Saturday, April 2, 2011

Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children and no theories.

(John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester)


My first born son and I butt heads.
I clash more with him than I do with either of my other offspring.
It is not due to him being a certain age.
It is not because I am harder on him being the oldest.
In some areas, I do expect a little more of him as the elder sibling
but I explain why and I am not unfair.

We have always been like this.
Ever since he learnt to communicate.

It is no matter that I love him as equally as my other kids.
No matter that I would do anything for him.
We clash.

Because my daughter is the youngest,
the older boys and daddy tend to do things together
and the little one and I tend to pair off.

My one-on-one time with each of my boys ended a long time ago
as siblings and the education system demanded more time of each of us.
Even one-on-one time with their daddy is little and far between.

So hubby and I have decided that we need to make an effort.
Because right now I don't feel like I actually know my boys very well at all.
I don't feel like they are going to have many specific "mummy" memories looking back.

Today I took my oldest out to a play,
"Escape from Peligro Island"


It was an interactive affair where we got to make decisions as the play went along.
(Do we want Calloway to chase the man with the strange glove
or dive in and rescue the box which is needed to save the world?
Who knew that we were chosing between a vampire story and a spy story at the point in time?
Do we want him to escape from his prison cell using the bed or his eye glasses?
I'd still like to know how he would have used the bed but amazing what you can do with
a pair of glasses and a mobile phone, isn't it?
Should he pulls karate moves on the tiger, squish it with a move or shoult really loudly at it?
No tigers were harmed during the administration of the squishing manouvere...)

It was fun, amazing to see the actors know where to go with each decision
 and it was great to share that time with my son
and discuss what the story could have been.

We went to a sushi train for lunch
where my son got to try some Japanese foods that he had never had before.

And no trip with me is complete without gelati.

What a difference it is to spend time...
 ...leaving the rituals and mundane familiarity of the home environment behind
...a child removed from the pecking order with his siblings
...doing things that were stimulating and suprising and new to him.

I loved being able to share some adventures in his life.

I hope that it is the first of many such chances for my husband and I
to bond more strongly with each of our children
and to create some special times for their memories
-and for ours.

I hope that these "special" occasions will become an expected part of our household routine,
while we have kids who still want to spend that time with us.


Tania said...

Clever, excellent, eyes-wide-open Mama...

Tracy aka Mad Quilter said...

Sounds like a wonderful day and a very happy memory in the making :D I like to spend a little one on one with my tribe too. SO hard to do at times but it really helps to connect without the normal day to day stuff in the way. I sometimes sneak off after school with just one child and we have a treat at the local cafe.

Clodagh a.k.a. Isra said...

what a lovely post. I feel like I need to go hug someone.

Nikki said...

Brilliant parenting!! I only have one kid to worry about, but I think I need to take a leaf out of your book and break the routine (....she says, with morning coffee, knitting, emails and a kid watching ABC Kids!).

Tanya said...

thoughtful and inspiring- thanks Tas

Vic said...

Awesome post Tas.

Even though I've only been mother of two for the shortest time, I've noticed the difference in Punk when we get time out together, I can't imagine forgetting to do that, but if I do, I'll remember this. xx

The Handmaden said...

I'm so glad to hear this! It would be easy to think the best thing would be to stay away from the one you clash with, but not true. It's so important to develop and personal relationship with each child. My husband and I regularly make one on one time with each child and it's well worth it.
Keep it going, you won't regret it.

Karen said...

SUCH a great idea, good on you. I need to do this more - one on one time, especially as the older two are twins.
Sounds like an excellent show you saw too Tas.