When Your Spring Break Isn’t

This week, in our corner of Kansas, is Spring Break, that hallowed oasis in the middle of the Spring semester.  For a lot of families, it means vacations or trips to see family or just extra time at home together…but not for ours.  See, I married, and my children are fathered by, an optometrist, and therefore, if everyone else is on break, he’s working extra hard.  So, as a family, we’re not going anywhere, and I’m not really up to taking the girls on a week-long trip by myself at this point.*  Plus, my office doesn’t do “sick leave” (because they also don’t do “trust” when it comes to their employees, apparently), so unless we’re actually going out of town, I generally reserve my vacation for the inevitable days when one of my littles is sick.  Do I probably have enough this year to at least take off one or two days of the break?  Yes.  But doing so would probably result in the entire family getting strep. Or malaria.

Spring Break, for us, is basically just another week, except that I have to find someone to watch Maddie while I’m working, and this year, she noticed.  She came home from school the last Friday before the break kind of bummed that all of her friends were doing fun stuff, and saying that some of them were laughing at her for saying she’s spending the week with one of her former preschool teachers** instead of going to the beach/museum/zoo/grandma’s/mountains, etc.***

I explained to her, again, why Spring Break just isn’t really feasible for us, and while I think she does understand, she’s seven, and that doesn’t make it any easier.  So, over the weekend, I developed (sort of) a PLAN.  I’m going to try to do something, every day of the break, to make it special for her.  Sunday night, she got to stay up late and play computer games after I put her sister to bed, AND she still got story time of her own before lights out.  (We’re reading the fourth Harry Potter book right now, and we’re almost ready to start the Tri-Wizard, so she’s allllll about story time.)  Last night, Jon built a fire in the backyard, and we roasted marshmallows.  (Jon got those enormous “campfire” marshmallows and then couldn’t understand why the girls would still want two when they’re so big.  Because no one wants to roast “marshmallow,” Jon!  Just like you’re not really going to have A cookie or A potato chip.)


Tonight Jon and I have plans, so I’m thinking take-out food will be the treat, letting them choose between pizza or Jimmy John’s.  (When you live in the boonies of Olathe, your delivery options are limited…)  Friday or Saturday will probably be Zootopia at the movie theater, and maybe we’ll hit up the Nelson Atkins or something, too.  In between, we’ll see.  I’m trying to think of things that aren’t always “food” related.  Any ideas?  They need to be special but small, inexpensive, and not terribly time-consuming because as I may have mentioned, Jon and I are still doing a full work-week.  😉

Happy Spring Break!


*I’m not saying my kids are devils or anything, and I’m sure there are those of you out there who could do this and would enjoy it.  I applaud you…and I am not you.  I know the limits of my own patience, and instead of trying to be a sort of supermom that does not exist within me (I have other types of supermom–I’m, like, the best bed-time story reader you’ve ever MET), I’ll stick to “team” vacations for the time being.  I don’t want to scar my children with “that time we went on a ‘girls’ trip’ and Mom completely lost her shit on us in the middle of the zoo just because one of us had to go to the bathroom again.”

**For the record, this woman is a rockstar.  Not only does she plan daily field-trips for Maddie while she stays with her (and she’s got two very young children of her own, mind you), she also provided me with a travel mug and coffee this morning as I frazzled-ly rushed Maddie into her house.  Thanks, Jen!  You’re the best.

***One of these years, once both girls are a little older, we’ll throw caution to the wind, say Screw you! to production-based pay, and we’ll take them on one, epic Spring Break trip.  But first, we’ll wait until they’re both old enough to really remember it…