Blended families are at the very best complicated, and at the very least a pain-in-the-arse. (Although, to be fair, I know plenty of normal, non-blended families that are a pain-in-the-arse, too.)
Ok, to rephrase: Families are a Pain-in-the-Arse.
But blended families in particular carry their own complexities. For instance, my ex-husband and I divide the holidays every year, in order to be with the kids an equitable amount of the time. For the most part, it works out smoothly. And really, the kids tend to make out like bandits on Christmas and Birthdays because they get twice as much loot.
Guilt is a fantastic economy booster.
This year the kid’s Dad has them for Spring Break. Knowing this, My Captain and I decided to make last weekend our “mini-Spring Break” with the kids. We had a bonfire with them on Friday, took them to Hershey Lodge on Saturday, and bought and planted fruit trees on Grandma’s Orchard on Sunday. (ok, ok, what Sunday REALLY looked like was My Captain and I planting trees while Critter was playing Wii comfortably in Grandma’s living room, and Varmint was out having lunch with friends….)
I mentioned the Bonfire in my previous post ~ Easter Massacre ~. It was a lot of fun, and definitely made some memories for the munchkins. (Or scars, depending how you look at it.)
Our trip to Hershey Lodge was, er, maybe a little weird for a 9 and 10-year-old’s spring break.
We drove over 2 hours to have dinner in one of the Lodge’s way-cool restaurants, then wandered into the gift shop where I repeated “No.” “No.” “No.” “No.”. and they repeated, “But I’ll pay you back!” “But I’ll pay you back!” “But I’ll pay you back!” in increasingly whiney decibels.
Ahhhh, Good Times… Good Times.
Then we went to the lobby and loitered.
We parked it near the bar and My Captain had some kind of weird beer, which made him happy.
And I had a White Chocolate Martini-thingy.
Wow, THAT photo is not nearly as appetizing as it was in real life. That is a Hershey Kiss in the bottom of the glass, not a ….well….oh never mind.
Critter and Varmint had Virgin Daquiris and Pina Coladas. Because we like to start these habits early, apparently.
Did I mention that I’m up for “Mother Of The Year” again?
But they were happy as clams and thanked My Captain profusely for making the time and effort and expense to bring them to “The Sweetest Place On Earth.”
I didn’t fix the red eye in this photo because I wanted you to see that both have red-devil eyes….co-incidence? I think not.
“Mom said if I kiss you on the cheek, she won’t beat me tonight.” (I’m KIDDING. Please don’t call Children’s Protective Services because of this post.)
As we sipped and enjoyed our liquid sugar, I pulled out a pack of playing cards, which, funnily enough, said “Hershey” on them. We go to Hershey often, apparently.
It must be the clean air that attracts us.
We played a couple of stupid kid games. And by stupid, I mean boring-as-snot for a 9 and 10 year old.
So we decided to teach them BlackJack. But BlackJack really only means something if you are betting, so I went back to the gift shop and bought one of the bags of jelly beans that I had previously said, “No. No. No. No.” to.
I’m consistent like that.
And we taught them how to gamble playing BlackJack, complete with proper phraseology and hand motions.
Despite the fact that he kept eating his winnings, Critter had the biggest pile of Jelly Beans, by far.
We had a ball! We were laughing heartily and hugging and drinking our sugar-laden drinks and stealing each other’s Jelly Beans.
People stared. Patrons whispered behind their hands. Managers looked concerned.
The bartender loved us.
Look, the way I see it, they are going to be exposed to these types of things when they’re in college (or prison) anyways. I’d rather they not get taken for all they’re worth then. So sue me if I think it’s harmless to make them a little street-smart.
Next year for Spring Break we’re going to teach them how to pan-handle.