Daycare is closed this week (argh), but I had grandparents lining up to take care of my daughter for 4 days out of the 5. Yesterday was the 1 day where I had to take the day off (unpaid, but my job is more flexible than my husband's for that, so ok) to be with her.
Net loss, BUT I got to spend the day with an adorable verbal toddler who has a hilariously developping sense of humor and tells jokes. Nothing we did cost money: we went to the fish pond to catch frogs and see if we could make the fish come to see us, and then we went to the neighbor's field to see horses and cows, and we picked vegetables and ate them straight from the garden (fresh shelling peas are ALWAYS a favorite), we read books we already owned, and we watched Youtube videos for about a half-hour at the end of the day (at her request: Pavarotti, and then a make-up tutorial. WTF kind of todder is an active opera fan? My toddler. Argh. And a fascination with make-up tutorials are what I get for letting her watch me put on make-up before going to work, I suppose).
In conclusion: we didn't touch the car, use gas, go anywhere farther than walking distance, spend any money, spend a lot of time playing with 'toys'(sticks, frogs, rocks, fish, the neighbor's animals, the garden, etc, sure, but nothing requiring $$$$$ to entertain children), and we had an absolutely wonderful day.
And now I'm back in the office, with a colleague who has 2 similarly-aged children and was on vacation with them last week, and she's complaining about how EXPENSIVE it is to entertain children. Apparently, taking 3-year-olds to the movies is a thing? There are places you can bring them (for 10$/hour!!!!) that are like... indoor playgrounds? (dude, for that price, it should include childcare wtf), etc.
Just throws into contrast that I think we're doing ok, priority-wise.