Sometimes simple things can create the sweetest moments with your kids.
I took David with me to the laundromat last week.
The big fluffy comforter on our king-size bed just doesn’t fit in our washing machine. Every once in a while I have to trek to the laundromat, and use one of their super-capacity washers to clean it.
I planned to leave David at home with Daddie, but when I announced I was going he asked to tag along. David is fascinated with appliances of all kinds. He went to the laundromat with me once before, and found the building full of washers and dryers very interesting.
I knew it wasn’t going to take that long, and figured we’d be done and out the door before he got bored. So I let him come.
There is actually quite a lot at the laundromat to hold a five year old boy’s attention.
The ginormous washer takes a ginormous number of quarters. 19 to be exact. David put the dollar bills in the change machine, and filled up the paper cup the laundromat provides with the quarters that came out. “That’s a cool game. I’ve never seen a game like that before, ” David said. He thought it was just another one of the arcade games at the facility.
I guess a game where you break even isn’t so bad. And the paper cup full of quarters does make it feel a little like Vegas.
We stuffed the blanket in the big front-loading washer. David was happy for a few minutes to just watch it fill with water, and start to spin.
Then David saw the real arcade games. I taught David how to play the pin-ball machine. After that he beat me at an auto-racing game.
We bought some gumballs and snacks from the vending machines. Then we just sat and talked as we ate them.
Time went by quickly, and the comforter was ready when we finished our snacks.
As we headed home in the car I thought about how a rather mundane chore turned out to be a really enjoyable day.
It was nice to spend some time with just the two of us. Since Wade was born, one-on-one time with David has been hard to come by. Now that Daddie is busy going back to school it’s even more rare. And at home lately David’s been doing about everything he can to test me. It’s made for some not very fun days for either of us.
At the laundromat there was no baby who had to be fed and changed. There was no TV, no computer, no housework, no toys to distract either one of us. David didn’t even get in trouble once. He certainly had a good time satisfying his curiosity about everything at the laundromat, and playing the games. I loved just sitting and talking with him.
All the frustration I’d been feeling with David melted away.
I think the trip to the laundromat refreshed David and I just as much as the newly clean comforter.
Kids are pretty uncomplicated. They really just want to be with you. They don’t care so much about the where and the how. It doesn’t have to be a big day out to some place spectacular. A lot of times it is the simple things like a trip to laundromat or a walk in the woods that give you the most opportunity to really interact. It’s hard to have a conversation with your kid when they’re jumping around the bounce land.
I always dreaded that trip to the laundromat before. Now I’m looking forward to the next time, and I’ll definitely be inviting David.