Late December, last year. I read something about spending quality time with kids in one of my Chicken Soup for the Soul Books. Of course, we do try to spend quality time with the kids, to the point that we missed a lot on our couple dates! (I am not complaining, though!)
But in that story, one dad took quality time and upgraded it to mean - 'i love you day and i would like you to know it day'! On this chosen day, that dad goes on a date with one of his kids. They go to a special, well loved place. Talks. Listens. Do whatever they wanted to do. And at the end of the day, reassures the kids that they are always loved. He makes sure that each of his kids, take time to be with him, alone. Because as he emphasized, it is supposed to be a really, really special day!
In our case, my husband and I agreed to celebrate it once every month. We planned to do it every first Sunday of the month. We had our first 'Kindertag' (Kids' Day) on January this year. We explained to the kids that on this day, one of them would have to join either Mama or Papa. What we stressed out is that the day is a special day for the kids to do what they really love to do, to go where they wanted to go. That we would be there, to listen, to talk to, to play with, to cuddle with...
We are all excitedly anticipating the day. The youngest wanted to be with me. She wanted to go to McDonald's. And the eldest planned indoor swimming with papa (that was winter). The day finally arrived. We didnt anticipate the problem arising. Papa would be taking the car. I wanted to use public transportation as it would add excitement to my date with the youngest. She loves riding the big bus. But the Sunday bus schedule was not suitable to our plans. And I dont want to risk missing the last bus going home!
So papa suggested that for winter, we can celebrate the Kids' Day together first. The kids noisily agreed.
Had fun swimming. Then, off to McDonalds. The compromise was a big success. We spent quality family time together. The kids enjoyed both their planned activities. We got to talk over bags of Happy Meal. And when the kids are having fun, mama and papa got to relax, too.
At the end of the day, the clamoring of small hands for big kisses and hugs and exchanges of 'i love you's', 'thank you's' are great rewards, indeed.
We've been regularly marking our respective calendars every first Sunday of the month since then.
(Blogs about our other kids' day would follow, promise!)