Making Time

As I was snuggling my (almost, not yet) four-year-old last night at bedtime, she grabbed my hand, held it and said, “I love you to the moon and back.”

biggirl

This child. How I adore her. And how horrible I felt realizing I have had so little one-on-one time with her recently. I recently went back to work full time, we’re selling our house and well, her little sister is quite demanding. Olivia is and always has been very independent. It’s wonderful, but it also makes it easier to just let her play alone because Audrey always wants to be engaged every moment of every single day (and night. Ahem.).

I find myself expecting Olivia to share her snacks, her drinks, her toys, her seat and because she almost always does whatever Audrey asks without hesitation, I get frustrated with her when she doesn’t! My sweet girl. Of course she wants to assert some boundaries. Who wouldn’t? I am an older sister. I know how this feels.

Last night in the tub, Audrey got soap in her eye and had a complete meltdown (because, hello, that shit hurts). The bath was cut short, which sucked for Liv because she adores tub time. She could lounge around in there “swimming” for ages. But, she got out without a fuss.

She even went so far as to drag her favorite little rocking chair (which weighs more than she does) into Audrey’s room because “I know it makes my baby happy and her eye is broken.”

I don’t have a favorite daughter. I cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-die do not. Audrey gets more attention because, as the saying goes, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. And boy HOWDY does that girl squeak.

But, I have to make a conscious effort to spend more quality time with my big girl. Last night, as we were laying there, instead of shushing her because we don’t want to wake her sister, I just let her chat. I just listened to her little voice, trying to tuck it deep into my memory because she won’t always be this way. She won’t always tell me sleepy stories about dragons and princesses named Yaya and Audrey who are rescued from a tower by King Daddy and how all of us, Mommy, Daddy, Yaya, Audrey and even Goldie are secretly superheroes. She won’t always throw up her teeny fist and shout, “Team Wright!” and stroke my forearm while her eyes flutter closed.

sleepy

She may not demand my time, but she deserves it. How do you find ways to make sure each of your children gets quality time with you?

10 thoughts on “Making Time

  1. Thank you for sharing this. It is so easy to get wrapped up in everything that makes us so busy with our day to day lives. I too have an almost four year old and also a toddler. My older daughter and I made a trip to KMart this weekend to buy a new wading pool (last years was stored in the shed and apparently some mice made a picnic of it). On our way into the store as I was holding her hand she said “I like having me and you time”. My heart melted because I think that I enjoy it even more more than she does 🙂

  2. I love this post as I am reflecting on a decision that my husband and I made to originally save money on childcare this summer. I am going to take every Friday off until school starts to spend alone with my big boy. Who is exactly like your big girl. He is 5 and I am actually excited to spend one day alone with him while his brother is at daycare. I know what is right for our family and I find myself a bit excited. (I know how lucky I am that I have a job that I have enough vacation time to do this). I cannot wait to start my Friday’s with my big boy.

  3. ❤ We have instituted "special days" around here because we realized how important it is to spend one one one time with each of our girls…we'll take the day off here or there and spend the day doing (mostly) whatever they want to do…we realized quickly how much more attention our littlest gets, because well, she's "the baby!" and her big sister cherishes her special days/time so much…it's really hard to feel like you're giving them both equal attention though when one demands it so much more than the other!

  4. Oh I just LOVE this post. Steph I look forward to your pieces every single week. The way you describe your children and interactions with them beautifully captures your experiences in words. Loved this so much.

  5. I love this post! My older son was the same way…always giving and never expecting anything in return. As she gets older, you will love the nighttime talks with her! That is when they are the most relaxed and unguarded! 🙂

  6. I’m still reeling from the tear-streamed lecture the other night by my 9 year old telling me that just because he’s older and more responsible doesn’t mean that he doesn’t need as much attention – so wow – this post totally hits home!!!! So glad to know others are feeling this too!

  7. Awwwwww!! That face! She is sooooo sweet. She sounds like an amazing little girl 🙂 And yes, I really get the intense kid who takes up your time…and the easier going one who can be overlooked. We have the same scenario here some days! 🙂

  8. Oh, I LOVE this post! And to answer your last question…I don’t but I really need to! I took my 5 year old to the dentist alone today ~ this is something he HATES and he cried, but we had so much fun on the way there and on the way back that I realized I REALLY want more time alone with this awesome 5 year old (and my others too!) ♥

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