We are every-other-weekend parents (we like to call ourselves the 1%-ers). This is what works out for everyone and taking my Step role seriously as I do, I plan.
I plan anyway. It’s kinda my thang. Plus, I can only hold a conversation about Pokemon for SO LONG.
Anyhoo, being 1%-er is awesome because he already has a Mom and Dad and a life, so we are basically Aunts and Uncles or glorified older kids or something. That may sound sad to some, but we don’t really care about those judgey bastards, now do we?
We have a system that works for us, that causes NO conflict (take a moment and let that sink in) and that lets us have a kid/ be kids for two whole weekends a month!
Here are some of the ways that I make my own memories with him:
–We take the dog out. It makes that boy go outside and play at something other than his video games. Also, caring and loving for a big-ass dog means that we have to think carefully about where we take him, how long we are gone and makes us think about someone else’s needs.
–We don’t have the internet at home. It’s like the dark ages sometimes, but it means we are all present. It’s only two weekends a month and it means we have to think about other things to do. Together.
–We cook. Noah can be a picky little cuss. His parents eat very differently than we do and he can be fussy when things don’t look exactly like he thinks they should. So I make him do it. For so many reasons, this is the best idea in the world; it means that he doesn’t have to depend on adults to get him snacks, if we are baking, it means he has to plan ahead, go to the grocery, read the instructions and learn about measuring things. Best of all, it means he gets to go home and share things that he made himself. He really loves that.
–We paint pottery. For all occasions. I use him like he is slave labor and he totally loves it. Birthdays, Mother’s/ Father’s day, Batman plates and mustache mugs. He is a champ.
–I give him chores. He LOVES knowing how to do things himself and since he has a little brother at home, I think that it is often just easier for mom and dad to do things, rather than show him how. He craves this independence and we could not be happier for the big help!
–I use him as my excuse to do kid stuff. Kids meals? I mean for me. He eats the adult meal. Want to wear a funny hat or costume? Chances are, he is totally down. Want to hula hoop? Trampoline? Geocache? You just say “It’s for my kid” and nobody says anything.
–I let him read whatever he wants. He is behind in his reading. I know that while we can’t make all the difference with two weekends a month, it is sort of “us” time; We turn the tvs off and get comfy. He likes (loves/ obsesses over) comic books. It’s how my brother learned to read. It’s what instilled an avid love of reading in him. If it gets this kid reading, then I will read him whatever he wants. Plus, I like to read aloud and I like to be read aloud to. It’s something that I do with him (dad has his things) so it feels very special.
Have a great weekend, everyone! Get your asses out there and make some memories!