Yesterday I was challenged to come up with quality time for myself and the girls. After they kicked off summer in a big way with NanaRoz and before they whirled off to their adventure weekend (camping with Daddy!), I had a few hours with them. They have full calendars this week, but both of them have Mommy-Snuggle-Meters that must get filled up or else they start to get pretty wonky. Maren begins to act like a sloth whenever she sees me and entangles her limbs with mine as soon as I hold still. Greta, who holds it together for (most) everyone else, loses it and emotes in my direction if I haven’t been present enough for her. I needed a quality time activity where I could both be present and engage with them, but also not tax myself.
I turned to the reliable old television.
I next-to-never watch TV with the kids. When they are occupied, I see it as an opportunity to do something else in peace, and I always seize upon that opportunity. Yesterday though, we snuggled together–me in the middle–and watched a movie together. It’s funny how very intentional I had to be in that choice; Brad does that low-key time with them so much more naturally than I do. I was delighted to find Honey, I Shrunk the Kids on Amazon Prime, and the three of us giggled and snuggled our way through it. It was probably one of the best two-hour “moments” I’ve had with them this month. I highly recommend…
See? Giggling and snuggling through the funk. Totally doable.
After the movie, Brad rushing about packing the camping stuff, so I decided to assist by turning packing their clothes into a game. “Okay girls, run to your room, get your overnight bag, and bring it back here.”
They both ran off, got the bags, and deposited them in front of me.
“Great! You guys are awesome!” I coached. “Next: one pair of pajamas and a hoodie. Go!”
“Two pairs of pants and two pairs of socks. Go!”
Everytime Greta came back, she was absolutely wiggling with glee. She loves doing things where she feels like a big kid. She also just picked her favorite (or whatever was on top) for each item. Greta is absolutely in charge of her own style.
Maren is a hoot because she’s just starting to care about her clothes, but — for now — her primary interest is in things matching and looking cool. It’s hard for her to choose on the fly because she doesn’t have confidence in her choices; we’re working on that. She needs to know that the only person who can decide with any authority whether she’s cool is she herself.
We got their bags together, talked them down from bringing half of their toys, and kissed them good-bye. First Daddy-kid campout of 2015 is happening; several other dads and kids are there too.
As I’m resting in my R&R, I am making mental lists and planning and zoning out. It’s what I do. Perhaps you can help with what I am thinking on today…
-I love doing special outings with the kids, and they are at prime time ages for it. My summer ideas list is epic. My mom used to load up our van to capacity a couple of times a year when I was a kid and take us somewhere new. I’d love to be able to do this and let them each invite a friend, but our cars are both 5-seaters. Since Maren can’t ride in the front seat for years, how do other folks get around this? Did the front seat rule exist when I was a kid? Brad and I were on the cusp of getting a 7/8 seater right about when I was diagnosed, but our priorities obviously changed.
-It’s time to book some summer haircuts for the girls and I this week. I’m tickled at the the thought that we could all have short (matching) haircuts for the summer, but don’t want to push them into what I want. Either way it will be a fun outing; salon/stylist recommendations?
-We have Amazon Prime and Hulu. Any series or movies to recommend for my R&R time? (My only rule is that I don’t want to watch anything that will make me cry. Crying makes me think about cancer now, and I just don’t need to go there.)
-I’ve used Shutterfly, Snapfish and Picaboo for family picture books; probably because I had a coupon for each one at the time. Are there any others I should check out? (I’m picture-sorting and have a LOT of books to print.)
I’m giving myself a pass on the house projects and the to-do lists. I linger and wander over what I feel like doing at the time. I’m not sure if I’m indulging myself or pacing myself, but I figure it’s okay either way. I got a new vacation-themed shirt in the mail yesterday from my aunt, so I’m wearing it and it’s good mojo. I’m alone in my own house, so I’m grateful for that strange and unfamiliar yet welcome respite. I went through my closet pre-funk and pared down excess, so I’m making outfits for vacation based on what is left. During my steroidal burst of energy, I rearranged Greta’s furniture, and Maren immediately wanted her room re-arranged too. It seems like everything is shifting and anticipating the sweetness of summer. I love that we get to live more by the sun and less by the clock in this season. That’s what I’m thinking about today: being present in my present.