Sunday, November 8, 2009

What I did on my Kid-Free Vacation

So, my children were gone for a five-day stay at Chez Pocono, where they were treated to gourmet meals, personal one-on-one attention, luxurious accommodations, and a bath/bed routine that is Olympian in length. They love going, their grandparents absolutely adore and worship them, and I got to spend some quality time both alone and with my husband.

Day 1
The first thing I did when my kids left? Slept. I crawled into bed and indulged myself with an afternoon nap, complete with a heated blanket. When I roused myself from my peaceful slumber, I immediately put on music and set to cleaning. To a SAHM, actually getting to clean without someone underfoot “helping” to sweep by scattering crumbs everywhere, “helping” to dust while knocking things over, and screaming in terror at the vacuum, is close to heaven. (Actual heaven would be getting someone else to clean for me). As an added bonus, I didn’t have to listen to Taylor Swift. I rocked out to songs from Glee (originals only, except for the completely overly enthusiastic cover of It’s My Life) and cleaned the toilets with joy. Loud, sing-along, joy. One lost World Series and a seriously depleted Halloween candy bowl later, and the day ended.

Day 2
I won’t even admit to what time I awoke for fear that several local friends will come to my window with pots and pans next time the kids leave town. After accomplishing several small chores, I indulged in something I have only seen in movies: I went to a coffee house to read a book. I ordered a gingerbread latte, extra whipped cream, found a chair by the window and settled in. Two hours later, I went home, poured myself a free beverage, sat on my own couch and continued reading. Survey says – home is better, and significantly less expensive. Come nightfall, I set out on the Tour of Toys, Part I (Shop Hard), with my husband. I ixnayed a tank, complete with several types of weapons, that would surely be useful in our war against the dust bunnies. He said no to anything with Bratz on it. Once home, my husband indulged himself by screaming full volume at the television. I left him to his armchair coaching (which must have worked because the final was 16-3, Hokies) and went to bed.

Day 3
Once again, I awoke so late in this time zone that I was wasn’t even early in the next one. I spent the day being highly unproductive. I dithered. I dallied. I putzed and I puttered. I might even have lollygagged. Eventually, I gave up on being industrious in any way and climbed into bed with my heated blanket and another book. When the husband arrived, we set off on the Tour of Toys, Part II (Shop Harder), and then went out to a delicious early anniversary dinner. Well, the anniversary part was early, dinner itself required almost a 90 minute wait and didn’t end til 11pm. But Iron Hill Brewery has excellent raspberry wheat beer that helped to pass the time.

Day 4
The first words I heard were, “Hon, FYI but it’s __ am!” And yes, my husband actually used the phrase FYI first thing in the morning. He was so amazed at the time that he lapsed into corporate speak in the bedroom. In the car, we actually got to listen to NPR! (I realize I should have spent the time having meaningful dialogue with my husband, but really, three whole podcasts of Wait! Wait! is too good to pass up). We then spent the day walking around Cape May, buying art, eating food samples, and giggling over how easy it all was without children. Hell, most of the stores didn’t even ALLOW strollers! Perfect weather, good food, good buys, and no whining. Really, is there anything better? We concluded the day with the Tour of Toys, Part III (Shop with a Vengeance), and a few episodes of Penn & Teller’s Bullshit.

Day 5
The honeymoon was over. A long, long list of necessary chores awaited us. The Tour of Toys, Part IV (Live Debt-Free or Shop Hard), gave us the final Christmas lists for Santa. My husband headed outdoors for his manly duty of leaves and grass while I headed indoors for my womanly duty of groceries and toiletries. Both of us would have preferred to watch Howie and Terry. But with T-minus three hours until my children arrived home, battered with lack of sleep, broken from all routine, and beastly from lack of discipline, there is no more time for play. My stay-cation has ended.

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