As a busy working Mom, every once in a while, I get a guilty feeling that I am not spending enough time with my daughters, and as a result, I always want to make certain that our time together is valuable, meaningful, and special. I like planning special activities for us to do together. Most recently, I planned an extra special birthday-day with my three-year old, and took my two oldest daughters for a special back-to-school spa day.
Driving home from the birthday extravaganza, my daughter wanted to play the name game for twenty-five minutes straight: Mommy, Mommy, Bo Bommy, Banana Fanna fo Fommy… Mommy! With every single person we know, twice over. She was laughing so hard that she had tears in her eyes.
That evening I reflected on the events of the day and came to a startling, yet obvious realization, it was quite possible that my daughter had a better time playing the name game with me than she did during the birthday extravaganza. How was this possible? The birthday extravaganza was special, it was entertaining, and it was expensive! Don’t get me wrong, she enjoyed it, but the pure joy of singing silly names for an entire car ride, had her bent over in stitches!
This reflection heightened my awareness of the many innocuous requests that my daughters are always asking of me, which I sometimes object to, simply because I don’t feel like it, or I’m tired. How much additional happiness could I bring to their lives, by…
– Pretending to be squirted with water, sometimes hot, sometimes cold, and sometimes ‘medium’,
– Giving my daughters wooden spoons to make food for their babies,
– Pretending to be an alligator,
– Not noticing they are hiding in the bathroom and feigning surprise,
– Giving extra kisses or an extra hug when running ten minutes late for work,
– Singing the Paw Patrol theme song over and over and over,
– Reading an extra night-time story,
– Making a massage appointment at the glamorous spa recently constructed in the toy room,
– Letting them eat fruit salad on the way to school,
– Saying ‘Yes’ to lying in bed until they falls asleep.
It’s easy to say ‘No’ to these type of requests. Sometimes I’m distracted, sometimes I’m rushing to get dinner made, and other times, I’m simply exhausted. My daughters don’t whine or nag when I say ‘No’, they move on and play with other toys or choose another activity. However, the happiness and joy that they get out of me saying ‘Yes’ is worth stopping whatever activity I’m doing, or having dinner be late.
I’m going to make more of an effort going forward to say ‘Yes’ to these requests from daughters, after all, it doesn’t cost me anything to pretend to be squirted with water. As I’ve stated many times before, life is all about balance. My daughters’ happiness will be derived from both special events as well as the simple, silly things that I can do to put a smile on their beautiful little faces.