We got up at our normal time. We got the kids ready for school. We got their lunches ready and we got them out the door. But that is where the similarity to any NORMAL day ends. You see even though it was a work day, even though it was the middle of the week, the wife and I had arranged to each use one of our saved up vacation days. We waved goodbye to the kids with our happy, teeth-showing, more of a Cheshire cat grin smile, dropped ’em off and hit the gas pedal. Vrooooom.
First stop: Universal Studios in Hollywood.
We’ve been annual pass holders for years but there are still a bunch of things the wife and I have never seen because of the kids. So with the kids safe at school, and them surely thinking we were tucked away safely at our jobs providing for our family, we hit the theme park without the kids. We blew by all the cartoon characters with the lines of kids waiting for autographs. So long suckers. We blew by all the lines for snow cones, stuffed animals, and kids crap. We went right to the big rides that the kids never let us go on. Revenge Of The Mummy was first. Transformers The Ride was second. The wife and I were both smiling and saying the kids would have lasted about a nano-second before either bursting into tears or chucking up their breakfast. But instead it was just the two of us all the motion thrills we could stomach.
Next stop: The movies.
Usually this is a very strategic and well thought-out battle plan as we see which movie theater has the perfect animated movie at just the right time. Screw it. We showed up at the ticket counter and right away picked the most kid unfriendly, scary, gory, alien-themed movie we could find and we plunked down money for two tickets. Sorry ticket-taker, no kids with us today. Two please. We went in and got popcorn and hot dogs. We took our seats in the empty theater since it was a weekday in the middle of the day, and promptly put our feet right up on the seats in front of us. Since there were no kids with us for once, there were no lessons to be taught right then about manners. We watched the movie- with scares, thrills, blood, and guts like teenagers on a first date.
After the movie, the wife and I hit the candy store for good measure. Imagine going to a candy store without being nagged to death by the “can I have one” or the “mamma I want one”. I don’t remember the last time I got to walk around a candy store and just stare at all the stuff. I was like a kid in a candy store. Yep I just said that.
We finished the day without visiting every public restroom on the west coast. We finished the day without being talked into some plush something or other. We finished the day only thinking of the kids a couple of times. And no, I didn’t feel guilty. I don’t remember the last time the wife and I played hookie from parenting for a while. So we wiped the smiles off our faces and got back into parent mode. We picked up the kids at school and never made mention of the day again. They think we were working all day. They think we were doing parent stuff all day. In the end, I was so happy to see the kids’ shining faces. It was great coming home to them and making our family complete. And we bought them each a little something at the candy store. But they still don’t know our secret. And I’m perfectly OK with that.