Sunday, August 2, 2009

"I am taking two days off", said the 5 year old...

We just completed a wild week of adventure, with travel up north to visit the grandparents and cousins. Four days later we are heading back home to welcome house guests for the next week. On the way home, little Margo clearly states, "I want the day off." 15 minutes later she restates, "I am taking two days off, today, and tomorrow." I am not sure exactly what this all means, because we are driving back home from Santa Rosa. We had already stopped at our favorite bookstore in Santa Rosa, Copperfields books, to pick up a few activities for the trip. I filled up on coffee, Peete's if you must know; Margo had milk and a cinnamon roll. We packed into the car with her new drawing book, and a level 1” I can read book”, in tow. All was well, except for the traffic.

There is a lot of traffic coming south on 101 around 3:30 in the afternoon. We talked about which bridge to take home, the Richmond Bridge won the vote. I voted based on fee of course. Free is always better, plus we had gone north via the Golden Gate bridge. Margo was satisfied with the choice, so on we drove. Two hours later, and still one more hour of driving to go, I hear her comment about the day off. Sure I said, sounds fine to me. Hmm, now why would she want a day off?

Reviewing our activities and fun times over the past week, were wonderful. We started Monday, with a visit to the King Tut exhibit at the de Young Museum. Dad joined us for this adventure to visit King Tut, but left us to our own devices as we continued on to Santa Rosa, to visit Grandmamma and Grandpapa. Once there, she was greeted with the news that her favorite cousin would be coming over for a slumber party. Nathalie, is 8 years old, and acts like the older sister to Margo. Letting her know what she can and cannot do to have fun. Most of the time, Margo follows her around like a little puppy trying to please her master. Tuesday and Wednesday was set for swimming and diving for dollars at the grandparents’ day affair. Then she was off to stay at Cousin Nathalie’s for two days, which included a wonderful day at the Santa Rosa Fair. It was a wild and fun time. She tried some of her first “grown up rides” at the fair, and now we think she is ready for Disneyland. The nights were long and late, the mornings were early. Margo could never figure out why her cousin Nathalie kept waking her up early in the morning to play. For that matter neither could I, especially since Margo takes after me, her mommy Max, and loves to sleep in. Ok, she takes after her cousin and godmother, Claire as well. So the desire for sleep runs in this side of the family I believe.

Aha, the light goes on!!! She wants a day off because she had too much fun??? That sounds a bit strange to me…I wonder why she wants two days off? Saturday morning, I wake up, and hear her stirring in her room. Her Daddy and I wait for her appearance in our room and ultimately on top of our bed. But where is she? 10 minutes go by and no Little Margo. I know she is awake, but where is she? “Margo! Margo, where are you? Are you coming for snuggle time with mommy and daddy?” I speak loudly from my bedroom. “No”, is her lazy reply. “Really, we are waiting for you, we miss you,” I respond. Silence follows. “Ok, Margo, why are you staying in bed and not coming for your regularly requested snuggle time?” “It’s my day off,” she replies. “What!!” say I, rather astonished; who takes breaks from snuggles? “It’s my day off, the day I get to do what I want”, is her tart reply.

Wait, she just gave me the best definition of a day off…getting to do what I want to do. Mark and I look at each other and think what wisdom or should I say common sense is coming from our 5 year old. For the next week Mark and I both ponder over this statement on our own. What would such a day off look like, we begin to ask each other? He said, “She makes so much sense, I was at home for 4 days without you and all I could think about doing was eating dinner, then getting to bed to make sure I was rested. I just watched a little TV, it was not doing anything I really wanted to do.” Mark really had time every day to do something only he really wanted to do, but was caught up in the basics; food, TV and sleep. We both realized neither of us had a clue how to really enjoy a day off…or steal away the free moments for something each of us might really want to do throughout our day; what has our world become! So yesterday, Mark took his first day off or perhaps half day off on Saturday. He wanted to go visit his dad and hang out at the farm, and then hit a few golf balls at the range. He had received a new club and replaced his grips when he turned 50 as part of his birthday present. Well three years later, he had never tried hitting a ball with those new and refurbished items. Yesterday was the day, and it was something he definitely enjoyed. Yes he came home somewhat refreshed, yet tired, and now, it is my turn to come up with “My day off activity”, gee what will it be. I know I want to invite Mark along, so I suppose I better find a sitter or a play date.

Thanks to little Margo, I now know the definition of a real day off. I hope to take it soon, at least a few hours here and there. Perhaps if we keep ‘The Day Off’ a part of our lifestyle, it will become a family tradition. So what about you, when was your last day off, of “…getting to do what you want to do?”

1 comment:

  1. I really love how Sophie understood what it really means to have a day off. My kids also sometimes have a day, where they more or less are hiding out in their rooms, totally occupied with themselves. This is obviously the kids way of loading up their batteries :-)