At least, I'm really bad at them. I suppose it's a leftover inclination from all those years when weekend meant something different, and less taxing, than Monday to Friday. But now all it means is that we have no particular schedule and are required to either have some of that holy grail - quality family time - or else feel guilty for failing.
I am also hampered by my extreme lack of ambition, outing-wise. The museums downtown are great, but we've seen the child-friendly ones quite a lot now, and they don't change the dinosaurs all that often. I'd like to go to the art galleries, but the children don't enjoy those much. A nice walk in the great outdoors would be excellent for our mental and physical health, but dragging our offspring to walk somewhere and look at scenic nature is doomed from the get-go. You can try to bribe them with hot chocolate afterwards, but they'd much rather have the drink right now and skip the nature, thank you.
Today we even considered pushing the boat out and going to see a film.
Us: Hey, guys, how about we ... [thrill of anticipation]... go to see a movie this afternoon?
Us, grasping at straws: There'd be popcorn.
They'd much rather sit at home watching tried and trusted episodes of Curious George on PBS than see something new and exciting and potentially scary on the big, noisy screen that you can't get away from.
It almost makes me yearn for the old days, when they were little. Okay, so you had to pack the entire contents of your house and fridge before you could get out the door, and someone always had a huge up-the-back-of-the-onesie blowout just as you strapped them into the car, but the decision-making was up to you. If you said "Right, we're going to have a lovely walk and see a waterfall!", they'd be pretty much powerless against your bundling them into their coats and carseats and stroller and Ergo and just going there. Apart from the poop and the requisite tantrum, I suppose.
But nowadays, everyone's buy-in is essential just to get people out of pyjamas, never mind wearing shoes and socks and coats and sitting voluntarily in the car.
Honestly, sometimes I almost want to have another, just so that I can get someone doing what I want instead of what they want. (Don't worry. I know that's just an illusion.)
So today, despite everyone being already dressed by 9am (thanks to the remaining snow, that needed to be played in before it dissipated entirely), despite our having a conversation about what we should do today quite early on, despite discussing museums and cinemas and walks in the park, we ended up getting into the car at 3pm and going to that most exotic of destinations, Target.
Not just our regular Target; a slightly more distant, newer one. We bought one thing we needed and a few things we decided we probably needed, weathered tantrums about Christmas presents never received as we perused the toy department for someone else's birthday present (never a good move), spent $3 per child on a "small, inexpensive" treat, and finally sat down in Starbucks for our reward for getting out of the house: latte, latte, vanilla milk, smoothie, and one slice of lemon cake split four ways.
And now we have to figure out something to do tomorrow. I'd like to curl up with a good book, but that sort of weekend is both behind and, I hope, ahead of me yet.