uncontrollable shopper, but only when it comes to the kids. Me, I've been wearing the same pair of Payless shoes for a year. I haven't bought myself an article of clothing since last fall. The kids, they have new sneakers for every sports season. A Yankee shirt for every player. More hockey jerseys than an NHL locker room. Enough clothes to fill a department store. You get the picture.
I think they appreciate it. I'm pretty sure I did hear a thank you at one point. And I think there were a few extra hugs and kisses last night. And I think they weren't too horrified when I told them I was too tired to play kickball with them last night because I had to sell my blood in order to get money to survive until the next paycheck. And I don't think either them believed me for more than a second when I said I had to send them to Mexico to work on a farm for a year to make up for all the money I spent this week. What? You think money grows on trees? Well, maybe I was being intentionally mean because they both claim the highlight of the vacation so far was when Justin shot off the rocket DJ got for Christmas. Three seconds of blast-off fun with a ten dollar rocket. Is that all it takes? I wish I would have known that before.
Today, my mother is taking them to a local playhouse to see Jesus Christ, Superstar. To which the kids made up the lyrics "Jesus Christ, superstar, all he wants is a candy bar." I can only hope they don't sing that out loud at the play. Maybe I should pack the chocolate jesus I got for Easter for their snack. Would that be wrong?
Me, I am going back to work today. I will sit in the comfy confines of my office and not have to run or jump or pretend I know how to play sports. I will not have to spend any money or sit through a mindless movie or eat in a family restaurant full of screaming children and boyfriends with booger noses. I will not have to listen to another fart joke or the theme to SpongeBob SquarePants sung out of tune ten thousand times.
And I will, at some point, miss all that.