Wednesday, 12 March 2014

One-On-One

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I still remember when I got the call. When I heard my name come over the PA system at my elementary school, asking me to please come to the office.

I remember walking down the hall thrilled. My little seven year old self, so excited. Bouncing with every step that I took, smile spread straight across my little cheeks, knowing that this was special...knowing that it was just for me.

I passed other kids in the hallway and grinned at them, wanting so badly for them to know exactly what was about to happen. Knowing that as I turned that corner towards the office I'd see him...my dad.

He was smiling as I ran up to him and I took his hand as he lead me out to the car. It was lunch time, and he left work that day to take me out to lunch. ONLY me. Just my dad and I, going to McDonald's (a real treat in our family). I couldn't have been happier.

Having a sister meant that my parents had to split their time with both of us, like most families with more than one child have to do. And so this was a big deal. It was a big deal because my dad made it a big deal. He talked about how he was going to leave work that day (at that time, a half hour drive to my school from his office)...he let me pick whatever restaurant I wanted...he told me that I could pick anything that I wanted off of the menu...he told me that I could choose whatever table I wanted to sit at...he told me how excited he was about being able to see me in the middle of the day--and he also let me know that he'd be doing the same with Jen another day. Because, fair is fair.  

I've never forgotten those moments from my childhood. Those moments where mom and dad specifically took time with both Jen and I to spent quality one-on-one time with each of us. To make a big deal out of something seemingly simple--to build up a special day to be perhaps even bigger than it was...but it worked. Because we felt that it was a big deal. We felt important. We felt like it was our special time where all of the attention was on us, individually.

So I want to do the same for my kids.

When I chose to only go back to work for 3.5 days a week after recently coming off of maternity leave with Carter, it meant that I was thankfully given the luxury of time with my kids. So I marked my calendar, and excitedly told Mya that we were going to have a "Mommy and Mya day". A day where we'd drop Carter off at daycare and wave to all of Mya's daycare teachers as she held my hand, proudly announcing to all of them that it was "Me and mommy's special day--ONLY me and mommy", with the biggest grin ever as she'd prance off to the door.  

She was so excited.
  
And even though this little girl woke up in a funk that very morning...that very morning that I had all of these plans in place, hoping for this perfect little day...it was still a great day and I would do it over and over again in a heartbeat. Because she felt that feeling. That feeling of being important. That the whole day was about her. That she was my number one priority all day long. And she loved it.

So we started our day by stopping off at the store and I told her that she could pick any treat that she wanted.

And you know what she picked?

Juice boxes.


That's all she wanted. A pack of juice boxes "with the straws, mommy". So that's what she got. And she was thrilled. We don't typically buy juice boxes, so this to her was a big treat apparently. So I showed her the special 'hold the wings' trick so that she wouldn't squeeze the juice out of the straw the moment that she took hold of that little box, and she was on her way to juice heaven.


And lunch time? Well, Terry left work that afternoon and met us at McDonald's to surprise her. And her other favourite person in the world showed up too for her special lunch...


her cousin Oliver -- who was just as thrilled about the juice boxes as Mya was.

The first thing that she told me when we bought those juice boxes was that she wanted to "save one for Oliver and one for Carter". So I packed them in my purse and snuck them in.


And when our lunch guests left, Mya and I spent the rest of the day playing with play doh that I had secretly made the night before, playing dolls and snuggling on the couch for an afternoon nap. It wasn't necessarily a fancy day--but all that mattered to her was that I was hers all day long.

And Carter? Well, he got his day the following week.

So we dropped Mya off at daycare and she smiled as she proudly told her daycare teachers "Carter's not staying at daycare--he's having a Carter and mommy day". As if she was an expert on the subject now...because she was. She knew what it meant. She knew that it was Carter's turn and she was surprisingly very accepting of the fact that I was taking Carter and not her. She wanted it for him too.

So we found a program where little ones could tear around a gym on bikes, cars and scooters...and where toys were at every corner.


Which he absolutely loved.


And his surprise guest was the same beloved surprise guest that Mya got.

He was thrilled to see Oliver.


And wasn't afraid to show it.

Thanks Oliver for always graciously accepting his big slobbery kisses. 



And the rest of our day was filled with blowing bubbles in the house together, racing cars down the dining room floor, napping in my arms and tearing all of the couch cushions off of our furniture once again to create the best climbing gym that a little boy could ever ask for.

Sometimes it's the smallest gestures that our kids will remember the most. The build up to a special day full of simple things like juice boxes, plastic bikes, play doh and car races is something that ultimately made these two feel special. Like it was all about them.

Because it was.

Happy March break everyone!
Erica xo


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