As I mentioned a few days ago, my eight-year-old has taken to asking the same question every Sunday: “Is anything new and exciting happening this week?”
Mid-way through the week she is apt to check in again, first in the morning, before her mother has had any coffee: “Is anything exciting happening today?”
Needless to say, I begin to feel like an exceedingly boring parent.
But then again, just because nothing new and exciting is planned doesn’t mean that there won’t be any interesting plot twists in our day.
Indeed, with young children in the mix, the unexpected is almost to be expected (although we never do). Some days, a child is sick, and that means a day at home with all of our well-laid plans canceled. Other days, accidents send us to the doctor’s office, and sometimes even to the ER for a few stitches. Those sorts of plot twists are certainly memorable if not at all welcome. The dreaded call from the teacher at school is another plot point we prefer to avoid. Same with temper tantrums and meltdowns that can derail a day like nothing else. And yet, as parents we have to be ever ready for all of these twists and turns.
The unexpected it not, however, always unwelcome. More often than not, an impromptu outing or activity can be the best part of the day. We always love, for instance, spur-of-the-moment play dates with classmates who are heading to the same playground. A spontaneous after-school decision to visit a museum show, go to the carousel, visit a new neighborhood, or wander through a park can change the whole day. Another nice surprise is to plan some one-on-one time with your child and go out for an ice cream together. Every once in a while you could ditch an after-school activity and play hooky together. Routines are wonderful, but it’s also very fun to break them.
There are so many possible ways to introduce something “new and exciting” into a regular day. What’s your favorite?
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