Getting time with all four

photo-402One of the challenges of managing a brood (and it is a management challenge!) is getting solo time with each of them. They definitely respond well to individual attention. Who doesn’t? Employees thrive when managers invest time in them. As in an office, though, getting one-on-one time on the calendar is easier said than done.

That’s why I was quite happy that, yesterday, I managed to engineer some quality time with each of them. The baby and I played together from 7-7:30 (he’d been up from 3-5 a.m. so he’d already seized some not-so-great quality time, but we won’t go into that). It was kid #2’s 6th birthday, so I went to his afternoon kindergarten class to read The Dark, by Lemony Snicket (a favorite of ours: “you might be afraid of the dark, but the dark is not afraid of you”). He was all smiles to see me there, though humorously he didn’t want to come home with me. He wanted to ride the bus. Perhaps because the bus driver (bless him) gave him a dollar for his birthday.

I picked my 8-year-old up at swim practice. He’d told me earlier this week that jumping off the block was tough, and it was for kids who’d been swimming a long time. Then, lo and behold while I was in the stands, I saw him jumping off the block. We got to have a good conversation about this in the car on the way home. Apparently he belly-flopped the first time (as you do) but was figuring it out.

Finally, my daughter wanted a bubble bath at night. It looked like fun so I jumped in with her! She just thought it was hysterical to put suds over her face like she had a beard, and then in her hair like a halo.

I have all four together today, as school is closed due to the Pope’s arrival, so there will probably be a lot of crowd control. But at least we had some fun moments yesterday.

In other news: This write-up of a “virtual happy hour” I did with Gloria Feldt’s Take the Lead, does a good job of summarizing my main messages. Stress is normal. We should tell stories of women who like their lives. Work is a way of profitably living out your interests. Ask for forgiveness, not permission.

In a completely different vein…I was touched by Lori Sanders’ essay at The Federalist called I Shout My Son’s Life. The site itself has fairly strong anti-abortion politics, which I’m not particularly into, but whatever you think of that, the essay is a great story of a woman facing a hard situation and rebuilding the life she wanted — only now with an 8-year-old along for the ride. Transitioning to parenthood is hard enough as a married, financially stable, grown woman. I’m amazed by people who survive and thrive in the transition as girls themselves.

My gifted education blog, Gifted Exchange, turns 10 this week. I have a round-up of top posts from the past decade over there.

3 thoughts on “Getting time with all four

  1. Wow, good for you, getting QT with all 4 in one day! I struggle with this, and only have 2—probably bc they are so close in age, they just end up needing to be at the same places at the same time. We often throw ’em in the bath together, they always wake up & go to bed at the same time, they do activities together often & many times have even been invited to birthday parties together since most of their friends know them both from daycare. Having the 5 year old in KG helps this, he & I get one on one time after I pick him up from aftercare every weekday, until my husband comes home with the 3 year old. He really enjoys that time (he said so!) and so do I

    1. @Ana – it’s so rare I had to blog about it! Yeah, we throw ours in the tub together, and put them to bed at similar times, and they all wind up riding to each others’ practices and the like. It’s just so much easier to have them all together, but they do so like to have some time with each of us. Or both of us — my 8-year-old has already asked that, for his birthday, my husband and I take him to a baseball game together (and hire a sitter for the others).

    2. We have a hard time with this as well and also have only 2, but this year they’re at the same school (hooray for one dropoff!) so they spend nearly the whole day together. They both really love getting 1:1 time as well, and the almost-3-yo in particular is like a different (easier!) child when her sister isn’t there 😉 So we have motivation to try this more often.

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