We try to make a point of getting one-on-one time with each of the kids every so often. I get one-on-one time with Liam every day that Benjamin goes to school — we have several hours to spend together each morning. (I do have to make sure that I don’t spend all of that time cleaning or running errands or getting things done — I try to spend a block of time doing something that’s fun for him every day. I’m successful more than I’m not.)
But I have to make more of an effort to spend time with just Benjamin. Our trip to the States put us completely out of our usual routine in a lot of ways. Until Saturday, I hadn’t gone out for my hour alone at Starbucks since we got back, and I hadn’t thought at all about setting some time aside for me and Benjamin to spend together. (Although, it now occurs to me that it’s really been a long while since we got to spend that kind of time together — since before we left for the US at the beginning of July, for sure, and possibly since several weeks before that.)
On Saturday, when I left to go to Starbucks and look for my sanity and patience, Benjamin really wanted to go with me. When I’m doing that kind of thing more routinely, and he asks if he can go, I’ll often say yes, thus giving us a good hour or so of Mommy and B time. This time, though, I really needed to be “off” for a while, so I had to turn him down.
We made a rain check for today, though. When we have some one-on-one time, I try to always let him choose what we’re doing. He usually wants to go out and get ice cream, or cookies, or something like that, but today, he wanted to go to the playground and ride his bike.
So, that’s exactly what we did (except that his bike only really entertained him for about 15 minutes — after that, he wanted to play on the swings and the slide and in the sand). It was great. I had a wonderful time. It was really nice to get to play with and talk to B without having to split my attention between he and Liam (just as it’s nice to give Liam my full attention while B is at school). I swung him on the swing, I watched him climb and slide, and I pumped water to fuel is hydro-dynamic projects. We just spent a little bit of very nice time together.
I really enjoyed it, and I don’t want to forget and let it slip by the wayside again. It would have been really fun to have taken the opportunity to do some stuff with just him (and with just Liam) while we were in the US. There were enough adults around that I could have done it, but it didn’t occur to me. I’m so glad for B insisting on some time together and helping me remember how important it is. And I’m really happy that it’s still important to him. We had a great time.