If nothing else, I’ve always been efficient with my time. When I do errands, I write them down in the most logical order based on making the most amount of right turns and then circling back to my house. So, in the past, when my girls needed something, we went out as a trio like The Three Musketeers.
I figured, if they needed shoes for Easter or spring school clothes, we would all hop in the car and go to the store together. But as my older one has morphed into a child/woman who now shops in adult stores, and my little one still fancies glittery shirts and poofy skirts found only in children’s stores, shopping together has become a little more time consuming. This, in addition to sibling rivalry, convinced me that we now need to make separate trips to shop for their needs.
For the first time ever, I did that this past weekend. I took the older one shopping Friday, and the younger one shopping Saturday. What I discovered was that I enjoyed being able to spend time with them individually and concentrate on each child, versus being constantly distracted by the other one.
It was also more efficient because I could focus on exactly what they needed, sit with them patiently while they tried things on, and do price checks without the pressure of another bored child tugging on my sleeve begging me to leave a particular store. I even bought a shirt for myself.
“Mommy, you never get anything for yourself,” my youngest said amazed as she watched the clerk fold my T-shirt and put it into a bag. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that it was because I was usually so mentally exhausted from shopping with both of them that I didn’t dare consider shopping for myself. Most of the time I couldn’t pay fast enough and get out of the store. But this weekend was different, and I’m glad.
“Mommy, thank you so much for everything,” she said grabbing my hand as we walked down the sidewalk to the car. “I love everything, and I especially enjoyed our girl time.”
She grinned and showed me her blue nails, which was also part of our “girl time,” getting her nails done to match her Easter dress.
“Me too, baby. Me too.”
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including three on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.