Every Fall Break adventure should be sprinkled with field trip. That is not to say you should take your children somewhere new every day they are on break. This will exhaust them. It also sets you up for disaster once summer comes. Those little brains of theirs remember that load of activity and will expect it all. Summer. Long. Do yourself a favor and be mediocre during Fall Break.
We had 5 trips a field. This sounds like a lot over 10 days, but two of the trips were actually repeat locations.
Trip No. 1: The Zoo
I had the pleasure of being invited to join some other mothers and their sons to the zoo on the first day of break. This was a herd of 2nd grade-kindergarten boys and four moms. There were a lot of boys. As is our lot in life, we live 17 miles away from the zoo. Once boys were loaded, we’d driven the 30 minutes, and found a parking spot, and renewed our zoo membership to the tune of $100, the sky – which had been forecast to be 70 degrees and sunny – turned cloudy and black. We even felt a few drops.
While I’d like to say we are usually very prepared for this type of thing, the only coat in the car was mine. So, I marched myself right into the gift shop and bought sweatshirts for everyone. I then got sucked into buying huge stuffed animals. It was like a whole thing. Blah!
|Please note how large my kindergartner is (on left end).|
The next few hours were enjoyable. The boys were with their friends. I was with mine. And we didn’t loose anyone. Have you ever noticed there is a time limit on such peace? Someone in the group of 8 starts to whine a little bit and complain of hunger, the lead dogs start to stray a little farther from the group, the pensive observers start to linger a little longer at each exhibit and you can tell the end is near. This is when I decided to call it quits. Call me a party pooper but I can tell when I’m about to yell at my kids and I don’t want to do that in front of people, so I left. Everyone should know when to leave.
Trip No 2: Haunted Party Shop
All of the costumes in our house were decided but we were missing some parts and pieces. Before I plunged into trying to sew something before Halloween we decided to visit a costume shop in Old Towne Littleton. It was super creepy. Mason’s heart rate soared and he was trembling and he had to be carried in. (Yes, we’re those parents.) Once inside he relaxed and cozied up to the deli case filled with body parts. My husband and I jumped our original costume ship and decided on new ones on the spot. Then we procured a few of the small things we needed for the kids’ costumes. I’m totally looking forward to showing off those pictures next week.
Trip No 3: Lifetime Fitness Swimming Pool
I’m always in favor of killing two birds with one stone. Remember the request to go swimming? When another mom friend of mine asked what our plans for Fall Break were (I think she was trolling for ideas) I confessed that our plans were modest, just the swimming pool. Then she saved my day. She offered up her club’s pool and decided to join us.
Off we traveled to Lifetime Fitness. I signed in which was a total cluster and the kids jumped in the pool. Then a lifeguard approached me and informed me that if I didn’t plan on getting in the pool my kids would have to take a swim test. Part of me laughed inside because I was like, “Yeah, my son wants your job.” The other part of me was like, “Oh, I wonder if my other son will have performance anxiety about this.” But I offered them up he pulled them aside -- to another pool in fact -- and told them to swim a lap without stopping, touching the wall or rope, or needing help of any kind. Cooper jumped in, swam his lap, and started back toward the other pool. Mason started a negotiation. Then he methodically slipped into the pool and started swimming. Without a struggle he swam the full lap, climbed out of the pool then looked up at the guy (goggles still on) and shrugged his shoulders as if to say, “Is that all you got?”
Proud of those two. We may get Mason to do swim team, yet.
I also want to say, this is a brilliant system and I sincerely think more pools should have this rule.
Trip No 4: A Traffic Jam
One of our field trips was to the city. Yes, I said it. We’ve become that suburban. Wanting to see our friends who had recently moved closer to downtown from the burbs we planned a dinner date at their house – two moms, five boys.
But something, I don’t know what, had traffic all snarly. A drive that literally takes 30 minutes turned into 90 minutes! Let’s review. Trapped in a tin can with two small boys. Dinner time. 90 minutes of snail pace movement.
It was an extraordinary reminder that I don’t like commuting at all.
Trip No 5: The Zoo, II
OK. I know what you’re thinking. Why? Because it is never the same. We met some friends and the weather was much better. We didn’t stay as long, but we saw more. It was great. Well, except for the part when the boy elephant let it all hang out – if you know what I mean. That was so uncomfortable. My boys couldn’t even laugh, they were horrified into silence. Oh did I mention we were with friends, girl friends?!?!?!?
The most exciting part of the second zoo adventure was our license plate hunt. This is a game we play pretty much non-stop everywhere we go. But for some reason early in the trip we could tell we were going to have a record day. The object of the game is to find as many different states’ plates as possible. I don’t mean vanity plates or one state’s multiple versions. I mean different states. We saw 28! Also, there are a lot of Texans here.