My weekend parenting test
I admit I am not supermom. Being a workaholic, I've missed a lot of parenting lessons. So when left alone with my daughters for an entire weekend, I often have to call my husband wherever he is to ask things like: How much medicine does the little one get? What will she eat besides kielbasa? Where are the light bulbs?
Were I male, this ineptitude would be more accepted, if not totally expected. Case in point: pop music critic Sean Daly's weekend with his girls. But I feel pretty darn great about my days as cruise director.
- Color Me Mine in Hyde Park, for pottery painting. Fun way to spend a couple of hours with both girls, ages 8 and 3. Cost: Should have been $42, including studio time for both girls ($14) and the pottery they selected. But we had gift certificates from their birthdays, so it was free.
- Next, we walked around Hyde Park and did some shopping at Pottery Barn Kids and Learning Express. I call this play time. Pottery Barn Kids has loads of fun stuff around the store, from toy kitchens to dollhouses to a teepee. The girls could have stayed all day. Cost: Free!
- We then had lunch at Beef 'O' Brady's. It was noon on a football Saturday, so the place was crowded with lots of families trying to entertain their kids and catch their favorite games. Both girls got a hot dog and I got to eat, too! Cost: $17.63
- After getting the little one home for her afternoon nap, we ventured to Jan Kaminis Platt Library in South Tampa. The girls poured through the books and DVDs, both checking out an armful of things. Cost: Free!
- More stores as playdates. We hit Barnes & Noble and Borders. I admit I'm usually a softie for the "Can't we just pick one book?" line, but I held my ground and made it out the door without a meltdown. Cost: Free!
- Then it was home for dinner, which I survived by cooking pasta, scrambled eggs and, you guessed it, kielbasa. We watched a show from one of the library DVDs and it was off to bed at 8 p.m. HOORAY!
- Most of the morning was filled with church and Sunday school. While my older one was in class, I took the younger one to Starbucks for a glazed donut and some milk she wouldn't drink. Guess my willpower was waning in the latter hours. Cost: About $6, including my hot chocolate.
- After a great lunch where the girls and I told funny stories over taquitos and raisins, the 3-year-old went down for her nap. Shortly after she woke up, my husband came home!
I told him everything we did and he was like, "How much money did you spend?!!" I guess I've earned a reputation for treating the girls when I have them alone, as much for the entertainment possibilities as anything. But I was good this weekend and so were the girls.
-- Amy Hollyfield