We promised something for you yesterday, didn’t we?
Sorry it’s late.
We were having technical difficulties.
No. We were ditching school!
The main problem with starting off our Summer of Funner a little early this year has been that the kids aren’t really out of school yet. How to deal with that? A ditch day, naturlich. For his “birthday present,” my husband wanted to go the Toronto Zoo. And he thought we should dial up the excitement-factor by suprising the kids with it. Sounds fun right? Only, it’s much more difficult to pull off a suprise ditch day than you might think, especially at the end of the school year, and especially when you’re burning the midnight oil trying to finish a birthday present for your partner, yourself.
So, to start off our LAST EVER Summer of Funner in the cheekiest way possible — I’m telling you, it’s ALL FILTERS OFF from here one out, sweeties — we thought we’d provide you with one of the internet’s most-ridiculous-hot-buzz-feediest-repost-worthiest-going-viralest sorts of memes: The TOP 10 LIST. Except ours is only a top 3, because, well, we already got an A+ on our report card… Oh, and for those of you who are already on summer break, consider this an early back to school gift.
3 Ways To Nail Your Next Family Ditch Day
- Plan on lying a lot
We had to pretend that T’s school was having a civvies day (no uniforms) just one day after they’d gone on a field trip wearing street clothes. So, we lied and said we’d gotten a late night “email” from the school about an extra surprise dress-down day. I’m pretty sure we might have also lied to his school when we called attendance and said he had a doctor’s appointment. Of course, that’s never really a lie in our house, anyway, because, well, Ph.D. Oh, and gaslighting. We might have also had to tell our child that he was absolutely crazy; that, no, we didn’t just pack ten granola bars and a huge ziplock of sweet-chili heat doritos for ourselves in his lunch bag in place of the usual healthy stuff.
- Plan on lying a lot
In B’s case, we had to pull off an even more elaborate ruse. We stole some papers from her bag and told her we’d already turned in the permission forms and the money for the optional school excursion she didn’t want to go on. She’d already asked us about opting out and staying home. But we were terrible tyrants and told her she absolutely had to go. ‘Course, now, she’s just earned herself extra brownie points, because she was a really good sport about it, packed the big family bottle of sunscreen in her bag for her “trip,” and never complained, once, all the way to the subway staiton. Seriously, it was worth it, all of the lying, just to see the looks on the kids faces when we told them we were getting on the other train, the one that took them out of the city. You’ll feel golden, lying to your children, too, trust me.
- Don’t stay up finishing your novel the night before … Or do!
Alright, so the wonderful news is that after # some odd years, I finished the final section of the first draft of my novel as a birthday gift for my husband. ‘Course, to get this done, irony of ironies, I pulled an all-nighter on the night before our ditch day! Now, our plan included my stepping out of the house early and waiting to meet the rest of the family on the mezzanine of the subway station. Armed with my Grinder americano and bagel, I was all set up to laze on a bench when my favourite busker showed up with his steelpan. I usually love walking by this guy, but, I suppose tip #4 should be: don’t plan it so your co-conspirators or other surprise ditch day guests are waiting near the buskers. Luckily, advil. Luckier still, our big “we’re not going to school, we’re going to the zoo!” moment had a soundtrack. Luckier-er still-er, we chose a destination that, while scalable in a day, is well set up for rest. Exhibit A) Zoomobile. Exhibit B) Benches everywhere and shade. Exhibit C) Me, Myself, and I (all three of us), having no shame in climbing up on a picnic table and napping while B vegged out to her Hamilton soundtrack and while other peoples’ kids, our tiny princes for the day, chased the seagulls away from us with their DQ blizzard spoons. #makingmemories Oh, Should that have been tip #5? We’re writing too much!
How was our trip, really? Fantastic. The animals at the zoo were crazy-active. The pandas were actually awake, sitting up and eating bamboo. Our favourite gorillas were playing rough and pounding their chests at one another as we thought only cartoon gorillas were wont to do. The baby polar bear did an Esther Williams routine followed by a Mud Run. Plus, Ninja penguins. More owls than ever before. And, best of all, a baby indian rhino.
Oh, so you liked our mock-list, did you? For reals this time, I promise, more next Monday. No late slips. Pinky swear. No fingers crossed behind us, either.
[Btw, today’s Harry Potter theme inspired by Harry Potter, natch, and the super podcasters of @ohwitchplease.]