Friday miscellany: Mommy Day #1

One of my Summer Fun List items was to do “Mommy Days” with the four big kids. These are one-on-one days where we do something of the kid’s choosing.

I find these pretty fun because, well, with five kids, much time is spent managing fights or general disagreement over how time should be spent. On a Mommy Day, there is none of that. We just do what the kid wants. Also, the toddler consumes a lot of time and energy, so it’s nice to get some time with kids who aren’t biting, throwing themselves on the floor, or screaming (well, at least not usually).

We are deep into summer now, and with four of these to make happen, it was time to start. So Tuesday was Mommy Day #1 with my 9-year-old daughter. She decided we should go to Hershey, the chocolate themed amusement park that is about an hour and 40 minutes from here.

We had a really good time — even if we did have to wait longer than we wanted for funnel cake (the kiosk didn’t open until 2 p.m., though it didn’t post hours, and people gave us varying answers, so we kept having to come back to check!). She wanted to try the “Sooper dooper looper” — a roller coaster with one inversion — so we built up our courage and got on. The loop was something but now that she has done Expedition Everest at Disney she decided it wasn’t even remotely scary. And Trailblazer, long a favorite, seemed pretty ho-hum. Ah, the frame of reference changes. We also went on the swings, on the Reese’s cup challenge ride, played arcade games and so forth. She won a stuffed panda bear and we bought matching T-shirts saying “I survived the sooper dooper looper” — I think she liked that more than the ride itself!

I will probably be back at Hershey with at least one other kid, but we’ve got some other Mommy Days planned too. If anyone reading this has a brood of kids, I definitely recommend trying this — it’s a good way to connect.

Other highlights of the week included choosing floor tiles for the new mud room. Ok, it’s not really a highlight, but this is a good example of the ridiculous amount of mental energy that home renovation projects can take. I had chosen another mudroom tile a few months ago, but when the boxes came it seemed very different from what had been on the showroom floor. I’m still not sure what happened, but those are getting returned and I chose something else. We also worked out details of the chimney repairs, cutting 2.5 inches off the kitchen island to get a slightly bigger walkthrough on a major traffic route, and rewiring some sconces. Good times!

Two of the kids wanted to try gymnastics classes, so I signed them up for a four week summer session (one class a week). I didn’t need more activities in the schedule, but as I’ve read the various laments about “overscheduling,” I’ve realized that I have a slightly different philosophy — namely, if a kid is genuinely interested in trying something, I should do my best to make it happen. This is a pretty limited commitment and we will evaluate afterwards if we keep going.

My husband and I signed up for a half marathon in September, so I may attempt the 10 mile long run I put on my Summer Fun List this weekend. We shall see!

In the meantime, it is possible I will start adding a longer Before Breakfast podcast bonus episode every week or two in which I interview a guest. If you have suggestions of people you’d like me to interview, please let me know!

8 thoughts on “Friday miscellany: Mommy Day #1

  1. The “mommy day” is such a great idea. But with 5 kids I don’t know how you manage 5 mommy days each summer! I have three kids, all adults now. My version of “mommy day” was a “mommy weekend” for their 12th birthdays. The only rule was their wish had to be accessible within an hour of our home in San Francisco. One wanted a weekend at the beach and boardwalk in Santa Cruz. The second wanted to go to a “rock concert.” And my daughter wanted to go “downtown,” ride a cable car, walk around Fisherman’s Wharf and stay in a hotel where she could order breakfast in bed. Not all moms can afford the time or money for such adventures, but I felt very fortunate that I could. (And glad no one asked for a quick trip to Paris!)

    1. @Jackie – that sounds like a fun version of mommy days! So far I’m only doing four a summer because the little guy gets a lot of mommy time and doesn’t have so many activity preferences yet. Four is kind of a lot but over the whole summer it’s doable.

  2. I love your mommy days idea. I think you have planted this is my mind. I have 3 little boys and a new baby girl. With Fridays off this summer I am giving them mommy-date days. It is special and fun of their choosing. Totally different dynamic than when we are one big family unit. Thank you for pushing this idea, Laura.

  3. Excited about the Before Breakfast interview episodes. I would like you to invite Cal Newport, and talk about Slow productivity in particular.

  4. I used to regularly do Mum Time with my children 1 hour on their own at home for them to choose whatever they would like to do with me we could read together play a board game just sit and chat or do some baking together in the kitchen. Can do on weekend and get husband to look after the rest but if old enough can appoint one child the babysitter in a different space in the house. All got a turn so very co-operative. Also did Dad dates where they could pick the restaurant while I stayed home with the others. Then when older both of us took one child at a time out for a fine dining experience.

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