(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.
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.