In the "Not As Fun As I Thought It Would Be" category, I have not one, not two, but THREE entries for today.
1. The kids earned Happy Meals for progress made in their summer reading program, so I took them out to redeem them today. They requested all different toys and actually got them (sometimes they all get the same thing and they don't like that) but then spent the entire meal time trading, arguing and crying over who got what toy and who wouldn't trade or trade back. Nothing says fun like multiple meltdowns in Burger King.
2. I used to make the kids' Halloween costumes back when I had just two and three kids. The last few years I have bought and reused costumes because I no longer have the time or the energy to make them. Last year the kids noticed that the homemade ones were better than the store bought ones and asked me to start making them again. I told the kids if they wanted homemade Halloween costumes, they had to ask me at the beginning of summer so I had time to make them. To my surprise, they remembered and asked me, right when school got out, to start sewing. So, today I thinned the herd and took just Joey and Sam to the fabric store to look at patterns and choose their costumes. (I will do the rest of them in later phases.)
Fun as this sounds, it was not. At first they couldn't find anything they liked. Then they found inappropriate or too difficult or too expensive things. Then, they couldn't decide on the proper fabric. Then, when the fabric was cut, they changed their mind and wanted to be something else (not a chance, bucko). Then, the baby's diaper blew out in a messy way, in the middle of the long fabric cutting line and she decided to scream about it for the rest of our visit. Next, one of the items I chose didn't have a price and we had to stand there while a slow-as-molasses sales person meandered back to see if she could find something similar to scan. (I finally sent Joey, who returned with the proper item before the tortoise had even rounded the first corner). Nothing but fun, I tell you. And it only continued as we got home and the "when will it be done" and "why aren't you working on it yet" questions began.
3. We all went bowling tonight. To be fair, overall it actually WAS pretty fun. But, when you are at home thinking about how great it will be for the whole family to be together out doing something so special and rare, you forget about some of the details. Like the toddler who, the second you aren't looking, rolls a ball down someone else's lane. And the pitcher of soda that was spilled nearly the instant it arrived, making everyone's bowling shoes sticky. And the mix up of the bowling order that caused one child to tank a frame on someone else's score, resulting in a bit of strong feedback from one child to another.
However, watching Tony trot to the edge of the lane, shove the ball down it, wait breathlessly to see if any pins fell down and finally shout, "Yay, Tony!" (accompanied by enthusiastic self-applause) made the entire experience worthwhile.
Yes, indeed. Family fun. Exactly as a sane person might have imagined it would be in the first place. But not a crazy optimist like me. An optimist who is already excited about our next family adventure.