I'd guess I spend the least amount of 1:1 time with Henry. He is often playing with or bugging his brothers, and typically we are all together. When given the chance to go with a group or do something just with me, he will abandon me almost every time. Sunday afternoons he goes with Chris to the office, where he plays video games and reads while Chris is working, and then they walk to Cup of Joe for coffee and a treat. I can't compete with that sweet deal.
When Henry was a baby and his 3-year-old twin brothers were at special ed preschool, he and I had all the time in the world together. When they got older and went to elementary school, Henry and I were together a lot, even when he went to preschool a few hours/week and I went to work part-time. I know deep down, even now as an 8-year-old guy, he misses those times. I do.
I asked Henry what he wanted to do, and he said he wanted to walk to the library. I thought it was a great idea because 1) walking to the library is about 2 miles round trip, and 2) he had a book on reserve that was waiting for him: Lego Star Wars Character Encyclopedia. If he doesn't check it out, it will go back on the shelf. Someone else might check it out. Horrors!
The library is one of my favorite places. I recall carrying Henry out of the library many times when he was a toddler. Years ago, he screamed in the library. Typically it was when I was looking for a book. I gave him a warning, he screamed again, and I carried him out. He was horizontal most of the time he was in the library, as my arms were wrapped around his kicking body.
He's quiet as a mouse in the library these days, which is good because I can't carry him for too long.
We left the house, walked three blocks and spotted this message on the sidewalk:
Henry and I jumped into the van. On our way to lunch, he said, "Hey Mom, you're humming the Chicken Dance song."
I didn't realize it. At least my hands were no longer folded into my armpits, my arms moving like chicken wings.
Thanks, whoever you are, for making our date a sweet one. It was a real treat, perhaps better than the ones served at the coffee shop. If it doesn't rain, we may walk again tomorrow -- with the whole family.