I love surprises.
To me there is nothing more wonderful than a surprise. I love the shock and excitement. And I love the spontaneity (at least ont he part of the receiver). It's a blast.
So, since we've all been a little cranky in our house, Phat Daddy has had a busy week at work, Doodle has had a tough time in some of his programs (karate and vacation Bible camp) and I'm just plain worn out I decided to book a hotel in Buffalo and surprise the family with a mini vacation.
Surprise them I did!
I somehow managed to pack a bag and hide it in the van for a couple of days, speak to the hotel and get their 5 confirmation e-mails without letting Phat Daddy see them (we don't really read each other's e-mails, but I often leave mine open).
Saturday was Phat Daddy's grandparents 60th anniversary. So, we went there for dinner and then when we left I surprised him with a bottle of wine and some cards. Doodle was thrilled (he knew there was a surprise coming) because we were going to a "hometel!" with a "pool!" and it was in "Buffalo with toy stores!" All was good.
And it went pretty well.
Except ... it wasn't all that relaxing.
The first night Doodle was way too excited to sleep. He was up till midnight. The baby too. And, since we didn't have the right room I didn't sleep well at all.
No problem. I was in great spirits the next morning. I went to breakfast (in the lobby) with the kids while Phat Daddy got some extra sleep. Then I took Doodle swimming.
My next surprise for the boys was a trip to the Aquarium.
Did you know there is an aquarium in Buffalo/Niagara Falls? Well there is.
Phat Daddy loves aquariums.
The thing is, Doodle and I were ready to do a quick visit. Phat Daddy wanted to read every sign. The baby was mesmerized by the fish and the lights and the colours. So, all in all it was a nice but super-quick visit. I think Doodle and I spent more time in the gift shop than in the rest of the aquarium, but at least it gave Phat Daddy more time to look around. And, don't get me started on the ridiculousness of the fact that on the upper-level it is so dangerous and kids could easily fall from the 2nd level into the sea lion tank. I was having a nervous breakdown on that level.
We finally left, and then went to look at the falls (from a distance) because again I have a huge fear of bringing Doodle to Niagara Falls.
Anyway, we spent the afternoon having lunch and then relaxing at the hotel. By the end of the day I was feeling crappy. We were all cranky from the late night, and the pizza we ordered took more than an hour to arrive.
But, we did watch a lot of the Disney Channel and Phat Daddy and I were killing ourselves laughing while we watched "The Wizards of Waverly Place." Doodle couldn't figure out why we thought it was so funny, but he decided to laugh with us.
The thing was, as it was getting closer to bedtime I was feeling crappier and crappier. And then since we'd promised Doodle ice cream I pulled it out super late (like 9pm) which was just dumb because I should have known it would make him insanely hyper. Oops!
Anyway, by the next morning I was fully sick. My ear was hurting and I couldn't swallow. So, we went to breakfast as a family. One of the highlights of this hotel is that they have a really nice continental breakfast. And they have a waffle iron. Doodle really wanted to make a waffle which was fine. I told him not to touch. I reminded him not to touch. But, in his excitement he flung his hand and touched the burning hot waffle iron.
OMG! Did the child ever scream.
He burned his finger. Ouch. So, I rushed him over to get his finger in some ice water and he eventually calmed down once it helped him. Once he was calmer I went to get him some breakfast while Phat Daddy was sitting with him. As I'm calmly getting his food the lady who had come over to make sure he was okay was talking in the buffet area.
Her comment? "I hate it when parents don't supervise their children."
There are many areas I fall short as a parent. Supervision is not one. Doodle is the kind of child who needs constant supervision. It was an accident. He wasn't flipping the waffle himself. He was excited.
Normally I'd walk away but instead I said something. I mean, sure comment on bad parenting but don't do it in front of customers. Especially if said customer is the parent you are gossiping about.
Anyway, we finally checked out, went to Target and then drove home, all a little tired, and all ready to be home.
I'm not sure if it was the best weekend ever. But, the idea was nice, the family was surprised, and I think despite the bad points it was a pretty fun time.
On a side note... I'm reading a book called "The Explosive Child". It was recommended to me to help Doodle. He's been struggling and I want to sort things out.
It's a pretty amazing book and has some great ideas.
I can't wait to get this into motion.
Step one is dealing with some issues we've been having at karate. Tonight is our test run. Wish me luck.