Saturday Chickie and I headed out for a couple of hours for some one-on-one time. It wasn't anything fancy. I was doing grocery shopping at Wal-Mart, and we stopped at the in-store McDonald's for lunch. (I think that sentence just doubled my redneck rating!)
I had such a nice time with my girl. I don't even remember what we talked about, but it was relaxing and fun. At McDonald's Chickie ate Apple Dippers...
...and played with her Happy Meal toy...
...and I didn't feel the need to rush her to finish as quickly as possible so we could get home.
As I sat there with her I realized just how much more relaxed I am when it's just Chickie and me, without Zoodle. When both kids are with me when I'm out in public, I tend to feel rushed and often grumpy.
Why is that? I wondered.
I think part of it is that is just the ages they are right now. I can have more true conversations with a 4-year-old than with a 2-year-old. I can trust that Chickie won't run away from me in the store (well, not far away, anyhow.) It's easier to relax with a preschooler than with a toddler. Pretty soon Zoodle will be old enough for me to let down my guard a bit with him too.
Part of the issue, though, is that when there are two kids, I'm outnumbered. I have twice as much to watch out for. Two kids are making requests and demands. Two kids are sometimes obeying and sometimes not. And I just want to get done so we can get back to the familiar, relatively safe and relaxing comfort of home.
But it was so enjoyable, letting myself relax on Saturday. And I think with some planning (to leave the house early enough) and the right attitude, maybe I could learn to be more relaxed with both kids too. The result would be three people who would enjoy running errands more than we enjoy it now.
Relaxing two-on-one time? It's certainly worth a shot!