Last Updated on November 22, 2020 by World's Okayest Mom
Here’s my million-dollar idea: libraries should allow you to check out a child like you do books.
Actually, I’m willing to rent a child. So Rent-A-Center, take note!
I’d like to check out a child for the week
Here’s the paradox of only childness: Vacations.
- Vacations are easier with only one child. The cost, of course, is the main factor. Surprisingly, it costs less to fly with only three people rather than four, or five, or heaven forbid if you’re The Sister, six. Who knew?
- Logistics are easier to coordinate. With one child, I don’t have to worry about renting a school bus to transport my brood of children from airport to hotel to vacation fun spot back to hotel. It’s just the three of us. We can even fit into a sports car.
- Child arguments are at a minimum, unless your husband bickers like a child… But that’s an issue for another blog.
But, vacations with only one child are a headache. If you have multiple children, you may take this for granted, but your kids entertain each other. A lot. Maybe that entertainment consists of “I’m not touching you, can’t get mad.” Or playing 50 Ways to Disagree About What Movie to Watch. Or just straight-up, sibling arguing.
But the children are busy. And entertained. And maybe even quiet when sulking from the loss of 50 Ways to Disagree About What Movie to Watch.
I am fully aware of how terrible this is going to sound. I love My Girl. Very very much. I love spending time with her. When it’s time to wake her up in the morning for school, I get excited because I miss her after the 10 hours she’s been in bed.
And I look forward to weekends with two uninterrupted days with My Girl. And then I look forward to going back to work on Monday mornings with a few hours of peace and quiet.
So, while vacations are great and spending that time with My Girl is great, I need a bit of a buffer. I need a distraction. I need a rent-a-sibling.
The Husband and I have tried many different methods to ensure successful vacations. Often, we vacation with others – The Brother and his family, B. Swift and her family, Leslie Ann and her family, the Chandler/Monica clan, and most often my parents. Once we even brought a niece with us to act as a pseudo-sibling for My Girl. I think my niece missed the peace and quiet more than I did.
The Grandma/Papa Buffer
On our most recent vacation, we spent the week with my parents. As I’ve written before, my mom is My Girl’s person. She’s the favored playmate. She’s the confidant. She’s even a little bit of an instigator in some of My Girl’s schemes. So vacationing with my parents is a win-win for all.
Someday, though, even my parents are going to get worn out from My Girl’s endless energy.
And since I don’t think we can bribe my niece enough to join us on a trip again, we may need some new options.
Enter my million-dollar idea. But my messages to the local public library are going unanswered. Curious.
Luckily, My Girl has some ideas of her own that I saw put into action during our trip to San Diego.
My Girl is pretty outgoing, has never heard of the word “shy” and doesn’t understand the concept of stranger danger.
After 8 hours of travel on our first day, these characteristics of My Girl were put to good use.
In need of entertainment while we waited for our first and only meal of the day (unless you consider Starburst jelly beans and pistachios a meal – My Girl does; I do not), My Girl found a friend.
The young man serving our lunch… dinner… I’m not really sure what it was. The three-hour time change threw off my appetite.
My Girl – who insists on bringing a backpack full of toy animals when we drive to the grocery store – was in high form – impatient, energetic, hungry and loud. It didn’t take her long to complete the activities on the children’s menu, eat all the bread and start to annoy everyone at the table.
Draw a picture, I told her.
So she did, and then she gifted it to our server, because, in her words “he has a tough job and the only thing he gets is money.”
(She has yet to completely grasp the value of money.)
Of course, the server – who tragically has only received money in his days waiting tables – was thrilled with his picture. His reward was a free ice cream sundae.
My reward… 20 minutes of peace and quiet.
And with that, we stumbled on a way to keep My Girl occupied during our vacation.
Pay unwitting babysitters
Sure. We could have enticed a niece or friend. Of course. We could have paid through the nose to bring a babysitter or nanny. (For the record, we don’t have a nanny, but I’m sure we could have bribed someone one to help entertain My Girl for a week in San Diego). But why do those things where there are 1.4 million people in San Diego. And approximately 15,000 of those people are literally driving around the city looking to make a quick buck.
Yes. Uber drivers. Who needs to rent-a-sibling when we can get very pricey entertainment for My Girl every time we transport from place to place?
Ruby the Uber Driver
My Girl really took a liking to Ruby the Uber Driver. Maybe it’s because she was the only female driver we had during the week. But she spent the entire 30-minute drive telling Ruby jokes. Like this fun elephant series she learned from Papa:
Why do elephants wear red shoes? To hide in the strawberry patch.
Why do elephants wear blue shoes? Because his red ones are dirty. (Ruby, of course, fell for the obvious – to hide in the blueberry patch).
What do elephants do after 5 o’clock? Climb trees.
Why don’t you walk in the forest after 5 o’clock? Because the elephants jump out of trees.
Why does a beaver have a flat tail? Because it walked in the forest after 5 o’clock.
Yes. This went on and on and on. Ruby – the kind soul that she was – laughed and laughed and laughed.
She finally rounded out this babysitting adventure… I mean Uber ride… with her own joke:
What do you call a cow with no legs? Ground beef.
(Fast forward to the next day, and My Girl shared this joke – and many more – with the owners of the BBQ place that served us dinner. Just making friends wherever she goes…)
Elderly Maniac Driver
On our way home from San Diego Safari Park and nice 80-something year old driver picked us up. My Girl was eager to make a new friend, but the man was distracting in his own way.
He was an absolute terror behind the wheel.
My Girl was horrified by his interstate driving and spent the drive wide-eyed and mouth hanging open.
It was an expensive drive from Escondido back to our VRBO in San Diego. Worth every penny though.
Andy And Then
Not every Uber driver was a qualified My Girl entertainer. Andy drove us to the zoo, which of course, My Girl was absolutely thrilled about.
During the drive, she tried to get everyone – Andy included – involved in her game “And Then.”
This game is thanks to Leslie Ann and her family. We start telling a made-up story and then pass the plot line to the next player with the “and then” lob.
For example, I started off: “There was once a girl named Crystal who grew up in San Diego. Every day after school, she walked home. But she would stop and sit underneath her favorite palm tree. And then…”
Then My Girl would pick the strand with something about a talking animal… or a unicorn… or a talking unicorn. You get the idea.
Apparently, Andy did not get the idea. He would not participate, much to My Girl’s disappointment.
But, he did offer us his sympathy as we finally arrived at the zoo. “Good luck,” he said with a chuckle as we unloaded from his mini-van.
Matthew Who Knows Too Much
I was ready for our trip to come to an end and for our experiment with Uber Drivers to wrap up by the time we rode with Matthew Who Knows Too Much.
Matthew was fascinated by My Girl, and My Girl fed off his attention.
As soon as the car started moving, My Girl started in: “Where were you born?”
The girl didn’t even offer to buy him a drink before diving right into the deep questions. Matthew played along.
Then he was well awarded with the birth place of every passenger in the car – My Girl’s, mine, The Husband’s and both my parents’. This was followed by any random fact My Girl knew about me.
“I know a lot about my momma… because she’s my momma,” she told him.
And now, Matthew knows a lot about me.
I think it’s time to go home and continue stuffing full our library’s suggestion box full of my million-dollar idea.