Saturday, July 27, 2013

Friday Favorite: One-On-One

I promise I won't play the Single, Working Mom Card often here, but when it comes to spending time with JD or O alone, it's pretty much impossible lately.  During the school year, I'm working most of their waking hours, and even then I only have every other weekend to look forward to.  There is no taking just one on an errand or to a special event without finding child care for the other.  And leaving one behind with a babysitter when I have such little, precious time with them leads to some guilt- not to mention the extra expense.

But I know it's important to have a relationship with them as individuals and take time with each to know them in that way.  So this summer I've taken advantage of my time away from work to have a little one-on-one.  

JD will sometimes ask to do things without his brother, so I knew he would welcome it.  I was a little more concerned about how O would handle it since he idolizes and depends on his brother much more. When I talked to O about having a "Mommy and O Day", he would add, "and JD". He seemed genuinely concerned about being away from his brother and not interested in enjoying undivided attention.  I planned a simple afternoon running errands so we could just go home if it truly upset him.  But when I was strapping him in the car to leave, he was giddy and kept repeating, "Mommy and O Day! Mommy and O Day"!

kid picking apples
Shopping with mini carts doesn't go as well when 2 boys are fighting over them or treating them like bumper cars.

kid with tiny cart
He was allowed to fill his cart with whatever he wanted.  He made sure to go down each aisle slowly.

kid with groceries
The kid likes fruit and things that come in orange packaging.

I couldn't have imagined it better.  He was more independent and conversational than I would have guessed.  I learned so much about him as a little person that afternoon, it made me feel so guilty about not giving him that time sooner.  And after a little more than an hour out around town, he asked to go back to his brother, so we headed home.  We will be doing that again soon!

JD was much more excited about his time, and I knew he could handle a bigger outing.  We love going to the city, but JD usually has to compromise what he wants to do because of what works with O's schedule, or some things are just too hard/stressful with both kids by myself.  This trip with just the two of us was a treat.

kid with avengers poster
Off to a great start when we got to sit by the Avengers on the train.

happy kid on playground
Playgrounds are so fun when your grownup can follow you wherever you want to go.

kid tossing pennies in fountain
His wish was to come back again.  (I still laugh when I think about the first time he threw pennies into this fountain.)

kid admiring sculpture
He really enjoyed the art installation at Madison Square Park.  He followed it around the entire park and asked me to read each sign.
Two very awesome days!  And I'm guessing giving each a little one-on-one with our babysitter was good for them too.  I don't need reminders that they are different children with different needs and interests (I battle that each day), but giving them each a little special mommy time is something I need to get better at.  If you have more than one child, how do you balance it?

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