What a “romantic weekend” with kids really looks like…

candyheartsmap

Whether you’re in a couple or living the single life, Valentine’s Day rarely lives up to the hype. But the next time you’re feeling bad, just remember it could be worse: you could be spending your romantic weekend with two kids under the age of five. Here’s a play by play of our holiday weekend…

5 pm – Finally packed and leaving for Atlanta! So excited.

5:15 pm – Oh, crap. Stuck in traffic. Just realized we left both boys’ winter coats at home.

5:20 pm – Decide to keep going. We’ll pick up some cheap coats somewhere en route. Yea, we’re on our way!

5:35 pm – Five year old asks: Are we there yet?

5:39 pm – Two year old asks: Are we there yet?

6 pm – Traffic is finally moving. Thank goodness. Hoping we can make it to the halfway point for dinner.

6:45 pm – 40 more miles to the HALF-WAY point? Oh, my God. No way the kids can hold out that long.

6:55 pm – We each sling a kid over our shoulder and run inside restaurant – it’s freezing outside.

7:15 pm – Two year old insists we all hold hands around the table because he’s on a new “let’s say a prayer” kick. Trying not to giggle. We probably fit right in at this BBQ joint…

7:40 pm – Emergency stop at closest store to get coats for kids.

7:55 pm – Mission accomplished. Kids now wearing only two winter coats still available at Walmart. Design comes courtesy of Duck Dynasty and Kenny from SouthPark.

8:15 pm – Kids are thirsty — quick stop at service station to buy water and some gas.

8:20 pm – On the road again and it’s my turn to drive! Groovin’ to some country station we just found on radio. Man, I love road trips!

8:25 pm – Hmmm, that’s weird. Gas tank is almost on empty.

8:26 pm – Realize we forgot to pump the gas we just paid for.

8:46 pm – Tell kids to share the iPad and play a game together.

8:49 pm – Hear screaming from the backseat and repeated chants of “it’s not fair” coming from the two year old.

8:52 pm – Both kids now playing games on separate iPads.

11 pm – Woohoo! We made it to the hotel!

11:15 pm – Lose bet, so I’ll be sharing bed with the two year old.

11:52 pm – Husband and five year old asleep. Two year old and I are watching the final round of Chopped: Canadian Edition.

11:58 pm – Two year old outraged. He’s crying because I turned off the TV before Chopped champion revealed.

12:45 am – Whose foot is in my face?

2:30 am – Grab two year old, who is about to roll off bed.

4: 22 am – How can someone so small take up entire middle section of mattress?

5:35 am – Trying to pull some covers over to my side. I’m freezing!

6:48 am – Two year old is up and raring to go. I pretend to be asleep while hubby turns on Cartoon Network.

9:30 am – After kids sample every single breakfast buffet item at hotel, we head out to explore the city. Boys are hyped up from syrup and promise of a morning visit to indoor Legoland theme park.

10:45 am – We’re at Legoland. Kids are so happy!

legobatman

11:15 am – This is fun! Whole family on interactive ride where you “shoot” lego bad guys with laser gun.

11:16 am – Five year old sobbing. He thought those Lego skeletons were real.

11:50 am – Ordering lunch and two year old lies down in front of cash register. Has to be forcefully peeled from floor and bribed with Lego car from exhibit.

12:15 pm – Finally a break while the boys and hubby go watch a 4D movie. Ahh. This is nice! The carousel music behind me sounds so cheerful!

12:45 pm – If I have to hear that twinkling melody one more minute, I am seriously going to lose it!

1:15 pm – Kids loved the film. Chattering on about the cool special effects. We’re off to World of Coca Cola for some effervescent fun.

2 pm – This is ridiculous… Keep circling, trying to find a parking space!

2:20 pm – Hubby sprints through Olympic Park with five year old who’s doing the pee-pee dance.

2:45 pm – Two year old happily babbling about the Coca Cola Polar Bear that he can’t wait to meet inside.

2:57 pm – Two year old screaming. Totally freaked out by bear.

3:10 pm – Race through exhibit on History of Coke to try to catch up with family.

3:15 pm – Discover they exited at the beginning because two year old still crying about polar bear. Resident Coke “happy patrol” cheers him up by blowing bubbles and telling him there will soon be games to play.

3:28 pm – Where are the damn games??

3:35 pm – Ooh! 4D Movie. This is going to be great. Kids will love it!

3:42 pm – Wow, these seats sure move around a lot… getting a bit bumpy.

3:44 pm – Both kids are sobbing. Older one curled up in my lap. Younger one wails because he can’t keep his 4D glasses on.

3:46 pm – I give in. Let him wear glasses for the rest of the afternoon.

mateoglasses

3:52 pm – Two year old crying, “where are games? Where are games?” Husband begs to leave. Five year old wants to sample 100 flavors of Coca Cola.

5:15 pm – Back at hotel after driving 5 mph through Atlanta rush hour.

6:20 pm – Pants are totally soaked while refereeing the kids’ bathtub splash contest — don’t even care since they are really overdue for baths.

6:45 pm – Oh, how sweet! Hubby picked up dinner for the crew. Kids are eating pizza and watching TV while we enjoy a yummy Valentine’s dinner and pseudo-date from the writing desk across the room.

7:25 pm – This Crème Brûlée is amazing! Who needs date nights? We CAN have it all — even with kids!

8:50 pm – Both kids are in one bed and we’re in the other. Ahhh. Finally, we can rest.

9:43 pm – Two year old is moaning and thrashing in his sleep — probably a nightmare.

9:50 pm – We move the baby to our bed to comfort him and keep him from waking his brother.

10:13 pm – Husband earns purple heart: intercepts two year old’s vomit with his bare hands.

10:14 pm – We’ve moved our party to the bathroom, where pizza is making an encore appearance.

10:22 pm – Two year old seems totally fine. Change his clothes and get him back into bed. Now, we can finally get some rest.

2:44 am – THUD!!

2:45 am – ??!!!

2:47 am – Lift still-sleeping five year old back up from the floor.

8:30 am – Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all! Kids predictably underwhelmed by cheapo Valentines I chose for them but seem to like the M & Ms. Hubby doesn’t “get my humor,” disturbed by my card choice for him. This day’s off to a good start…

And with tantrums, more sprints to the bathroom, and wrong turns on the way: I’ll be glad when we finally arrive in Charlotte, 11 hours later. While en route, Hubby and I will reminisce about all of our favorite moments in our romantic history. And wouldn’t you know it, this turns out to be the sweetest valentine of all.