“I’m going to take Little Dude for a breakfast date tomorrow before daycare, if he stops being an a***” I told my husband.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my Little Dude. But three’s rough, man, and when he wakes up with personal storm cloud hovering over his head, we all suffer.
I don’t fancy breakfast with a tiny ball of Big Feelings.
Little Dude woke up in a reasonably good mood this morning, then the push-back started, as always.
“I want to help. No, don’t do that, I want to do it. Mommy….mommy, mommy mommy…” And on and on.
I almost didn’t take him for our date. Almost.
Obviously, if he’d been a walking storm cloud, we might have skipped it. But I decided that some of the moodiness and push-back was a sign that he needed me now more than ever.
He’s spent a whole year sharing me with his brother, and I need to make sure I’m taking regular time to pay attention–full attention–to him. I think I’ve been neglecting that lately. I”d be a walking storm cloud if people ignored me and my Big Feelings too.
His face lit up the second I told him we were going on a donut date. He asked to go get donuts at the place by the fire station so we could see if the fire engines were out (they were, and testing their lights too–bonus!)
He got to pick his donut, and we took our snacks to the park and sat on a bench. We had a 15 minute picnic during which we watched squirrels and passing cars, and saw that fire engine pass by again.
But most importantly of all, Little Dude got my full attention.
I told him I loved spending time with him and knew it was hard to share me with his brother, but beyond that, our conversation wasn’t all that profound.
We talked about how squirrels look cute but aren’t very friendly. We counted squirrels. We talked about what shape his donut was.
But it was our little special time to share. And that’s what mattered. And if I waited to do it as a “reward” for some benchmark behavior, we might still be walking through storm clouds.