Woah woah woah, before you get any weird ideas about me, let me explain. I love my family and I do cherish the times that all four of us get to hang out. I think our Sunday breakfast dates are fun and our evening soccer games in the front yard can be pretty cute, but folks, I have to admit there is something I like even more…
It’s a magical place where there is no sibling rivalry.
A place where stress evaporates.
A time when you don’t find yourself yelling, “STOP TOUCHING YOUR SISTER!”
It’s called “one-on-one time” and I can’t get enough.
Today, I dropped my almost 2 year old daughter off at school. My 4 year old son and I had about 2 hours to burn before his dentist appointment. My boy is an incredibly picky eater, but he never says no to pancakes, so I decided to surprise him and take him to breakfast.
Our typical breakfast routine as a family is 1) ordering the second we sit down (duh, we’re pros) 2) building jelly packet towers as a distraction before the food arrives 3) playing trivia games to trick our kids into eating their breakfast and 4) eating as fast as we can before the ticking time bombs explode. Oh, and let’s go ahead and throw in several discipline threats and a handful of big, scary, eye ball stares.
However, my one-on-one meals with the children are so much more enjoyable and so less hurried. Today, we didn’t rush, we didn’t build jelly towers, and surprisingly, nobody exploded. Instead we named all of his cousins, he had me drawing his favorite capital and lowercase letters, and we chatted about his favorite things to do at school.
I realized not only was I truly enjoying every second of this meal with my kid, I did not reprimand him once. Instead I was asking him questions, wanting his opinions, joking around, and having FUN.
After breakfast I realized we had about 45 minutes left before our appointment which was just enough time to run into a kids’ clothing store. Thinking about taking both my kids into a store is laughable, like herding cats- drunk cats.
However, the one-on-one magic had not worn off. We exchanged what we needed to exchange and my son had a blast picking out outfits for his sister. We ended up grabbing her several birthday presents and some summer gear for him. We were there about 15 minutes and the trip was successful and more importantly, drama-free.
Look, I know I’m not going to win any awards for pointing out the obvious: one-on-one time with our children is important. There may be nothing better than hanging out with your kid, giving him/her your complete attention, watching both confidence and pride grow.