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A Wild Weekend Roller Coaster: A Single Dad's Hilarious Tale of Chaos and Gratitude

Updated: Jun 6, 2023

Hey there, folks! John here, the daring dad who braved a weekend of single-parenting while my wife the normal life every day boss of this family, Rebecca, gallivanted off to San Jose with friends...

DISCLAIMER: LOL... She was actually there being a great friend, helping another friend and this experience was super scary for her as well.... I like to pick though)

Cue the superhero music because this adventure had me wearing the cape and struggling to keep up with our trio of little troublemakers: Jack (9), Fiona (7), and the pint-sized whirlwind called Rocco (2). Oh, and let's not forget our four-legged goofball, Kylo. Buckle up, because this story is about to get wild and crazy... and kind of super scary.

Now, I have to confess, my weekend got off to a rocky start. My trusty companion, psoriatic arthritis and a general feeling of overall shittiness, decided to join the party, turning my body into a creaky carnival ride. But hey, I couldn't let that stop me from embarking on a memorable escapade with the kids. So, on Sunday morning, armed with a smidgen of improvement in my condition, I made a brave decision to take the fearless trio and our not-so-brilliant-but-lovable Kylo to Playa Matapalo—an ecotourism haven, where misbehaved dogs and rowdy playmates can frolic freely. (This is of course at the far southern end near the amazing Monkey Bar not on the northern end, home of Diamante Adventure Park (Save 10% here...) and the very luxurious and affordable RIU Palace and Guanacaste Resorts.)

We arrived at Playa Matapalo, a mere 30-minute drive from our abode, ready to unleash the madness. Little did I know that the chaos was about to escalate faster than a roller coaster on Red Bull. Before we even set foot on the sandy shores, Rocco, our adorable little adventurer, managed to create a tangled mess with Kylo's leash, resulting in a head-on collision with the car door!

With Rocco in immediately obvious need of medical attention, we ditched our beach dreams and recklessly and insanely booked it back to civilization, heading straight for the Coco Medical Center, a good 40 minutes away.

Panic set in as I frantically made phone calls, desperately seeking guidance on a lazy Sunday morning. Costa Rica's relaxed vibe was not working in our favor (WHICH WE LOVE, as Sundays are typically reserved for family beach time for local Costa Ricans, a break from the work week), but hey, when life throws you lemons, you make hysterical phone calls of course..

In my classic John frantic state, I reached out to our trusted friend, Heidi, our former neighbor who has become our honorary family in this expat adventure we chose. I painted her a vivid picture of our chaotic calamity, and like a comedic superhero, she sprang into action, making calls and confirming that a doctor will be waiting for us at Coco Medical Center by 8:30 am. Cue the applause for Heidi, the lifesaver disguised as a friend!

As I raced through Costa Rica's back roads (it's called the monkey trail for a reason) like a madman on a mission, trying to keep Rocco from drifting off to dreamland (because for some reason I thought that was smart, but I am driving, so this job was handled by 9 year old Jack :))and the older ones from losing their cool, I realized I might have failed miserably at keeping calm. In fact, I probably scared them even more. Note to self: comedy and parenting don't always go hand in hand, especially when your heart is doing backflips and you're one second away from a nervous breakdown.

Finally, we arrived at Coco Medical Center, and much to my surprise, there stood Heidi, waiting to swoop in and save the day. She whisked away the older kids and our lovable, yet not-so-bright Kylo, leaving me to handle the medical chaos with Rocco. And guess what? Our little trooper came out just fine, sporting a battle scar on his forehead sealed with medical glue. Rest, a few doses of Tylenol, and voila! Rocco will be back to his wild self in no time, with a badass scar to show off... Also enjoying some days off from school...

In all seriousness, this wild experience reminded us of the true meaning of friendship and family. Being expats in paradise, far, far from home, we've learned to cherish the bonds we've forged with incredible people like Heidi and her family. They stepped up in our time of need, turning a terrifying situation into a manageable one, and for that, we owe them a night out on the town with Babysitting Services—on us!

Rebecca returned from her San Jose adventure a few hours later, and let me tell you, she clung to Rocco like a mama sloth on Compound V. Poor Rebecca had to endure the nail-biting events from a distance, piecing together the chaos one suspenseful phone call at a time. This roller coaster of emotions was no laughing matter for her either...

Well, folks, that's the story of my wild, adventurous, and slightly breakdown inducing weekend as a solo dad.

Raising a toddler is a wild ride in itself, testing our parenting skills to the max every day. We may be experienced parents, but this time, we're outnumbered, and the youngest troublemaker is the king of chaos. It's a challenge that keeps us on our toes, reminding us that toddlers are amazing little beings who can't be trusted or reasoned with but are always mobile and capable of surprising us in the most amusing, terrifying and exasperating ways.

Now if you'll excuse me, I think it's time for John to take a well-deserved nap. They are very important when being a Dad in Costa Rica, remember?

Until next time, folks, keep laughing and embracing the roller coaster ride of parenthood with a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face. Cheers to the adventures that make life a wild and memorable journey!

Note: Remember, dear readers, while this recap is light-hearted and humorous, the experience itself was truly terrifying for our family. We are eternally grateful that everything turned out well in the end, and so appreciative of this support group we call our friends, and this community. Parenting a toddler is undoubtedly challenging, but it's also a beautiful and rewarding journey.

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