This is how surprises go down in our family.

In January, we surprised the kids with circus tickets.

“Kids! Guess what? We’re going to the circus! Right now! Get in the car!”


It was like we told them we were going to the hospital to get measles shots.

Even if we surprised them with a year-long Disney cruise, which included no homework, Mickey Mouse as a personal butler, five puppies, nightly ice cream dinners, an electric car, iPhones/Pods/Pads, and an Xbox One with unlimited games, we’d be concerned about their reaction.

On Friday night, Mike and I finally decided to let the cat out of the bag about our surprise weekend road trip to Disney World, upon which we will have crap loads of fun and file for bankruptcy when we return home.

It’s been a rough several months. Between Harry’s death, my basal cell carcinoma, and Mike’s work travels and travails, we desperately need to have some fun as a family. We’re going to the happiest place on earth for 48 hours even if it kills us (and it might).

We settled into a booth at our local bar and grill where we planned to do the big reveal by presenting the boys with the personalized vacation booklet that Disney sent us in the mail.


(Well played, Disney.)

After ordering a round of drinks and debating over tostado nachos or boneless chicken wings I nearly said, “Kids, Daddy and I have a surprise…” when I heard an odd sound. In the booth to my left sat Riley who I thought farted, except it was way more than a fart.

“Are you okay, Riley?” I asked. I knew he wasn’t okay. He wasn’t okay at all.

“I need to go to the bathroom, Mommy. I thought I farted, but it was a poop. I pooped in my pants.”

It was a poop in his pants for real life. Riley and I excused ourselves from the table and spent the next fifteen years minutes in the bathroom recovering from the rogue fart.

“It happens to the best of us,” I told him in the bathroom. (Dylan would’ve been proud of my patience.)

In the end, we had to toss his underwear because I no longer travel with an arsenal of supplies for such a traumatic event, and even if I did, some things aren’t meant to be saved.

“But my underwear…” he whimpered. “It was my favorite…”

“It’s okay, Riley,” I said. “I’ll buy you new underwear. I promise.” Then, because I heart teachable moments with my boys, I put his unsoiled (thank God) shorts back on and explained, “This is called going commando.”

After sanitizing every inch of our bodies that we could at the bathroom sink, we made our way back to the table. With a nod of approval from across the way, Mike eagerly announced, “Boys, guess what? We’re going to Disney World! Together! One week from today!”

Dylan’s priceless response was, “This is way better than when you surprised us with the circus,” and Riley’s was, “Mommy, do you promise you’ll buy me new underwear? “

They really are excited, but surprises never happen the way I imagine.

How do your kids handle surprises? (Hopefully better than mine.)

1 Comment

Filed under boys, Disney World

One response to “Surprise!

  1. We tried to surprise my kids when we told them we were going to have a baby. They’d been asking for so long, and so when we told them, I expected all kinds of excitement.

    I got, “Cool. Can I have a Poptart now?”


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