Before Pickle joined our family, I made a concerted effort to spend time creating memories and moments with Tiny. We did loads of fun stuff, just the two of us, and even though he won’t remember it, I hope that at the time, he knew how special those moments were.
Sadly, since Pickle arrived, we haven’t had many moments like that. In fact, we’ve had none. No moments where it’s just him and me, even when Pickle’s asleep, because he’s usually asleep on me, or we’re out and about doing jobs.
Thankfully, he’s had loads of time alone with his daddy, special time where the two of them have gone to the park or to the museum, to see a race car exhibit or to the pool. I’m glad that the two of them have been having fun together, but I miss spending time with my big boy.
I’ve been inspired once more by Miriam, inspired by the intentional way she parents her two cutie-cuties. Inspired by the way she takes the opportunity to be present in their lives, without spending loads of money, without needing the latest gimmicks.
It made me realise that at nearly-three, it’s still the simple things that will mean the most to Tiny. I don’t have to take him to a café, or spend lots of cash to spend quality, fun time together.
Yesterday, instead of taking Pickle to the supermarket (which guarantees at least a small morning sleep; he likes to drift off by the yoghurts and hummus), I decided to take Tiny instead. Just the two of us. Like it used to be.
He was so excited when I suggested that he could accompany me. “And not Pickle?” he asked, hopefully. “No buddy, just you and me.”
But I wanted to make it even more of a big deal for him, so I wrote him his very own shopping list. Well, I say “wrote”, when really, I drew some rudimentary pictures of things I knew he’d recognise.
(Hey, I never said I was a very good artist.)
Who would have thought that a simple thing like having his own list, and his own pencil to cross things off would make such a difference? But this little man proudly carried his list to the car, and for the entire five minute journey, repeated the same sentence over and over again: “I’ve got my shopping list and my pencil, Mummy.”
At the supermarket, I let him discover his items (with a little help to find broccoli, as it was above his eye line), and he was pretty pleased each time he was able to cross something off. And at the checkout, he told the good-natured operator numerous times that he had his list and his pencil and that we’d found everything to put in the trolley.
Simple. Easy. So fun, for us both.
And a good reminder for those moments when I just wish he’d be quiet or stop whinging, a reminder that he’s a little boy eager to learn, a little boy who absorbs everything through repetition, and a little boy who is a delight to spend time with.
Joining in with the ever-inspiring Miriam