This summer when my kids were out of school, I tried to arrange their camp schedules to get some extra special one-on-one time with each of them where I put them in charge of what we did together that day. When my 4 year-old son had a “mommy home day,” our time together went something like this:
8 am- Race on scooters (I don’t have a scooter so I just have to run).
9 am- Go to Dunkin Donuts
9:30 am- Go to a store that has candy and pick out a new kind of candy we’ve never had before for the candy bowl.
10 am- Open all the mail
10:10 am- Play twister
10:55 am- Rolling Stones dance party
11:15 am- Then I have to “pick him up like a baby” and “spin him around way too fast.”
11:20 am- Take a bath
11:22 am- Throw the washcloth to him while he’s in the bath but it can’t be too far away or too close it has to be the perfect distance away and if it’s not we have to keep trying even if we do it 19 times.
12 noon- Read all the books on the bookshelf (unsuccessfully but A+ for ambition).
12:40 pm- Wipe up all the water on the bathroom floor with literally all the towels (my idea).
12:45 pm- Paint fingernails.
1:00 pm- Watch Blaze and eat lunch and mommy almost falls asleep.
1:40 pm- Wrestling & Tickling
2:00 pm- Play “bad food truck” where I pretend to order something then he gives me the total wrong thing and I pretend to get really upset.
2:30 pm- Throw large pieces of cardboard like frisbees
2:35 pm – (Pauses). “Mommy! I want to buy a hula hoop!”
2:45 pm- MORE TICKLES
3:00 pm- Play “talking in someone’s ear sounds loud.”
3:15 pm- Build magnatiles and eat a snack.
3:50 pm- Meow and make mommy guess what I’m saying over and over when all he’s saying is “meow.”
4:00 pm- Play monster and kitty cat.
4:30 pm- Ride scooters again but then mommy needs to go inside and drink some coffee.
Days with my 6 year old daughter on the other hand, went something like this:
8 am- Watch a movie
10 am- Draw birds
11 am- Talk about the birds outside
11:30 am- Eat ice cream
12 noon and after- Maybe go to a museum, then go to sleep on mommy’s belly, then watch another movie.
I always knew their energy levels weren’t quite the same, but it’s never so clear as when I reflect on the past couple of months. Will my son grow up to be a high powered salesperson who parties all night and works all day completely unfazed? Will my daughter become an artist? A psychiatrist? The next coming of Buddha? Who knows. Whatever happens, I’m happy to be along for the ride.