I love both of my kids and they generally get along well. I wrote a series of posts about how bringing a second child into your family doesn't have to be as scary as you think it might be. I've given people tips on playing with two kids of different ages at the same time. I've even written posts talking about how much I love watching the two of them together.
Despite all of that, I must admit that I lack patience when both of them are with me. One of them wants to do one thing, the other wants to do something else. But they both want to do it with mommy. Both of them want the same toy at the same time. They both want a snack and they both want it first. One is slow, the other is fast. They don't understand the meaning of "in a minute" or "when I'm done with this". They repeat the question without waiting to hear the answer.
It exhausts me.
I am definitely a better parent one-on-one.
So this Friday, when I had the opportunity to go on dates with both of my kids, separately, it was one of the most wonderful days I've had in a long time.
Date #1: Art, Lunch and Gelato
My husband brought my 2.5 year old daughter into the city to meet me for an extended lunch break. She and I headed over to the National Gallery of Canada to check out the art work and have some fun at Artissimo playing with blocks, doing arts and crafts, and reading books in the spectacular glass atrium overlooking Parliament Hill .
During our visit, we went to the museum cafeteria and shared a nice calm lunch. After we were finished checking out the art work we took a walk down the street, calmly looking into the windows of the shops we passed, checking out fountains and flowers, and stopped to share some raspberry and mango gelato.
Date #2: Dinner, Shopping and Dinosaurs
Late afternoon I picked almost five year old son up from school and we headed off to the mall to grab some dinner. He got to pick whatever he wanted from the food court and didn't make the healthiest of choices. After that we went over to Old Navy to let him pick out some track pants and a few t-shirts. We also picked up a lady bug costume for his little sister that we both agreed she absolutely had to gave given her love of the book Ladybug Girl.
After we were done shopping, the real treat came. As a gift for his upcoming birthday, I was taking him to see Walking with Dinosaurs. The show was absolutely spectacular and it was great seeing him get so excited about each dinosaur that came out and loving every minute of it. To anyone who doubted that kids pick up on the message that hockey is violent, I've never really spoken about hockey with my son, but the first question he asked as we sat down in our seats at Scotiabank Place was whether the hockey players were going to come out and fight with the dinosaurs. We cuddled and enjoyed the show together and then he passed out five minutes into the drive home.
We had such a wonderful day. I highly recommend trying to find a way to have some quality one-one-one time with each of your kids. The activities do not have to be expensive. Things like a walk in the woods, a visit to the beach, or a pick nick in the park, can be wonderful ways to spend some time together. At a time when I was really starting to feel overwhelmed, this day and this alone time with each of my kids really helped to rejuvenate me and restore some balance in my life.
Disclosure: This is not a paid or sponsored review. All products, services and events mentioned in this post were paid for in full by me.