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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

One-on-One Time with Four-Year-Olds

Walking through Hyde Park beforehand.
When each of my boys turned four, something shifted. They became a little more feisty (hello, testosterone burst), but they also became more loving, affectionate and almost clingy. Real mama's boys. 

The year my eldest turned four - the year before he started 'big school' - I put my seven-year-old in daycare (then two). Both attended two days per week at the time, but I staggered one day so I could have one day to myself (my first in four years!), and then one one-on-one day with each. I can't tell you what a great decision that was.

The nine-year-old LOVED it. We would do something special together like go to the movies, the zoo and  Luna Park to name but a few. The year before the seven-year-old started school, he had a brother under the age of two at home. In order to at least give him six months of one-on-one time with me, I put the four-year-old (then eighteen months) in to daycare six months earlier than I normally would have. Just for one day a week back then. To this day, the seven-year-old can still remember what day we had together (Wednesdays) and claims he loved them so much. Back in the day when the nine-year-old had his, he would always exclaim, "Thursdays are my favourite day!" (That was his special day.)

One of the first things we did together was head to Sydney Tower in the city. It was the first visit to the tower for both the nine-year-old and seven-year-old when I took them separately on their one-one-one day. It had been my intention to do this with the four-year-old earlier this year - it had become quite the tradition after all - but up until a few weeks ago, I hadn't done so. (That's the problem when you have more days together - you think you have all the time in the world!)

I was starting to get anxious about it. How could I have not taken him yet? And then, in my inbox, arrived an invitation to help Sydney Tower celebrate the big 3-0 with the launch of the Sydney Tower Eye, and I had just the excuse to finally take my little man.

The four-year-old takes my photo. I love St Mary's. 

With time to spare beforehand, we go in search of morning tea...

So much to choose from!

We arrive and admire the fabulous view. 

The four-year-old tries to work out where we live.

The new touch screen panels are great. You can touch on the Info
buttons and read about what you see.

New high powered binoculars!

Part of the tradition is to buy a souvenir afterwards. I was disappointed there wasn't a lot of Sydney Tower type gifts in the shop. So we bought this instead...

A boxing Kangaroo pen that lights up!
The four-year-old LOVES it.

When we left and went back downstairs, there were a TON of Sydney Tower souvenirs there. My tip is to wait until you're leaving if you want to buy a memento.

The other tradition of the trip is to meet up with Dad for lunch and go lolly shopping afterwards.

The Golden Arches never disappoints the four-year-old.

Hmmm...what shall I choose?

Hubby helps the four-year-old.

The four-year-old indulged in a number of the sweet treats in the car on the way home. I can't tell you how many times he asked, "Can I just have one more?!" He did, however, save some for his big brothers.

I guarantee he'll remember this day for a long time to come. THAT, I love.

Do you have one-on-one time with your kids? Special days together? What do you do?


Melissa said...

Golden Arches and a trip to the lolly shop... My 4yo's perfect day! I don't get much of a chance to spend one-on-one time with my kids, except sometimes on the weekends when my husband and I might divide and conquer and take one of our boys each on their own adventure. It is so nice to spend this quality time together (I call it 'going on a date') and the boys are each so lovely on their own - you can have such lovely conversations and there is no fighting. It really is something we should do more often.

Corinne – Daze of My Life said...

My 3 yo & 4yo had it briefly before little D arrived. We didn't do anything over the top - lunches out, picnics, visits to the beach.

I loved it. Such nice memories! x

Thea said...

I love this post!!

How wonderful. I haven't really done anything with just one or the other...apart from grocery shopping. But Miss 4 and I are going to see the Wiggles this Saturday all by ourselves. We are both very excited!

Your 4yo is a great photographer!!

River said...

Your one-on-one days sound like heaven. It's not something I ever thought of doing and now that I think back, I realise that my second child never did have any one-on-one time with me. The oldest had me to herself before he was born, #3 had time with me while the other two were at school and kindy, then #4 had me to himself while the olders were in school and kindy. #2, my first boy, completely missed out on that.

Mama of 2 boys said...

What beautiful photos Jodie and such a lovely day with your gorgeous boy :o) I love excursions like you had here, so much fun. My big boy turns 4 in January and already I'm noticing the difference in him... far more caring, sweet and affectionate than ever before, it's so nice :o) xo

Megan Blandford said...

Love the photos - especially the one taken by Mr 4 of his gorgeous mum :)

Sounds like a wonderful day!