Posts Tagged ‘fun’

Pit Stop

February 14, 2010
Each and every one of my days is scheduled from waking to sleep. Not like my husband’s schedule in which he is constantly in fear of a flight cancellation between Amsterdam and Barcelona or Tai Pei and Hong Kong. His scheduling concerns are bit more lofty than mine, but not nearly as complicated. Why not? Because he only has to worry about his own schedule.

Not one of my days looks anything like the next day or yesterday. And I like that. Being a Sagittarian that craves variety and freedom and excitement and hustle, I love planning my days with the anticipation of something new and different coming up in a day or a week. But anything I schedule for myself also involves some major arranging (and rearranging) for my sons and their activities.There’s that one time I was called by the casting director of Tyler Perry studios to be an extra on a taping of The House of Payne and I spent the majority of my day on set in makeup and wardrobe. And that time I decided to teach for a week once a month in Jamaica. It took 4 months before I grew bored and stopped going.

The point is, I need variety in my mommypreneur lifestyle. For me, but not for my kids. My older son is a lot like I am – he’s a free spirit, always ready to go anywhere, for any reason, with anyone. My younger son… not so much. He craves routine and schedule and order. And as a responsible mom, I provide it for my kids even though it goes against my natural character.

Each and every day of the week and weekend has a routine. Tuesday for instance is 3:45 – younger son home for snacks, homework and mom time. 4:20 – older son home for snacks, attacking younger brother, and talking non-stop, while I multi-task clean-up, dinner, and prepare to leave for classes at the studio. 5:30 – babysitter arrives. 5:45 – I leave for work. 6:30 – older son leaves for soccer. 7:00 younger son and babysitter interact. 8:00 older son home from soccer. 8:30 we all eat dinner, kids shower and get ready for bed. 9:30 I start yelling to the kids to stop talking and playing and “go to sleep.” 10:00 I repeat yelling to the kids. 10:30 I may possibly still be yelling to the kids to “GO TO SLEEP! I MEAN IT THIS TIME!” Every Tuesday looks just like that without fail. It bores me to tears to have that much routine, but it’s perfect for the boys.

Last week, I decided the kids (and I) needed change and fun and excitement in our schedule. We needed to rekindle our relationship as mommy and boys just like a married couple needs variety to keep the relationship interesting and fresh. I struggled to remember the last time the boys and I had been on a road trip together or racing each other in go-carts or doing any of the things we used to do on a whim. Not in a long time.

Last Wednesday, my night class at the studio didn’t start until 7:45 and neither child had practice or something scheduled to do. So, at 5:30 I announced… “Hey guys, grab your coats and wallets. Let’s go the mall.” Now I know the mall is not really a big deal to most people. However, getting to spend an hour or two just walking through the mall for no good reason is not something I ever do and definitely not with my kids since they grew out of the stroller.

By 5:50, we were at the mall and the boys were excited as they punched each other through the sliding glass doors. We started with the indoor skate park where teens were skateboarding and blading over smooth hills and high-fiving on ramps high above the ground. Then we went to the book store (my boys and I are all book worms. I could have stayed in the bookstore for the rest of the visit, but alas it only lasted 15 minutes) where the boys discussed the latest release of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and the new book and movie series that looks just like Harry Potter to me. My older son wanted to spend all of his money on 3 books in the new like-Harry-Potter series, while my younger son discussed the merits of saving your money and checking in the library first as he resolutely returned his book to the shelf (at least I got one to carry on my genes for spending wisely). We then spent the next 5 minutes at the register as I turned my older son’s POS into an extended math word problem. I apologized to the people standing in line behind us, but if you don’t teach them early about money, tax calculations and change, they’ll be fools as men, and this momma is not raising any irresponsible fools.

We eventually left the bookstore to walk and window shop. Our next stops included the Lego Store, the Japanese import store (they carry real swords and Japanese comic books which were both of major interest to my sons), and the candy store (where I refused to allow them to buy handfuls of sugar). As we stood at a kiosk purchasing a new wallet for my older son who recently lost his wallet full of money and gift cards (sigh), the younger one saw a trampoline and trapeze at the end of the hall. His little face lit up and he started to dance.

“Oh Mom, can I jump on that thing?” he asked excitedly pointing to a little child jumping barely 2 feet of the trampoline.

I thought about it. Normally, I would say no and we’d rush out of the mall to the next scheduled appointment. Looking at my watch, I quickly calculated the time we had left. There was time. So why not?

“Sure, Honey. Let me finish working with your brother on this wallet thing, okay?”

He started to dance and spin and hum, which he does when he’s really happy. We made our way to the booth and saw that there were two activities that could be purchased for one price. The boys calculated the per person fee, put their money on the counter and raced into the kiosk kicking of coats and shoes as they went.

After 5-10 minutes of back-flipping, jumping to the ceiling of the mall, and sliding through elastic bands, we were finally able to pack up and leave – right on time to put me back on schedule for my class at 7:45.

On the way home, the boys talked about how much fun they’d had and tried to remember the last time we’d done something fun for no reason in the middle of the week. They couldn’t. Neither could I.