I know that I'm not alone, as a parent of more than one, in wanting more one-on-one time with each of my kids. Aside from the hours they're in school, they're with me. They are not currently involved in any after school activities (more about that and why I'm happy about that another time...) and play dates typically require my presence (more about Evan's first ever "drop-off" play date later, too). But after school, it's ALL of us...plus the puppy. It's quality family time, it's just not quality Kid plus Mom or Dad time.
I get plenty of "time" with Molly, and just Molly, as she is only in school two mornings a week. But more often than not, I squander even that time. We run errands. She plays while I clean. I turn on a Magic School Bus episode while I catch up on my latest Real Simple or my inbox (or, let's be honest: Instagram).
One of my New Year's Resolutions was to find a way to spend more time one-on-one with each of the kids. I came up with Parent Date magnets so we could make it a point to fit this time into our monthly calendar. At the beginning of each month, the kids each stick his or her date magnet up on the calendar and it's Official: What The Calendar Says, Let It Be So
Well, with only one real hiccup:
We gave these magnets to the kids on Christmas Eve. We brainstormed a list of possible activities...we could go out to lunch, or grab a smoothie. We could go on a hike or take an archery lesson. We could...oh, I don't know, go see a movie. A new release that isn't appropriate for the whole family, maybe, but would be perfect for you, my dear First Born. Maybe it's something that you've been obsessed with for over two years and that you have, somehow, gotten me hooked on as well, despite the fact that I was able to avoid its cultish lure my ENTIRE LIFE.
Let me spell it out for you, Evan: You could go see THE NEW STAR WARS MOVIE. With me, your loving and devoted mother, who has learned all of the characters and knows the entire storyline, INCLUDING where and how the Disney animated series, The Clone Wars, fits in with the original six episodes, because it is interesting to you and therefore interesting and worth learning about to me.
Who birthed you.
"I know!" Evan said, wide-eyed. "For my Parent Date, I want to go see the new Star Wars movie!"
Mwah-ha-ha! My master plan worked!!
Apparently, it was awesome. I wouldn't know.
But that's okay, because Molly invited me to go with her on HER Parent Date. She picked....the library. Yup. The library. I added lunch out at our favorite local cafe because...the library? Really, Molly?!
Max wanted to go out to brunch. A boy after my own heart. He invited me, mostly because I told him about a wonderful little French bakery in town that I knew he'd love. I knew this because I had been there before ("...and Daddy probably doesn't know where it is, Max, so, oh I don't know...I could take you!").
Sometimes being an evil mastermind is worth it because they have mugs of hot chocolate as big as your face and those homemade marshmallows? What can I say? I'm a Brunch Gal.
And it turns out Max is a pretty big fan of the meal, too.
|Photo Credit: Max, age 6|
|Photo Credit: Max, age 6|
"Mom. Would you LOOK at that chocolate croissant?! We HAVE to get a picture of this!"
That's my boy.
So, by January 9, our first month of Dates was over. All the better, though, because now we have plenty of time to decide where our February Dates will take us.
My word of the year is Time. I'm going to use it wisely and spend it well. And I'll keep reminding myself of that every day if I have to......