Staycation Day 3: Home

After two days of big adventures, everyone was pretty tired. Logan and I went to the gym in the morning. We were greeted by signs on the doors saying, “The gym is closing at the end of the month…” I am so bummed! But I suppose it’s probably my fault. You see, I have been trying to exercise regularly for 12 years. Before I got married, I took two semesters of weight training at BYU and loved being strong, fit, and healthy. Then I started having babies. I couldn’t work out while I was pregnant because of preterm labor. I couldn’t work out while I was nursing because I’d get mastitis. At various times, I joined gyms and started to exercise again. The YMCA down in Maple Valley. Gold’s in Charlottesville. The YMCA again in Atlanta. But it never stuck, because we were always moving, or I was nursing, or Ben. I waited patiently for Benny to start kindergarten, because he didn’t function well in a gym nursery. Sure, he’d do fine for a time or two while the toys were new, but once he figured out all he had to do was pitch a fit to get me back in there, it was all over. I tried doing free Zumba at the church but Logan kept demanding my attention. I needed childcare so I could work up a sweat without constantly pausing.

And finally, three months ago, I found the perfect fit. A small, cheap gym with decent childcare. We had the Monday, Wednesday, Friday routine down pat. I was dropping Logan off, doing 30 minutes on the elliptical, 15 minutes core, 15 minutes arms. I was happy, Logan was happy. So of course they are closing in 10 days. And the next cheapest gym is three times as expensive and you have to reserve a spot in the nursery because it fills up so fast.

First world problems, I know. Bummer for me, even worse for the employees who just found out today they only have a week and a half to find a new job!

Logan and I headed home. I took a shower, we made lunch and played outside for a bit. It was cloudier and chillier than the past two days. Logan took a nap and the big kids played Minecraft while I read.

I decided we would go out to dinner to give me a break at least once during our staycation. It was “kids eat free” at Pallino. Megan got a panini, I got a salad, and Gavin and Ben got their free kids’ meals, meatballs for Gavin and pizza for Ben. The kids had also brought some of their birthday money that was burning a hole in their pockets. Gavin wanted a DS game, Ben wanted mints and gum, and Megan just wanted to wander around Michael’s for a bit. Well, as we were leaving, I noticed Ben had a full fountain drink in his hand. I had told him earlier that we were only getting water and he had snuck a bit of fruit punch (and I had filled up the rest of the cup with water). Now that he had more than just a squirt, I felt obligated to set an example of honesty, so I dumped out the fruit punch (the last thing he needs is sugar and Red 40), marched him up to the front, and told him he was paying for that drink with his birthday money.

Of course, hysteria ensued. He screamed, “But she told me I could have a drink!” I looked at her skeptically, “You did?” Apparently she had given him a cup when he asked for one, but “thought he was just getting water.” Fail by her. Fail by me. At any rate, the boy was inconsolable. He screamed that I had never TOLD him the drinks cost money (even though I told him he could only have water). He screamed that I wasted money (well, that was true. I did dump the drink.)

Our after-dinner shopping plans were abruptly cancelled. When the other three kids started getting upset (because of Ben’s screaming, not the shopping), I explained that Ben was overwhelmed by his emotions, or flooded, and we just needed to get him home and in the bed. I did let Megan and Gavin run into GameStop on the way home.

Sweet Ben. He had a quick bath and I snuggled him in his blanket sleeper and he crawled into bed and was asleep before I walked out. It was 7:30. I’m glad I didn’t react when he had his freak out. Other than to take a brief video, because y’all need to know it was loud in that car. Hysterical Ben would be GREAT in a horror film.

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