The Importance of One-on-one Time With Your Child

One-on-one Time With Your Child

I kept my oldest daughter, Jessica, home from school today.  She’s not contagious; her allergies are so bad that her throat is all red and raw, she’s congested and crabby and just not feeling well. I brought her into the pediatrician’s yesterday, and the doctor told me to keep her home, give her Advil and let her rest.

But … it did mean that Sam, my seven year old, had to go to school by himself.  Which is always hard — whenever one stays home, the other one freaks out.  But he handled it really well yesterday, and didn’t balk at doing it today.  So I rewarded him – a little bribe, a little incentive to encourage good behavior.

I got up early and woke up just Sam.  He had crawled into our bed around five thirty or so. I was tricky and quiet, because our toddler, Julie, is still sleeping in our bedroom and I didn’t want to wake Julie or Marc.  I plopped Sammy on the couch and put on Big Bang for him (because that’s how my boy rolls — Big Bang Theory reruns every. single. morning).  I brought him his clothes and he got ready.  And we snuck out the door.  We went to Dunkin Donuts (perfectly situated half way between our house and his school), and I let him pick two donuts because choosing was too hard first thing in the morning.  One chocolate covered with sprinkles and one honey dipped.  He finished up his homework that he forgot he had, and we talked and hung out and it was so sweet.

One of the hard things about having three children is just time.  Finding time to get everything that needs to get done is impossible, and scraping out time to spend, one on one, with a child is always a bonus.  And he was just so cute.  His hair is growing, and he was still all rosy and sleepy.   Sam tends to get lost at home, I think.  He’s my easiest child, in a lot of ways (actually, I could say that about all of them — they all have ways in which they are my toughest and my easiest).  But emotionally, he’s very easy to understand.  It’s not complicated with Sam — it can be hugely intense and dramatic and challenging, but it’s very simple to decipher.  My girls are more layered, emotionally.  And half the time, they don’t even know what’s bugging them, let alone how to fix it.  Sam’s just easier. He’s more like Marc.  (The flipside is that I have to admit that Jessie is just like me, in terms of emotional processing — she’s hugely emotional and dramatic and handling fifty seven different emotions all at once).

But I loved having that time this morning with Sam.  It was lovely, he was fun to hang with, and I was so proud of my beautiful boy.  It’s enough to make me want to keep a kid home every week, just so I get that one on one breakfast and drive time alone with the other.