Last week I decided that I need to be more like the techie. When he's with the little one, he completely enjoys her. I understand that I can never be the same, since a mummy's balance of fun versus responsibility is different from a daddy's (at least in my limited experience). However, I have also understood that sometimes you just need to have fun and throw caution to the winds, because this time with my daughter will not come back. So, I attacked the weekend with this learning in ,mind (yes, I can plan a fun day too). Surprisingly, just the intention to have fun lead to a spontaneous zen-inducing day.
On the weekends our whole family gets together to relax. So, we have about 7 kids ranging from 1.10 years to 15 years throw together. The first half of the day was pretty much par for course. Grocery shopping, family lunch and a movie in the home theater while the younger ones napped. Post naps we stepped into the driveway to perfect weather conditions, bright sunshine and a cooling breeze. That's when I hit on my first idea, hopscotch. This may seem a bit silly to some of you, but today's kids either play organized sport or spend time on the phone, in-front off the computer/television.
When I asked for some driveway chalk they were all intrigued. By the time I had the first box drawn out, I had 10 people helping me. We ended-up with 2 different layouts and marked them as level 1 and level 2. This has to be the most fun game of hopscotch I have played in years. The little ones just had fun jumping, while the older ones loved the challenge and the adults actually got some decent workouts. The perfect way to enjoy the perfect day.
We didn't end with hopscotch. The enthusiastic competing gave all of us a big appetite and I decided to make my favourite spaghetti arrabiata (I know it's nothing special, but we love it). My 12 year old niece loves cooking and wanted to help me out. My toddler is my current kitchen helper. So the three of us set off to blanch the tomatoes. By the time the tomatoes where ready for peeling I had 5 kids in the kitchen (2 of the boys joined in and the littlest boy decided to keep pulling stuff of the workspace). They all peeled and chopped the tomatoes, smashed the garlic, and halved the spaghetti sticks. (Breaking the sticks was their favourite activity, thought the flying pieces of dry spaghetti almost caused a few injuries. I finally had them close their eyes every time they snapped the sticks.) Everyone had a turn at stirring the sauce and tearing up the herbs. The troupe even enjoyed the clean-up part. All this fun also resulted in food that everyone loved (there were about 15-20 of us that evening).
The best part of this experience - I spent a fun, stress-free day with my baby.
This is what I've planned for tomorrow's zen experience - jump rope competitions followed by tofu and vegetable stir-fry with buck wheat noodles. (The little one's running a fever today, so don't know if this will actually materialize.)
What do you do for family fun? I love new ideas and am always willing to use my husband and child as guinea pigs (just kidding).