For our last challenge from Jessica's February Love Challenge over at Muthering Heights, the goal was to carve out at least one hour of time per child to spend quality time so that the child truly feels special. I wanted to take each child's lead to determine how he or she really wanted to spend the time together.
I was lucky - given that it was the "Family Day" holiday here in Ontario, Monday was the perfect day for the Pk part of the challenge as daddy was home and could be on call for Baby Bean so that Pk and I could go outside. A few weeks ago, the "big kids" in Sunday school at the church had done snow painting and Pk had been desperate to try it. When I saw the time component of this challenge, the snow painting seemed the perfect thing to do. At the dollar store, I bought several spray mist bottles and when I got up, before Pk was awake, I got the bottles ready with food colouring.
The only drawback for us was the extreme cold. It's hard to spray wearing mittens! I got Pk into her snowsuit from last year (I was a bit worried that the food colouring water would stain) and out we went. It was frigid but she didn't seem to mind. You may or may not be able to see that in the photo below, I had written "I love you" in the snow. We covered the snow and shivered and she had a great time.
The other thing that she wanted to, which was ridiculous in the cold, was to blow bubbles using the bubbles that she had been given in a birthday loot bag. She had been asking for days (and reminding me that we needed to wait until the "snow went back into the sky" so that it would be warm enough). The results weren't great and we didn't do it more than about three minutes but at least she could say that we did it.
After that, we ventured inside and, as after all such cold activities, we had to make hot cocoa. I asked what she wanted to do and her desire was to play Cariboo, the new cranium game that she LOVES (and of which I am entirely sick). After three games of Cariboo, I felt that I had truly done my duty and I think that Pk felt good about having mom's attention.
Carving out time with Baby Bean was a bit trickier. Finding the time itself was easy - on Wednesdays, Pk goes to her sitter (we had to do that while I am on leave to keep her spot) and to be honest, it's wonderful to have some time to do things with Baby Bean by himself. We do a swim lesson and, best of all, we have a cozy afternoon nap together. That was the focus of my time with him as it is his favourite thing to do. He is truly a cuddler and when you nap with him, he loves to cuddle up close, stroke your face and hold your hand. It's a very cozy way to sleep and, to be honest, I could spend hours just lying beside him, studying his little face and loving every bit of him. I need to get him sleeping for consistently in his crib for when he starts daycare but on Wednesday, my focus was just spending some time close to my little boy.
I feel so lucky to have been trusted with two such wonderful little human beings. I hope that I can continue this gift of time - given that I return to work in less than two months, it's really on my mind and I am trying to cherish every minute. I hope that I can continue to find ways to share precious time with each of them on their own so that they know how important they are to us. (As an aside, on this idea, in the summer, when we have to keep each one of them in daycare one day a week to keep the spot, we have decided that we will send them in different days so that each child gets one day a week with mom's and dad's full attention).
Thank you, Jessica, for giving us such a rewarding challenge! I plan to make it an annual event.