Making the time you spend with your kids count

My children’s school had their annual ice cream social this evening. As usual, my children and I didn’t attend. My daughter wanted to, but my son didn’t. My husband is out of town (as he’s been every other week so far this year) so either we all went or we all stayed home.

I work full time, and we live a little over a half hour from their school, so doing things in the evening is something I often avoid. By the time I leave work, pick up the kids from school, get home, make dinner, make lunches, we have very little time together before it’s bed time. Sometimes I feel badly that we can’t participate as much as the other families do because we live so far away and that both my husband and I work, but I can only do what I can do.

Tonight, at the Ice Cream Social, the highlight that my daughter wanted to be there for was a scavenger hunt. The way she describes it, they were going to place photos of the teachers as children around the school, and the kids would have to find them and identify which teacher they were.  This sounded like a wonderful time, so I made her a deal. If we went home, instead of to the social, after dinner and homework, we would play something that was totally her pick.

She loved the idea.

So, with that empowerment, she decided we’d have our own scavenger hunt at home. I made a list of random things for my daughter and son to find in the house: a pencil, a scarf, something yellow, a giraffe, etc. They loved it, and took off around the house, daughter with list in hand directing her brother, to find things matching my description. Upon finding everything, they proudly placed all items on the kitchen counter, and presented me with the list. Careful to show me that every item had been checked off.

Next up, was a version of this scavenger hunt, with a twist. One child would take an item from the other and hide it in the house. The child who does the hiding, has to leave clues to find the hidden object. For example, the first clue says go to the television room and look under the green pillow on the couch. Upon flipping up the pillow, the seeker would find another note with another clue to go to the kitchen and look next to the sink. The seeker would then find another note next to the sink, and so on.

First my son hid my daughter’s stuffed seal, and then my daughter hid one of my son’s stuffed bears. After all objects were found, it was time to head upstairs to get ready for bed. One book each, a little managing of our simulation games on our iPads (have to collect coins, and set things to building) and it was lights out.

I know that as a working mom, I won’t be able to attend every after school event, but it is more important to me that I make these times special, no matter how much actual time I really have. I only hope that when they look back on their childhood, my children will remember the quality and forget how much the quantity really was.

Good night,


About rocketsciencemom
I am a rocket scientist in my day job, and a mother of two all the time. I'm a pop culture addict and amateur artist in my spare time. My typical preferences tend toward sci-fi and fantasy genres but I love a good drama or comedy. Reading the blogs of fellow Lost fans over the years has motivated me to finally write my own. All drawings and images on this blog are property of RocketScienceMom

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