Friday, 18 January 2013

Free days home with the kids

A couple of days ago, Ontario teachers announced a one-day strike. Emails were sent out to parents that night, the children were informed in class yesterday and brought a letter home that afternoon. Parents everywhere scrambled frantically to find a babysitter or booked a day off work to deal with the last-minute change - not so much in this neighbourhood, since the majority of families here have a stay-at-home mom, but most parents throughout the province felt the pinch of emergency childcare coverage.

I looked at it as a bonus day - the kids were excited to have a long weekend and an extra day at home with Mommy and I looked forward to an extra day of play with my boys without the early morning scramble of a normal school day.

We didn't sleep in (wishful thinking on Mommy's part...) but had a lovely lazy morning eating breakfast in the living room watching movies and planning out our day. A few hours later I went online to check on an email I'd been waiting for from the office and read the news that the strike had been called off at four o'clock in the morning and the kids had school after all. It was nine o'clock at that point - fifteen minutes after the school day started - and we were all still in jammies. I put about five seconds' worth of thought into it - frantically stuff the kids into clothes, gather up their books and homework, pack a couple of quick lunches, bundle Baby into the stroller and rush them off to school, ridiculously late and very upset at losing their day off? Or let them stay home and give them the day they'd been promised? Obviously, I decided to keep them home. I called the school to report their absence and we had a glorious free day just me and my boys.

After our morning movies we baked a batch of banana bread. While it was in the oven we pulled out the new Christmas Lego sets and put in some serious building time. When Baby got bored of colouring and watching us, we had ourselves a massive Wii Sports tournament - bowling, golf, tennis, and boxing. I lost. Then an intense pirates vs. Jedis match with the play swords. I lost that too.

After lunch we headed outside, lamented the fact that all the Christmas holiday snow had melted, and headed to the park for some playground time and monkey-in-the-middle soccer. Back home, we pooled all the little dribbles of bubble solution left over from the summer and had a bubble-blowing battle in the backyard. Then back inside we had some hot chocolate (I don't believe hot chocolate should be exclusively reserved for snowy days!) and a lengthy Monopoly tournament before my husband came home for dinner.

Such a fun day. And such a nice treat to have a free day home with my boys!

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