I Think We’re Alone NowPosted: June 18, 2013
As much of a blessing as siblings are, there are times when children crave individual attention. I remember as a little girl I loved Tuesday and Thursday afternoons the years I was in PreK and Kindergarten. These days were much beloved because my mama would pick me up from school at 11:30 and we would have the afternoon alone, together. (My sister, Laurel was still in school, and my brother, Buddy was at Mother’s Day Out.) We’d go to lunch, then maybe a store or two, whatever I felt like. I loved having my mama all to myself just to talk to her (she is such a good listener), and to have special time that was just for us. Similarly I couldn’t wait for the annual Take Your Daughter To Work Day when I would get the whole day with my dad to myself, asking him questions, helping him with work, and of course lunching out in style, both dressed in our office clothes. I loved hearing about his job as a petroleum geologist. He is so smart and was very good at explaining things to me. Plus, before seismic computers, he filled in the geological maps by hand, shading the various layers in with map pencils, and would let me color some. (When Laurel was asked in a school questionnaire what our father did for a living, she answered, “He colors all day.” When I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up on one such quiz I answered “geologist,” mostly because I really liked to color.) I loved the alone time with both of my folks. As the middle child it was a rare and wonderful opportunity to have each of them to myself.
Remembering this, I began incorporating this niche market in my nannying. Years ago I started “date nights” where the parent/parents would take one child to dinner/movie/some fun activity, while I played at home with the other, alternating so each got ample and equal individual time. Princess and her mama went to a concert while Captain Awesome and I played, Boss Lady’s brand new baby brother (code name pending) and I got some get-to-know-you time while Boss Lady and her mama had a quality mother/daughter date. (When a new sibling arrives it’s especially important to carve out time with the first one/s!)
And most recently during my week of mornings with Rebel sans Doc, I was reminded of just how special alone time can be! Now of course the kiddos would rather have one-on-one time with their folks, but I’d like to think I’m a sufficient substitute. ☺ While Doc enjoyed mornings of summer camp this week, Rebel and I did…what-ever Rebel wanted! As a second/middle child myself, I understand how important it is to be given some individual attention. (I’m 29 and I still crave it! “Look at me! Look at me!”) Rebel chose to go to:
Day 1: Go to the park & get a smoothie (We love Juiceland! I get the kiddos “Berry White”s or “Honey Bear”s, covertly asking for an added shot of wheatgrass in each for extra veggie content!)
Day 2: Hang out and play “aircraft carrier”/read/the usual around the house fare.
Day 3: Head to Zilker Park for morning of a train ride on the Zilker Zephyr and playing on the epic playground complete with fire engine playscape and underwater themed area. At one point he opted for the swings, and I obliged him, for a solid twenty minutes! Afterward we grabbed him a water from the ginormous Whole Foods (always an under 11 crowd pleaser) and returned to Juiceland for another smoothie. (For more Miss Cheryl places o’ fun in Austin, check out my Pinterest page and follow+ me to fun! http://pinterest.com/yallbehave/ )
Rebel thoroughly enjoyed making all the decisions about his days’ activities, and I had a blast talking to him, listening to him, and playing his favorite songs in the car. His current favorite is “I Love It(I Don’t Care)” by Icona Pop (Radio edit of course!) which I played at least 15 times over the course of our 3 one-on-one mornings.
I love giving the kiddos individual attention and time when I can, and I love providing it for parents. Time is the greatest gift a Supernanny can give, and one-on-one quality moments with kiddos are definitely memories frozen in time!