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Toddling Through the Silicon Valley

By Cheryl Bac

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About this blog: I'm a wife, stay-at-home mom, home cook, marathon runner, and PhD. I recently moved to the Silicon Valley after completing my PhD in Social Psychology and becoming a mother one month apart. Before that, I ran seven marathons incl...  (More)

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Squeezing in the lazy moments

Uploaded: Mar 19, 2016
When our son was younger, my husband and I alternated sleeping in on Saturday and Sunday. It was a win-win. We both got a break from parenting and a lazy morning at home with our son.

With two kids, it's become a little more complicated. We still try to give each other the morning off from parenting whenever possible. But one-on-one time with either kid takes a little more planning.

During this time, we slow down the pace a bit. Our son usually brings out choking hazards, longer books, or other activities that are difficult to work on with a toddler present.

Our daughter enjoys getting a glimpse at the life of an only child. Whether we go to the grocery store or spend some time playing and reading in her room, at this age she seems to just enjoy our extra attention.

During the weekday these pockets of one-on-one time seem to happen almost organically. One child wakes up earlier, goes to sleep later, naps or just becomes absorbed in an activity on his or her own. But on a busy weekend, these pockets of time are harder to find. We might all wake up early to go to an event, stay up later watching a movie, or our daughter may end up napping on the go.

As our kids grow up and our weekends become more and more filled, I hope we can continue to have these one-on-one times together...even if sometimes these moments have to be squeezed in on a busy weekend.
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Posted by Mother of 4 , a resident of Palo Verde School,
on Mar 21, 2016 at 8:26 am

You have it right but I don't think that one on one, parent child time, always has to be play. It does get harder when the kids get busier as well as the parents trying to get some time for themselves.

Some of our best parent/child times come from doing ordinary things together.

When one of the boys took a fascination with watching Daddy shave, it soon became their special time each morning. Daddy would call him and say shave time and the two of them would enjoy a short time "helping" each other shave. Boy would watch Daddy and point where to go next and end up by doing a quick finishing sweep and then Daddy would do a quick run over boy's face, of course this was all done with an electric razor. It soon became one of the fun things each day. It soon turned into showering together as boy stood in the shower also and gradually learned how to shower himself.

Another great bonding has been taking it in turns to take the trash out with Daddy. Daddy puts small child on top of the cans as they are rolled out to the curb.

I have done similar things with household and personal chores. Laundry folding has been a fun parent child bonding. Child gets to match socks and sort and fold underwear into each family member's pile and then put them in the right storage place in each room. Cooking and preparing meals where I need a helper to get things in and out of refrigerator and pantry and onto table or counter. Deciding which 3 vegetables to put into a salad with the greenery, whether to cut sandwiches into triangles or squares, and many other food preparation decisions are often left to my helper to decide.

Yes of course playing together is fun but so many activities can become special activities. Chores are only chores if there is an attitude of making them boring or difficult. Making them fun even if they take longer hopefully will make them less onerous and much easier to get the kids to do them all by themselves at some stage in the future.

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Mar 21, 2016 at 10:41 am

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Mother of 4 - Thanks for sharing. Yes, as a kid I remember spending a lot of time with my grandparents and parents while they completed chores. It was interesting to see how they spent their time. And, most of the time, the chores were simple enough that we could chat while completing them.

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