Tuesday, April 30, 2013

One-on-One With My Baby Girl at Chuck E. Cheese's

Using Chuck E. Say Cheese App
A couple weeks ago, while the three big kids were at school, Mattie and I went to Chuck E. Cheese's together. Having one on one time with the kids is so much fun. Nobody has to compete to speak and be heard, and it's quite peaceful. It's a good way to really get to know my kids, because they definitely behave differently when no sibs are around.

Mattie is my little buddy, accompanying me to the grocery store, to Target, to volunteer at school, and whatever else I have going on. I had this time with all of the kids, while older siblings were at school. Bethany, for the first 18 months of her life. Connor, while Bethany was at preschool. Lucy, while Connor was in preschool and most of his kindergarten year, until Mattie was born. And now Mattie. She's typically super well behaved for all the mundane errands she has to endure, so it was great taking  her to do something fun for a change!

What are you looking at, Mattie??

I cannot remember the last time we were at Chuck E. Cheese's. I know Mattie had been there before, but it had been awhile. Nevertheless, she was so excited! I can't imagine that she remembered ever having been there, so I'm going with the theory that their advertising campaign is working.

The place was nearly empty, which is exactly what I had been hoping for. A weekday, in the middle of the afternoon is the perfect time for a visit to Chuck E. Cheese's. I think we were in the company of about three other families. I just followed Mattie around and let her play whatever games she wanted, and ride all the little rides. Being the only kid, she got to set the pace, which doesn't often happen for the baby of the family. Usually she is being dragged around and forced to catch up with everyone else. There were no arguments about which area we should go to next, which games we should play, or who could ride the horsie first. Mattie got to choose.

Almost as soon as we found a table, Chuck E. himself snuck up behind me and started interacting with Mattie. I was prepared for a melt down since she told me in the car on the way there that she was NOT going by Chuck E. because he is too scary. He gave her some tickets, and she didn't scream. She even smiled a little. When she compliantly posed for a picture with a happy face, I was pleasantly surprised. One never knows how Mattie is going to react to anything. She definitely makes life interesting!

We played for a bit at a totally relaxed pace, and when it was time to go I didn't hear one word of complaint. Like I said, one never knows! We traded in tickets for a couple teeny little prizes, and she was satisfied. No begging for the big stuff that costs like a billion tickets. No asking for more. She just nicely chose what she wanted out of the options she was given, and it was a very smooth transaction.

Mattie is pretty high strung, generally speaking, but when it's just the two of us she is a gem. Mostly. I mean, the kid definitely has an opinion, about everything. But spending time alone with her gives her a chance to really speak her mind and be herself. I think when she's with the older kids, she's making up for being low man on the totem pole by being so loud and crazy, trying hard to compete for a scrap of attention.

This week I am looking forward to more fun one-on-one time with Mattie, when I accompany her preschool class on two field trips!

Do you make it a point to have one-on-one time with your kids? What do you do together?

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