by Diane Burton
A while back, I mentioned “Date Night” with regards to keeping a marriage fresh. Last week, we watched Toddler Girl and the Twins so our son and his wife could have an evening out. Toddler Girl (almost 4) pitched a fit. Cried, sobbed. Have I mentioned her auditioning for the role of Drama Queen?
Later, DIL said she couldn’t remember a time lately when both she and our son had gone out together. That took me aback. Parents need time away from the kids. Kids need to realize that parents need time alone (together). I had a talk with Toddler Girl about that very thing. I mentioned that her auntie and uncle often have Date Night, and that we (Hubs & I) babysit her cousins. Since her cousins are her “best friends” that made an impression and started her thinking. I hope.
Before they left, my DIL sang that song from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood “Grown Ups Come Back.” I talked about that with TG, reinforcing the concept. Sometimes, I forget that kids need to hear things like that frequently.
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood (if you’re not familiar) is a spinoff and continuation of Mr. Roberts’ Neighborhood. Daniel experiences many of the fears and other emotions young children do, and the two stories per episode reinforce the solutions or ways to deal with those emotions. I try not to use television as a substitute for playing with the kiddies. When I let her watch TV, I watch with her. Afterward, we talk about the theme and sing the little ditty to help remember. (When the Twins aren’t taking a nap, Hubs is on the floor playing with them. Since they’re only 15 months old, they aren’t watching TV.) I often use Daniel to remind TG what she should do—like after going potty, “flush and wash and be on your way.”
Back to the point of this post. Parents need space. They need that time alone, where they are a couple and not a parent. Time to enjoy themselves. Kids are ego-centric. The world revolves around them . . . or so they think. Parents need to give them a reality check.
Hubs and I are fortunate to live close enough (and be healthy enough) to babysit. The grandkids can be the center of our world. 😊 And their parents can enjoy a night out.
About the Author
Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched and Outer Rim series, she is the author of One Red Shoe, a romantic suspense, and the Alex O’Hara PI mystery series. She is also a contributor to two anthologies: Portals, Volume 2 and How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in West Michigan. They have two children and five grandchildren.
You can read Diane’s “Family Life” column on the 3rd Wednesday each month here at Pandora’s Box Gazette.