Parenting Win?

It’s Spring Break and we’re on a staycation. Kealoha has to work and the kids’ biodad is off in Sedona with his wife. Their step-siblings are off on a cruise with their dad and their friends have been whisked away by very wealthy parents to Disney World, California, Italy, and I’m pretty sure someone is flying in a private jet to an island somewhere. (This is what happens when your kids go to East Grand Rapids.) I told my kids if they want an island, build one out of Legos and take a bath. I’ve been trying to do fun things with the kids to pass the time. First, I gave them a ball of cheese and said that they could watch the mold grow on it. It would be hours of entertainment! HOURS! My daughter glared at me, popped the cheese ball in her mouth and made that idea disappear.

Cheese balls! Hours of entertainment!

Plan two. We took them to the Van Andel Museum to see the dinosaur and Lego exhibits. We leaned back in the planetarium and learned about constellations from a very sweet and energetic college-aged student.

Yesterday, I decided to take them to a hotel for the night. I figured if they fell asleep in the car, I’d tell them we were really in Florida. Alas, they didn’t fall asleep during the ten-minute drive, so I lost out on that. We got to the hotel, they put on their suits and spent the next four hours in the pool while I read The Maze Runner.

Kids seem to lack any sort of fear with other people. They see another kid, they walk up to them and start playing. They don’t even bother with names. They just move right on to insta-play. One of the kids swam over to me. Here is what she said while wearing goggles and bobbing in the water:

“That’s my sister over there. She’s being a real you-know-what and all pretending she doesn’t know me.”

“She’s talking to those boys?” I asked.

“Yeah.”

“Well, that’s why. When they’re gone, you’ll be friends again.”

“I’m twelve and she’s seventeen.”

“That’s a big age difference. It’ll get better as you get older. You’ll probably like each other when you’re in your twenties.” (The girl seemed to need some comfort. I was trying.)

The girl continued: “We’re five years apart. My mom didn’t even know I was going to happen until she went to get her tubes tied and the doctor said that he wouldn’t do it because there was a baby in there and it was too late so she had to have me.”

I blinked a couple of times. Wiped the sweat from my brow. “Uhh…well…I guess that makes you pretty lucky then. To have, uhm, made…it…here.”

Luckily the kids started fighting then and I could go intervene.

That night, Kealoha joined us for dinner and we went for Mexican food. On the way back to the hotel we stopped at a comic book store, where my son Franz immediately fell in love with a stuffed sperm. He thought it was hilarious. “I can have my very own pet sperm!” he cried, squeezing Spermy close to his heart.

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Kealoha said: “Kid, you’ve already got plenty of pet sperm.”

Actually, I’m not sure he said that, but I sorta wish he did.

We compromised and Franz chose a friendly stuffed red blood cell.

Kealoha had to go home (work and all) and I shuffled with the kids back to the hotel for another two-hour swim. At night we snuggled in to watch TV. All we could find was Family Guy. I remember watching that and finding it really funny, so I gave them the thumbs up.

It ended up being an episode where the dad wins a golf excursion with OJ Simpson. I couldn’t stop the episode because, well, it was awfully funny, the kids were laughing, and I was just too tired to worry about if this was an appropriate thing to watch. There was a line where they called a woman a stupid beaver and I gasped. Then the camera panned to show an actual beaver who was very offended being called stupid. We all laughed and then high-fived.

 

Today it’s Meijer Gardens, walking outside, and me telling the kids to use their imagination or they’ll send me to the crazy house. I’m not quite sure if this staycation is a Parenting WIN but maybe it’s a Parenting GOOD-ENOUGH.

I’m okay with that.