Date Nights

Date nights for Earl and I have always been something that he and I have looked forward to throughout our marriage, and our kids have too.

"Hey kids - we're going to go out tonight. Miss _______ will be coming to babysit."
"Whoooo Hoooooo!"

Our kids really loved all of their babysitters and had a fun time when we were gone.

Well, last year our family kind of turned a corner and we were able to leave all 5 of them alone while we went out . . . instead of having someone else come over to watch over things.

But, as a mother, I began to wonder if they would miss the fun they had when someone else would come over to spend time with them. I didn't want any "bitterness" or "resentment" to begin to stir the waters. So I prayed and thought through things a bit, and tried to put myself in their shoes.

I must say, that Earl and I think our kids our the GREATEST (what parent doesn't, right?) and their attitudes have been so good over the years. They truly have rejoiced with us in our new-found freedom and have encouraged us to go out.

But I wanted to make their time here at the house special too. So, I began to plan "missions" for them to accomplish that required them all working together to accomplish it and usually ended with a special "dessert" and movie. The kids know that this won't happen EVERY time we go out, but enough to make it special and fun.

Well, over the holidays, things had gotten so busy that I just didn't have the energy to plan something "fun" every time Earl and I had to go out alone. So, this past Friday night, as Earl and I were planning to go out for dinner and see a movie, I decided that I would plan something fun again.

We left them with a note:

So, we get to go out and it has been awhile since we've given you a "mission" to complete while home alone.
Well, tonight you have another mission!

* eat dinner
(Earl got them pizza!)
* clean up the house (Emily & Molly - kitchen; David - dining room; Jonathan & Annie - living room and bedrooms)
* call Mom's cell phone"
(the very first time we did this, I had them call me when they were all standing in the bathtub and then I went and left my cell phone in the van while we were in the restaurant. Thankfully I remembered after only 3 missed calls and a frantic voice mail. We still laugh over that one!)

When they called me, I told them to look under the keyboard, where they would find their next instructions:

"You must write a song to the tune of:
"How Much is That Doggie in the Window"
The song must include a line or phrase from each of you. When you have it written down, practice it a few times. Then, make up some hand motions and practice it a few more times. Then . .. videotape yourselves performing it all together.
When you have competed this mission . . . call Mom's cell.
(You're going to wish that I had gotten a nap and a cup of coffee before thinking this all up. Keep in mind . .. memories are being made. Hahahahahaha!)"

Here are the lyrics to the song they came up with:

"Do you have such parents as we have right now?
They make us do things that we may not know how.
They make us sing song that we may not like.
They feed us with nutmeg and vegetable oil.
They wash us with seaweed and camel fat.
They clothe us with goat skins and carpets that smell.
but we still will love them as best we know how, how, how."

When they called me after videoing themselves, I told them where they would find their next "mission". It was a series of clues that finally led them to their movie and dessert.
We didn't know that they would video the whole "mission" but we're so glad they did. It was really fun to watch them think it out!

We love our kids.
We love this new season we are in.
We are looking forward to making lots of new memories in 2012!


Abby said…
My two youngest & I just watched the whole thing! MY Kids LOVE treasure hunts as they call them, so they were enjoying watching yours on their special "mission" Great idea!

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