It’s a miracle. I got my husband to leave the house for a full day earlier this week, even on a day that there was a sale going on. Well, almost a full day, basically a work day for the average person. Now that’s pretty good. I really thought that I had accomplished something until I realized, this truly was a vacation for him, no matter how much he complained about it. It didn’t even dawn on me until the evening was over, as I was sitting on the couch trying to keep my eyes open and feed the baby and get our son to pick up some toys before he went to bed, while my husband was comfortably reading a book in the recliner.
I’ll have to start with the night before to explain my level of exhaustion, but first, other moms can probably stop reading at this point. You don’t need me to explain, but stick around for a few jokes and the fun story after my mommy complaint. I’m sure moms already know what I’m going to talk about because they also have been in my shoes. It’s that magical thing that just happens called “being prepared.” That thing that some husbands think magically happens.
Some people say, “Oh, look at that, you’ve got a nice looking family!”
Do you know what I had to do to make that nice looking family? Stay up late the night before, preparing, get up early that morning, preparing, basically dress them all myself, including the husband, and be prepared with wipes for food or boogers at all times. It’s exhausting.
Last week was my son’s fourth birthday, and of course, the flu swept through our house and all the boys were sick, and I babied them all through it. I also downplayed the birthday part, knowing that as soon as my four-year-old realized that he was missing out on his birthday, he would lose his mind. I also felt a bit guilty because last year I was pregnant with his little brother, was nauseous to begin with, and was sick on top of that, so it wasn’t a spectacular birthday and I wanted this to be a good one. So while he was sick, he got to watch an endless number of movies and he slept a lot, so it wasn’t that hard to make it through a few days faking him out, then I used the next few days using a birthday trip as a way to keep him in line.
“Don’t chase the cat or you won’t get your birthday surprise.”
“Share with your baby brother or you won’t get your birthday surprise.”
And this gem was during the first stage of a tantrum in public. Picture the mom voice, gritted teeth, and crazy eyes on my part. Picture a nuclear explosion on his part. “DON’T YOU DARE OR I WILL GO ON THIS BIRTHDAY TRIP WITHOUT YOU AND EAT THE WHOLE CAKE BY MYSELF!!!”
I would have done it too.
Then it’s the night before the trip, which is to Legoland in Kansas City. Yeah, I’m awesome, I know. He loves his Duplos, and I won’t kid, I love them just as much. I had already made my to-do list. It was longer than the Constitution, but I planned for emergencies. Here are a few things from that list:
After I got the kids into bed the night before, I started preparing the items, all 92, for the trip. My husband went to bed and I was still up arranging, packing, and preparing. When I got up early the next morning, I coffeed up to override the drag from a late night, a sleepless baby, and an early morning. Everything was checked off the list, the kids were ready, the car was running and I had two minutes left in my planned departure time. You have no idea how I felt, the enjoyment I had, to know that we were actually going to leave on time for a change.
“I’ll be right back, I’ve gotta go feed the pigs,” said my husband who slept a lot more than me.
Remember that nuclear explosion I mentioned earlier with the toddler. Now picture it on my face.
He got the hint and ran, to get away quickly and to get back quickly. I went quickly to message my sister-in-law, drop the curse words I would have liked to say outloud, and move on with my day. Five minutes later we were on the road. That’s the end of the “preparing” story. I just had to throw my husband under the bus for being late.
I had intentionally waited until this point to tell my son where we were going for his birthday. A surprise is great, but vague enough to forget about after a few moments, but if I had been more specific earlier, he would have asked over and over again about Legoland.
I was too excited myself to take this into account five miles down the road:
“Are we there yet?”
And he asked this about twenty more times before he fell asleep.
We stopped for breakfast on the way there, after finding my original destination closed, but thanks to a quick phone call to my mom, we found another place right away that served pancakes that looked like Mickey Mouse. It was the start of a fun day.
I sideswiped a car as we drove through the city, but it only left a little scratch, and we made it to Crown Center unscathed. No, that really didn’t happen, but I was driving my mom’s car, so we’ll see if she really does read the blog.
From start to finish, Aiden had tons of fun. Everything was hands on. I know, of course, it’s Legoland, but it’s not all building stuff. There were rides, games, a play center, a race track, karaoke, and so much more. We got there at ten and the only thing to make him slow down for a moment was a bag of Goldfish snacks. If you don’t already know this, Goldfish have the ability to make your child sit down. I never bought them until I witnessed it at a play time event where they served Goldfish as a snack. It’s amazing!
Most of his time was spent at the play center, which had slides, ladders, a soft wrecking ball, and a padded obstacle course. For the first round in the play center, he ran through it with a long-haired little boy named Owen, but I had a hard time convincing my son it was a little boy. After Owen’s own grandmother continually said his name and mentioned “HE” loudly, I tried to correct my son, but he wasn’t having it. He just ran through the obstacle course yelling, “Come on little girl!” as this poor kid tried to keep up with my overly energetic kid. My corrections only made him more adamant, so I just let him go.
After arguing with me about the gender of the other little boy, my husband said, “Well, they should cut his hair so people don’t say he’s a girl,” in a sarcastic tone, referring to my own refusal to get my son’s hair cut when he was little and the ensuing questions about “your little girl” from strangers. Men can be so touchy about that. I just wanted to keep my baby’s curls as long as possible. Now they're gone...forever...give me a minute…
Okay, I’m fine.
My son was exhausted, so we went to the Lego modeling class where I dominated the boys with my Lego building skills. We made cars to race and played more games before we ended up back at the play center. After three hours, my son was starting to look a bit tired, and we were going to lunch at the perfect time because a school group came in with more kids than in our entire local elementary. All I could think of was, “Those poor teachers!” Some looked pretty pumped and alert, but there were a couple that I could tell were not paying any attention, putting up figures in their heads about retiring early.
Just before we left, my husband decided to ride one of the rides with our son. It was called Merlin’s Apprentice, and the video link will show you how it works, but it goes in circles, a problem for my husband. When he said he wanted to ride it, I asked, “Are you sure?” It’s a slow ride, but he can’t even turn around to look in the backseat of the car without feeling sick. After getting buckled in he started to look around at the ride, and asked me as I was standing to the side with the baby, “Wanna switch?”
It was a good decision. There were about 30 other kids on this ride and I don’t think any of them had an extra outfit if my husband started a chain reaction of puking. So I went on the ride, getting quite a workout. It has bike pedals, the faster you pedal the higher you go up, and my toddler was just enjoying the ride, not about to help.
After this we went to Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant, where your food is delivered by a train, and it’s super cheap. Entertaining, fried, and inexpensive! Jackpot! At this point, it was time to go home. My son was super tired. Put this on the record: He didn’t finish his french fries or hot dog and even said he was tired. I’ve never seen such a thing.
So we headed home and he slept the whole way. It was a fun time and I think we made some memories.
If you are planning a trip to Legoland and you’re a tightwad like me, here are a few tips:
All my prep work was catching up to me, and I was looking forward to bedtime. Of course, my husband sneaks into the conversation on the way home, “By the way, I think I’m going to a sale on Thursday night, and maybe one on Friday night, and probably one on Saturday morning.” So when I thought it was a miracle to get him to skip a sale, he was actually setting me up so he could go to three.
When my son woke up as we were almost home, he said, “Okay, when do I get my birthday surprise?”
Ugh! Said every parent.