How Lack of Non-Family Babysitters Led to An Impromptu Vacation with Huey Lewis and the News

Here’s a little insight insight into how my mind works.

Saturday morning Becky was at work and I was cleaning the house with the kids. I got an email from her saying she wanted to do something fun that night. So did I, but there’s kind of a problem. We’ve been awful at cultivating babysitters outside of our immediate family. So when the last-minute urge for dinner and a movie hits, and all of the relatives are booked up, we don’t have any options.

Well, we don’t have any sane options. Here’s what we did.

Because of this lack of outside babysitters, and our kids being at an age where it’s frequently required for us to get away from them RIGHT NOW on occasion to save everyone’s sanity, we’ve become pretty good at finding non-traditional ways to unload the little monsters, er, lovely darlings. Two of our favorites are IKEA and the Soaring Eagle Casino. Yes, I know it’s shameful to bring kids into a casino, but they love it.

So Saturday afternoon when we realized we couldn’t find a babysitter, my brain starting looking for other options. Then I thought, “Hey, didn’t Soaring Eagle just open a water park?”

Indeed they had. So I made a reservation, packed up the kids, and when Becky got home from work we left. And we all had a great night. The kids were excited to stay in a hotel and go to the Kids Room with video games and a playscape and any number of ways to distract and entertain them, while mommy and daddy had a nice dinner, played some cards, eavesdropped on the Huey Lewis concert, and had some reasonably priced drinks in the sports bar. We all fell asleep that night watching Saturday Night Live and it was grand. The next day we all went to the water park where Becky and I both felt better about our bodies and our parenting skills, and then we came home.

So instead of dropping $150 on a babysitter and dinner and a movie, we dropped $200 or so to go away for the night. It’s probably not the best plan, but it worked.