Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

My Inner Child on Time Out January 26, 2012

In my “real life” as a freelance writer, I’m hard at work writing a guidebook to California’s Wine Country, where I’m lucky enough to live part-time. It’s a fun project, I’ve been enjoying doing the research, and I’m now down to the serious task of compiling all my information and committing it to paper.

It has been fun to learn about the region in which I live and I now have a whole list of activities I’d like to try, restaurants I’d like to eat at, and places I want to visit, once the book is done.

On my travels, I’ve come across some great kid-friendly place I’d love to try. Safari West is a wildlife preserve where you can camp out over night and do a dawn animal patrol. How cool is that? Pee Wee Golf is an old-fashioned miniature golf course that’s supposed to be a blast. And then there’s Train Town, where you can take a 20-minute train ride on a quarter-scale train though tunnels, over trestle bridges, and through miniature towns. I want to do that.

If I had kids, I’d have the perfect excuse to do all these silly things. But I don’t have kids, so what am I supposed to do, go to Train Town alone? Can you see me in my striped engineers hat, woot-wooting in the tunnels, surrounded by 6-year olds who are terrified of the weird lady?

My inner child is alive and well, but without kids as a cover, I’m not sure how it gets to come out to play.


16 Responses to “My Inner Child on Time Out”

  1. loribeth Says:

    I can so relate. Dh & I like to go to the occasional cartoon/Pixar/Disney movie — we’ve been to The Incredibles, Up, all three Toy Story movies, etc. — & we are inevitably the only people there without at least one kid in tow. (Surprisingly, the kids have almost always been very well behaved once the movie starts.)

    We may be going to Florida in February or March — I’ve never been although dh has. Of course, having grown up on Walt Disney at 6 p.m. on Sunday nights, I want to go to Disney World ; ) — but dh has absolutely no interest, & people with kids who have gone there want to know why on earth I would want to go to such an obviously child-focused place and brave the crowds of cranky, screaming kids & frazzled parents. ; ) And yet I know people who have been there on their honeymoons, so it’s obviously not entirely for kids.

    Around here, the big thing lately is taking your kids to Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls for a weekend. It sounds like a fun place — big indoor waterpark, among other things — but again, it’s entirely focused on serving families & kids, so I’m not sure how comfortable we’d ultimately be there.

    And yes — if you’re the only adults in a place who aren’t chasing around your own set of kids, you’re bound to have people wondering why you’re there, & not in a merely curious way. Sad. 😦

    • Mali Says:

      Loribeth, it depends when you go. If you go mid-week, when the kids are in school, you shouldn’t have the same problems. Like you I grew up with Walt Disney on Sunday evenings, and so on our first trip to the US (I was 33) I insisted we go to Disneyland. We had a ball – and although it was a long time ago now, it was only a few days after New Year and we thought it might be busy, but the kids were back in school and we didn’t feel self-conscious at all.

      Though I did stand in Fantasyland (or something) wishing that I’d been there when I was 10!

  2. monka Says:

    Should we worry what people think anyway? If they have the time and energy to focus on us in an environment like that then they have bigger issues than us (ie where are their kids??). I can imagine that after a day of sugar, rides and gift stores others might envy not having children.

    What this does make me lament is that we have to think about this. Rightly or wrongly we are questioning our ability to be public places. We are afraid of judgement or of misunderstanding and depriving our selves of fun because of other people.

  3. IrisD Says:

    Disney World is actually a very tiring place for parents with young kids. In fact, I don’t recommend it, unless the kids are already of school age, definitely NOT for toddlers and babies that get tired, cranky and stress their parents out. I don’t live too far away from Disney and so I’ve gone many times. Yes, in later years, I often went with my niece and nephew, even when they were teenagers and college age. My nephew and his girlfriend lived in Orlando and went all the time. I honestly think the theme parks around Orlando are for all ages. The best time to go is in the winter (as it gets very hot in the summer and crowded), and if you can, go on a weekday. Less crowds, less tired, cranky babies, less stressed out parents. Ok, maybe I will not ride a miniature train, or a kiddie ride at the fair, but I’ve never given a thought to doing things that I want because it is supposedly “family or kid” centered. Says who?

    • IrisD Says:

      P.S., the first time I went to Disney I was 5. Was terrified on the Snow White ride when the witch shows up near the end.. I still remember crying… My mom had to get me out of the Haunted House because I was so scared (I think she was scared too)…

  4. Colleen Says:

    I have to say, JUST GO! It will be great fun–kids or not. Or if you don’t make it soon, I’ll come out on vacation and go with you. My DH and I will both bring our engineer hats! 🙂 Is it strange that we have them. I would say no! I think the world is changing a bit, and I would say you probably won’t be the only one without kids. Who wouldn’t want to go on a dawn animal patrol (all right, probably a lot of people…). You could count me in.

    On the Disney front, during the school year/winter is a great time to go to Disney without kids. We went in January once. We were a group of 6 adults without kids. It was an awesome vacation. Really, really great. Everybody should get a chance to go to Disney without the huge crowds. 🙂 Make sure to do the Toy Story rides in the Magic Kingdom and the Hollywood park. Those are so much fun!!!!

  5. Kellie Says:

    I went to Safari West one week after my last failed donor IVF not sure what I was setting myself up for. I was surrounded by three groups of girl scouts and their moms. It was so friggin heartbreaking that I grabbed a bottle of wine, walked to my tent cabin and wallowed in self pity as I watched the giraffes play outside my room. That was 7 months ago and the thought of going back is just too painful. I drive by Train Town and often want to go “play”, but why?
    With that being said….I am finding it easier to think about planning a trip to Florida to visit friends who happen to work for Disney World – we cancelled the trip 6 months ago and are thinking about trying to make it sometime this year. Time will tell…..
    Looking forward to your book Lisa – since I live in the area too!

  6. Lois Says:

    I say go for it. We went to Disney World for our honeymoon and had a blast. So many things adults can enjoy. I bet it would be crazy trying to do it with small children. We went back to Disney again, and I even did some things by myself while DH was at a conference. Still fun. I never felt people looked at us funny. Or if they did I don’t care.
    We’re planning on go back again in a few years.

  7. Klara Says:

    The TOP fun day that me & my husband had were – one in the year 2003 and the other in 2010…. both spent in Gardaland:

    We were almost the only adults without kids… but since this is aproximately 400 kilometers from our home and nobody knows us, we didn’t care and just enjoyed it. We both love rollercoasters. Especially Blue Tornado:

    SO – if you ever visit Italy, Gardaland on the beautiful Garda lake is not to be missed!!!

  8. Re DuVernay Says:

    Might I suggest borrowing a friend’s kid? That’s what I do in these situations! Your friend gets free babysitting out of it, the kid gets to go to train world, and you get an excuse to go to train world yourself! Middle children especially enjoy hanging out with their parents childless friends, it’s like they get to be an only child for a day.

  9. Red Nelly Says:

    Ach away! Just go! Without kids or with someone else’s – you’ll have a rare time, I’m sure.
    I went down to Gorgie City Farm in Edinburgh with my partner on Sunday and we had a brilliant laugh! We fed sheep, talked to the pigs, and met the most grumpiest, most massive rabbit ever!
    There was a moment when my partner pointed out we were the only grown ups there without kids. But tbh no one else seemed to mind, so why should it matter?
    I think you should totally go to train town if you want to. And if you’re acting like a big kid, the 6 yr olds won’t think you’re a weirdo – they’ll probably just think you’re ACE 🙂

  10. Julie Says:

    Just borrow the kids of someone you know. I love having one on one time with my nieces, nephews and friend’s kids.

  11. Mali Says:

    Rentakid. It works in Japan.

    Seriously, though, I do sympathise. I definitely still have an “inner kid” and so does my husband. I’m more self-conscious than he is.

    PS – I want your freelancing job!

  12. I adore this post. It made me think of getting a tee-shirt emblazoned with “I am a wonderful mother to my inner children,” and then going to some place like the Train Town you described (Train Town sounds delightful). Maybe us childless/childfree folks should set up play dates for our inner children…Hee Hee.

  13. mina Says:

    I wanted to go to the cinema with a (also childless) woman friend last saturday and suggested one or two “deep, intellectual” movies like “Carnage” or “Melancholia”. My friend insisted on seeing “Puss in Boots”. What a laugh :-)!

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