My heart raced just a tad as we tried to calmly put the children to bed. We pretended like everything was quite normal, with teeth brushing, story choosing and pajama donning all taking place at their usual time.
We gently shut the bedroom doors and waited a minute. Jamie and I stood in the hallway, gave each other the okay, and then shouted, "Pajama run!" The children (minus Drew, who was at a friend's house) looked like it was an emergency of some sort. "Everyone out!" Jamie ordered. They hesitated, and then climbed slowly out of bed.
It will be helpful to point out here that Little Miss Avery Kate does NOT appreciate the unexpected. Shocking, I know. She likes to know exactly what is going to happen at any given time. So the foreign shout, "Pajama run!" did not intrigue her in the least. She glared. She scowled.
Bethie and Aidan glanced at each other and figured that whatever it was, it couldn't be too bad. Avery wasn't so sure. "What's a pajama run?" she demanded, eyebrows still firmly meeting in the middle as we made our way downstairs.
Jamie played along for a bit and explained, "Well, it's where we all go outside . . . and run around in our pajamas."
Miss Kate was not impressed. "This is stupid."
When we piled them into the van, they began to suspect that something fun was afoot. "Are we going to JJ Jump?" Miss Kate turned hopeful.
"Are we going to get a dog????" Aidan was thinking big.
We helped them narrow their guesses until they finally figured it out. We were headed to Dairy Queen. At ten o'clock! They giggled and squirmed in their seats, and were delighted when they each received their very own ice cream treats. Miss Kate chose a chocolate cone. With sprinkles. I think it was at this point that she finally saw the merits of a pajama run.
We headed back home, licking and dripping and smiling. It was a good surprise. And I'm sure we'll do it again sometime soon. But, shhhhh! Don't tell the kids!
The "Pajama Run" idea comes from a post over here . . . .