Aside from childbirth — in which I got a lovely all-expenses
paid trip to the hospital down the street for two nights with my husband — Alec and I have never been away from the kids together. (Aww crap, I just realized that I have been telling that story for a while now, but even in the hospital, we obviously had one baby to care for).
When my mom offered to come out from Ohio to watch my three sons while Alec and I enjoyed a mid-week escape, I said, “YES PLEASE!!”. While I may have been fantasizing about two weeks on another continent, we decided for a three-day roadtrip in California. Baby steps. We also agreed that weekdays would be the easiest because the children have school and childcare for most of the day. Thus my birthday getaway and foray into Camp Grandma was plotted.
My mom arrived last Monday afternoon in time for us to share a mother-daughter lunch and pedicure before we launched into kid-care and hands-on training for pick-ups, tantrums, dinner protocol, meal planning, and minivan navigation. In the morning, we did drills on wake-up-and-leave-the-house including quizzes on where we keep clothes, lunchboxes, and coffee supplies. My aunt would join later in the day for an extra pair of hands. I felt ready.
Alec and I headed out the door with our tiny rental convertible and drove off leaving them for some family-bonding time.
While we were away, we got a few text updates and photos to let us know that things were going well (enough).
… as well as a few questions about where the heck we keep things.
Luckily, they all got into a groove because our second and third nights away, we were completely off the grid with no cell reception and *gulp* no WIFI.
We returned from our getaway to a family dinner and a birthday karaoke excursion. We hired a sitter so that my mom could join us for an adults-only evening and celebrate the success of Camp Grandma. Please excuse the quality of the iPhone photo in party lighting but I love this picture of me and my mom as I’m singing Radiohead Creep. See the lyrics? Priceless.
I know my kids had a terrific time with my mom. Sawyer, at 18 months, is still asking “Gammy go?” now that she’s returned home. I hope we can do it all again soon.
[All photos from me or my mom]