"Dad, we're going to San Diego for a few days for our anniversary - would you and mom like to babysit?" Since that usually means I don't do anything and Nanny (grandma) does all of the work, I said "sure!" But when we arrived and were handed a three page agenda with the Wednesday through Sunday schedules for two kids - Cole who is 5 and McKenna who is 9 - I wondered if the two of us could handle all of that. Cole had both baseball and soccer practice plus games and McKenna had soccer and volleyball practice and three games - so finding deals on Easton bats, soccer equipment, and volleyballs was the easy part but every day after would be busy shuttling them to and from practice or games. Plus they had school and a couple other activities scheduled! And of course the activities overlapped which means it took both of us and two cars to get them to practice and the games on time. We're going to be busy - and a quick glance at the schedule left little room for food and drink!
Wednesday started at 6:00 (my normal get out of bed time is around 8:00) with a "get out of bed and get their breakfast ready!" Which of course at that early hour is impossible for me to cook correctly - "what happened to the eggs, mommy's eggs never look like that." That was followed by shifting Cole's shoes on the right feet and turning his pants around so his fly was in the front. But Nanny pointed out that we had put on a black and a brown sock - it's hard for me to focus at that early hour.
An hour and a half later we walked them to the bus stop and I took a sigh of relief, came back to the house, got the golf clothes on, and headed to the golf course. Only to find out my tee time was yesterday. I'm getting old! But they got us out and we had fun playing Firewheel's Lakes Course.
The Lakes course has water on 16 holes which now has 7 of my golf balls (only seven because I found two) and 52 bunkers which I spent a lot of time in and several of the bunkers are now missing some sand that I took home in my shoes, hair, and pockets. Here is a link to our review of Firewheel's Lakes Course.
After golf we rushed home to meet the kids at the bus stop, take a shower and wash all the sand from the Lakes Course bunkers out of my hair and ears, help the kids get changed into their sporting clothes, and then spend some time practicing some soccer moves, golf shots, and volleyball bumps. Of course, I'm the one who had to chase down the baseballs, soccer balls, and golf balls as they went flying to all parts of the yard.
After some practice we loaded the kids in the car, went to Chick Fil A and Whataburger for calories, and the kids ate as I drove one of them to soccer practice and Nanny drove one to baseball practice. By 9:00 PM we're home and I'm pooped and ready for bed.
Thursday was almost an exact repeat of Wednesday except in unison they both said "can Nanny fix us breakfast." After school our practice in the yard was followed by "can we have Daddy's Mac & Dog Dinner" before we go to soccer and baseball practice. What in the world is Mac & Dog? Turns out it's Kraft Mac & Cheese mixed with a boiled hot dog with BBQ sauce -yuck! But I fixed it and asked how it tasted - "not as good as Daddy's, you need some practice!" So when they got to practice I told the coach to make them run a couple extra laps.
By Friday Nanny and I were starting to get the routine down except I forgot to check to see if the outfit Cole and I picked out matched - Nanny immediately sent us back to the closet to try again - but the sock matched. While the kids were at school we snuck out to Firewheel to warm up for Friday night's golf with the grandkids. We played Firewheel's Old Course which is a traditional layout with a meandering creek and ponds that can come into play on16 holes, smallish greens, average conditions, and reasonable rates. All that coaching for the kids must have helped me because I only lost 3 balls, hit 6 bunkers, and ricocheted off the trees 3 times. To learn more read our review of the Old Course at Firewheel Golf Park.
To my surprise the kids coaches give the parents a break on Friday - no practice! But of course our kids needed to kill some time by making me chase the soccer, baseball, and volleyball around the yard. I called an early halt to practice, loaded the kids and their golf clubs in the car, and we headed to The Courses at Watters Creek to play the 6 hole par 3 course called the Futures Course. The course was designed to practice your short game and to give beginners a course to start to learn this expensive, frustrating, and time consuming game! The course conditions are great, the yardages ranged from 51 to 104 yards, it's lit at night and walking only, the greens are good, and there is water and bunkers to contend with. The grandkids loved it and beat me on a couple holes! Here is a link to our review of The Courses at Watters Creek Futures Course. That was followed by a Whataburger for the kids while we ate some good seafood at Rockfish - and downed a couple well deserved margaritas.
Saturday was game day and I was a nervous wreck! But surely all of that practice will pay off. The kids were relaxed and confident and made it seem like just another day! I tied their shoes and tucked in the shirts, while Nanny packed their bags full of gear, and made me repeat the directions to and time for McKenna's soccer game. Nanny was taking Cole to the baseball game. Both kids came home victorious:
A good day and all of the practice paid off plus I got plenty of exercise as I paced up and down the field. And I'm sure the coaches were wondering who the old guy on the sidelines was who kept yelling orders at the kids.
To celebrate the win we took Cole and McKenna to Topgolf in Allen and we had a blast. Topgolf is a covered three-level driving range with golf balls that have computer chips to keep track of your points from hitting any of the targets - I came in third but told the grandkids it was because I was going for the 200 yard target. They covered their laughs as most of my golf balls went left or right into the netting or bunker. And it seems my only points were when I dribbled it off the third floor tee box and the ball luckily rolled into one of the closest targets a couple of times! Of course they are going to beat me, they had their own clubs and I had to use some rentals! But I sure enjoyed drinking beer, eating chips and queso, and wolfing down a good turkey wrap and wings after our golf. Topgolf is fun for all ages and in addition to 94 bays of computerized golf balls it's got two bars, a pool table, shuffleboard, a good restaurant, a DJ or live music on the weekend, beer garden, and more. Here's a link to our review of Topgolf in Allen.
Sunday, Cole had a baseball and a soccer game. Cole plays coach pitch and it's fun to watch these guys scramble after the ball and then try to decipher what three coaches and 5 to 10 parents are yelling at them to do with the ball. The game is typically three innings and each inning is over when one team scores 5 runs - so normally the game ends 15 to 15 or 15 to 14 something like that. But I'm proud to say that in the final inning Cole played first base and got 3 of the first 5 batters out - preventing the other team from their five runs and a win for Cole's Yellow Jackets!
Our hero also did well in his soccer game scoring 3 of 6 goals for team win. Plus he showed a little more aggression and actually got a couple steals. He's the cute redhead in the green shirt!
Sunday night my son-in-laws indoor soccer team had a 10:30 PM game and I must be a gluten for punishment because I went. I was hoping that the son-in-law would make it to the game but their plane was delayed and they didn't get in until 11:30. These 37 to 39 year olds were surprisingly fast, had excellent ball control, and a lot more energy than I expected. When I left at half time they were ahead 6 to 2.
What a fun sports filled babysitting experience! Good thing we have a week to recover before we hit the road again.