None of the 3 unique and special things have been earth shaking events, but the challenge is in separating one child from the mass, and doing something that is special for that child, without then doing exactly the same thing with the other two immediately afterwards. They are all very different, and so enjoy different things, but all too often we do the same stuff with all of them, either together or by turns, just to keep everything ‘fair’. So this challenge was to try and address that, and think about them all individually.
The opportunity for Eva’s ‘thing’ occurred spontaneously, but it was no less special for the lack of preplanning.
We were staying with the in-laws. The weather was bleak. It had poured for 2 days, and we all had cabin fever. We had done swimming and watched films and eaten as much as anyone can humanly eat, and the only thing for it was to put on our waterproofs and go out anyway. So we did, for a short walk, ending in a flat clearing, with a slightly soft football. And we started to play with it. Two children quickly got cold and bored and went home. But Eva, she was onto something. She couldn’t get enough of it. We kicked and passed to one another, and for an hour she had the undivided attention of me, her dad, and her Great Uncle Howard; and none of my children have ever in their lives known that much undivided adult attention! She was running all over the field, dribbling, passing to each of us, receiving the ball and sending it on to someone else, all of us passing back to her… And the compliments flowed, because she really was very good. And very energetic! And she was working really hard.
She totally loved it, for a good hour. And eventually when we called it a day, she was sopping wet, hair matted, muddy faced, eyes shining. And she said, ‘I don’t want to go to football club mummy. But can I play football again, with you?’ And so I expect we will!