Friday, April 6, 2012

Reconnecting with Spazz

"This is a special book. It was the book my father used to read to me when I was sick, and I used to read it to your father. And today I'm gonna read it to you"

So a few days ago, Spazz came to me and tearfully told me that she feels lonely and like Husband and I never have time for her. As I fought back tears, I had to admit that this was pretty legit. Husband works long hours, and between taking care of Babydactyl and running my home and a small business, I'm booked much of the time. And because she's old enough to handle a lot of her own daily care, Spazz sort of got left on the curb after 'dactyl was born. It's easy to forget that companionship is every bit as much of a human need as food, shelter, and clothing, all three of which we do a great job of providing for her. But we'd really dropped the ball on spending time with her, and right then and there, I committed to changing that.

Staged photo of me reading to my kids
So the plan is that every day after school, I am all hers until at least 4:00 p.m. I may have to hold 'dactyl while Spazz and I play a game or talk about our day, but the time is all about connecting with each other. No dishes, no laundry, no emailing clients. Just Spazzy and me. She's on Spring Break this week, so we've also been working together to purge the clutter from her room (of course, once she goes back to school, I'll be re-purging...).

We're also revisiting an old tradition that has come and gone since she was little. We have, at various times in her life, made our way through books and series by reading a chapter together every night before bed. Last summer, after I graduated from college and was very pregnant with my son, I took the entire summer off to just take care of my body and devote those final precious months of her life as an only child to spending time with her. It was wonderful, and I miss having that time together.

So anyway, long-winded explanation aside, she wants us to re-read all of the Ramona books, which I think is an outstanding idea, since they're probably my favorites. We've also got some Judy Blooms we haven't gotten to yet. We've started with Ivy + Bean, though, because she loves them and I haven't read them. I love having her at an age where the books she enjoys are entertaining for me, as well.

I'd love to hear how some of you connect with your children, especially after a period of distance (physical or emotional). Sorry this post is a little mushy, but if we can't be mushy about our daughters, what good are we as parents, you know?


  1. As my girls got older, one of the things they love is going out to lunch with one or the other of their parents. No siblings, just one on one with mom or dad. It lets you just talk, without any agenda, and share things that otherwise might get lost in the hustle and bustle. I wonder if Spazz might like that?

  2. We read together every night too. We also have a family game night about once every two weeks. We play one game brother can play and, when he gets bored or distracted, we play a game that he isn't old enough for that sister likes. We have family movie night almost every Friday, thanks to all the free redbox deals I've found.

  3. This is wonderful and such a good idea. :) You're doing a great job and kudos to you for taking her seriously, and then taking action. I'm loving the love. Kurt is reading The Little Prince to the boys right now, which should be required reading for all people, I think! I loved Ramona dearly growing up.

    Anderson loves the Ivy & Bean series, too. :) They had all 8 books in hardback on Amazon for $13 recently so I grabbed them, unsure if he'd find them too girly. He got through the first one and one day he said "hey you know what's weird? Ivy and Bean are GIRLS!" I don't know if it dawned on him later or what, but he is still going through them so I guess it's ok!

  4. Laura, I think my little Spazzy would love lunch. We went to Kroger yesterday, just the two of us, and got Starbucks in the little Kiosk to enjoy while we walked around. It was really nice.

    Sarah, Ivy + Bean rock! They expel ghosts and make potions and do all sort of awesome stuff. I'm not surprised that a boy would like their adventures, now that I've read some of the books.