Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Bonding Time

Here’s what I recently discovered--there’s nothing better than being locked in a moving vehicle with one of your kids.

Okay, I realize there are some out there who are going to disagree with me, especially if they are in the dreaded toddler stage. But here’s the upside to a land journey. The kids have nowhere to go, no one to talk to, nothing to do but commune with you. It’s like…house arrest without the house.

Here’s how I know:
My daughter and I just buzzed down to Tulsa to the World Pinto Show with our favorite gelding, Sagacious Sage. And when I say ‘buzzed’, I mean we spent more than twenty-four hours bumping along in a pick-up truck, dragging a fractious horse behind it. I know it may not sound fantabulous, but it was! Without television or reliable phone service, we talked about every topic imaginable. I learned things I hadn’t even dreamt about. And even better, once we arrived in Tulsa, we knew no one, so we talked there too, slept together in the trailer, biked around the fairgrounds, showered at three in the morning, and laughed until we couldn’t sit up.

Now that I think about it, I realize it may be called bonding. I highly recommend it. After all, it’s summer. Now’s the time to get in some ‘kid time’. It doesn’t matter if your offspring are four years old or forty years old--they’re still your kids. So go ahead, neglect your job, ignore your spouse, lock up the stove, and get to know your wee ones. Tara and I used a horse show to get in some time alone but there must be hundreds of other poor excuses to get acquainted. What are your favorite ones?


Helen Brenna said...

I've learned the only way to bond with the kids is to do things they love to do.

With my daughter, it's eating. If I'm willing to cook things for her, she'll hang in the kitchen and chat.

With my son, it's anything game related or athletic, like tennis, basketball, Monopoly, or Texas Hold 'Em (yes, he's forcing me to learn how to play poker).

The key for me is taking a deep breath and being present with them. When I do that, we always have a great time.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

You're right about the deep breath, Helen. I've always got to gear myself up and switch over to kid time. My son's easy. He's a little intellectual kid, so I can just talk to him like an adult. My daughter's trickier. She's not so verbal, so I have to take all cues from her and hope I get it right.

Lois, I'm thinkin if you towed the horse instead of dragging it behind the truck, it'd be a little less fractious. (I know. Really bad joke).

anne said...

this brought back memories of showing cattle.
in that high stress, no-sleep environment, it was always a cross between bonding and murder. i have to really applaud you for making your trip to tulsa fun.

Betina Krahn said...

Go Lois. Smart mother. Put a kid in a car with just you and after an hour of driving, they'll tell you anything. Well, almost anything. How cool that you had a chance to do it on a horse trip, doing something you both love!

A lesser version in our household used to involve putting a dishcloth in my sons' hands and making them dry dishes while I washed. With the hands otherwise engaged, they had plenty of time to talk over what was happening with them. And they didn't seem to mind, as long as we were doing dishes TOGETHER.

Lois Greiman said...

Food--yeah, there's a bonding experience if there ever was one. Personally, I try really hard not to cook, but I can eat with the best of 'em.

Anne, when and where did you show cattle??? I have never been more intrigued.

anne said...

lois, i used to live on a farm in illinois. my kids always showed in county fairs and the illinois state fair. our entire summer was made up of cattle shows. sometimes my husband would show in denver and kentucky. we had a couple of cutting horses and also raised aussies as working farm dogs. and laughed at people who took their dogs to dog parks. :D

yep, believe it or not i used to vaccinate cattle and put up hay.