With being gone this weekend, we always prepare our kids in advance of us leaving.
We have learned from experience that our kids don't deal with the unexpected very well.
If your life turned upside in one foul swoop and you didn't know what was going on and one day you were with a different family, in a different home, and nothing looked familiar. Maybe you would be a little leery of unexpected and unplanned things too.
We talked all last week that Annie would be babysitting and we would be gone only ONE night and we would be home about lunch time the next day.
They asked lots of questions like where are you going, is she going to read me a bed time story, and who is going to change Lil Miss's poppy diapers. Being masters of routine, they need to know what is going on when anything is changed.
So the key things for us is to keep things as routine as they can be.
I left our babysitter a book (literally it was 3 pages long on a legal size notebook) on everything that we do and what our lunchtime rituals are, bedtime routine, and what to do in case any of them act up and need time out.
This way she could know how we handle it and do the same.
This seems to work out really well for us, so the kids aren't confused and have some sense of security in familiarity even if it isn't mommy and daddy doing it.
One thing I did this time though was to by one of those recordable books.
I have seen them everywhere from Hallmark to the grocery store.
It's hard to call alot to talk to the kids when we are trying to enjoy a night away so this was a way the kids could hear our voice anytime they wanted to.
Gigi especially was enthralled with the book and was pointing to the words as daddy spoke them in the recording. So it's a learning tool too! Double Bonus!!
The other thing we always do is to reiterate that we will be back.
We are leaving you but tomorrow we will go to flag football.
Or tomorrow we will eat popcorn for supper.
Or Sunday night I will help you take your bath.
This way they know you are leaving but you will return.
I think that is the scariest thing for a child is to see their parents walk out the door and think are they coming back? For our kids that fear is very real.
So these few things helped to make our little get away possible and came back to kids who missed us but who also had a great time.
That is priceless!!!