Everyone who has read any of the books on parenting twins knows that designating devoted one-on-one time to each twin in the pair is strongly recommended. Before Kyle and Owen came home – when we were reading everything we could get our hands on related to the subject of raising twins – we had grand plans for all of the ways that we’d spend time alone with each kid. Of course, once they came home reality set in, and, for all sorts of reasons, we ended up basically ditching every grand plan we had ever made to spend time alone with them. Over the past six years we’ve gone through phases of really being determined to make “alone time” happen. When we have succeeded, even in the smallest of ways, we have all greatly appreciated it. But then we always lapse back into getting lazy about it again. There are lots of reasons for this, but I’d say that the biggest reason is that the obvious time that we’d be able to devote to one-on-one time is the weekends— and after a long week of work and school and childcare, by the time the weekend comes, Braydon and I want nothing to do with separating our family, and we want only to be all together.
Lately though, we’ve been really talking a lot about how badly we’re missing the boat on any “alone time” with our twins. Meera gets plenty of one-on-one time, but the boys don’t. And we know deep down inside that this isn’t right. And so, after a lot of thinking, we’ve come up with a plan that we believe will really work long-term as a way to devote at least a little bit of designated one-on-one time for each of our kids.
Our new big ‘thing’ is Our Family First Friday: the first Friday of each month one parent and one child will go out to dinner while the other parent stays home with the other two kids. Each month we’ll rotate, so that over the course of the year each child will go out with each parent twice. Last night we started it. I was worried that it wouldn’t work exactly as we were hoping it would, or that it just wouldn’t feel like it was actually worth it. But, as it turned out, it was an over-the-top roaring success. And we’re about as confident as we ever could be that this is really going to stick this time.
Last night for our first First Friday, Kyle and I went out to dinner in Doylestown at one of my favorite restaurants, Domani Star. It is a really nice, tiny, all-from-scratch, excellent food, Italian restaurant that is family-friendly-enough but also very nice. Kyle thought he had died and gone to heaven. Not only did he have an amazing meal, but he got his mommy all to himself, and was treated like royalty by the wait-staff. He ordered ginger ale to drink, and then ate an entire basket of homemade bread dipped in olive oil. Next came one of the best Caesar salads on earth, a plate of gorgeous hand-made raviolis with marinara sauce, and then a scoop of pumpkin gelato for dessert. All of his favorites, all in one meal. We had great conversation and both enjoyed every minute of it. The photo at the top was taken with my phone while Kyle ate his dessert. It is a terrible photo, obviously, but I think you can see in Kyle’s eyes his contentment. Afterwards we went to Gap Kids and Kyle got to pick out some new spring clothes. He’d never been shopping alone with me, and it was such a treat (for both him and me).
We got home to find a very happy Owen and a very happy Papi (Meera had been put to bed long before). Everyone was in a good, good place, all filled up from that precious treat of alone time. We all vowed that this time we’re going to really stick to it and make this happen for the long haul.