Saturday, April 6, 2013

A Date with My Toddler

Yesterday morning, Madison and I were finally able to get some real, quality, one on one time.  We had a date.

Dating - spending time really getting to know each other, and enjoying each other's company, one on one. Focusing on each other. Important in any relationship.

That time is so wonderful, and so important, and I'm just not getting enough - with either girl - right now. 

You would think that, being the older child, Madison would get more solo time with me. But that actually isn't the case most of the time.  I don't have any time where Reagan is sleeping and Madison is awake (at least not consistently).  Reagan has grown out of her morning nap, and Madison hasn't yet stopped her afternoon one.

Actually, Madison shouldn't even have gotten this time. We had plans to meet some friends at the science center. Reagan was (obviously) coming with us. Madison was very excited to see her friend and experience the museum and had been talking about it for a few days.

Like I mentioned before, both girls had ear infections this week. Madison was pretty much recovered by Friday morning, but Reagan couldn't kick the underlying cold. She woke up late and was completely pathetic (in an adorable way). She just wanted to lie down. There was no way I was taking her out.

Luckily, Adam had flown a red eye home from California, and he walked in the door right around when Reagan was waking up.  Since he was home and exhausted, we figured the two of them could spend the morning sleeping while I took Madison by myself.  Reagan was relieved to get back in her crib.

Madison was initially pretty concerned that Reagan wasn't getting in the car with us. She was very afraid that we'd forgotten her. But by the time we were on the highway, she was chatting away with me, all excited about the things she might see, and how excited she was.

We got there a little early, and my friend was running late, so Madison and I went into a Starbucks while we waited. She got a chocolate milk, I got a chai, and we split a muffin. She was so happy to have a "Mommy and Madison" date.  She and I chatted about the things we saw, what we thought we might see in the museum, how we liked our drinks, you know, "date" conversation.  Once I got the text that our friends had arrived, she was excited and happy to help me clean up our table, hold my hand, and walk back over.

We had a great time in the museum. With only one toddler, I was able to give her my full attention (confession: I did check my phone often for updates on Reagan - I couldn't help it. Turned out that she and Adam slept all morning).  When she was excited about something, she didn't need to wait to share with me.

Experimenting with air flow.

She could have stayed in the water area for hours.

Playing with light, sound and motion.

How could my little ham NOT be fascinated by a microphone?

Exploring the world.

Driving home, as she chatted with me about her favorite parts of the day, I started thinking that I really need to make a plan to spend some quality one on one time with each girl on a regular basis. Since they're so close in age, they can do a lot of things together, and they enjoy the same things. But that also means that they are always together.

We got home, and she was bummed that Reagan was still sleeping (yes, I did end up taking Reagan back to the doctor, and she's fine. Ears are cleared up, she just had a worse cold than Madison did. Today she was much better). She wanted to tell her everything and tell her that she missed her. I thought it was great that she could really love her time without her sister, but still look forward to seeing her again. I really hope that continues.

Reagan and I have some time together once a week while Madison's at school. Usually, we run the errands that are a pain to run with two kids. But now I'm thinking that I should forget the errands (at least occasionally) and make an effort to give Reagan some "real" one on one time as well.

They love each other, but they are different kids. I definitely love spending time with each of them as they grow into their own personalities.

Moms with multiple kids, especially those close in age, how do you get that special "mommy and me" time with each of them? Do you think it's important?

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