More Than My Just Desserts

June 29th, 2015

blog- just dessertsI don’t have a lot of parenting tips- mostly I muddle along trying to get from one end of the day to the other without tripping anyone up. If we all go to bed alive and kind of happy I call it a job well done. If nobody has lost an eye, and we have managed to speak an encouraging word or two- then it’s time for champagne! My aim in parenting is for healthy and happy kids- if I can achieve anything more than this, then these are sprinkles on the delicious mound of sweet joy called family life.

So, how do I strive to achieve this harmony? This moment of connection, happiness, peace and love? A sliver of joy, a glimpse of delight, a nod of understanding? A belief that we are in this together, a feeling of safety and trust and a sense of not having to go it alone? Well, I can’t be sure if any of this is possible, but I begin with a humble dollop of icecream.

Or pie, or pudding or milkshake or Sundae, or brownie, or just about anything delicious and naughty. Anything I usually say no to. Which on a regular school night covers a lot. The deal is, my kids can choose anything. That is the whole and complete deal.

So, for the past 6 years, I have taken one of my kids out midweek one-on-one in turn. I began this practice before they wouldn’t be seen dead with me in public. I began this practice when iceream was the golden ticket and time with their mum wasn’t bad either. I began this practice before puberty, when it was easy. They are teenagers now, when it counts.

Our weeks fly by. There is sport, rehearsals, chores and homework. There are arguments, dishes, schedules, and betimes. There are reminders, lost socks, dog vomit, meetings, play dates, cooking dinner, fevers, harsh words, boredom, forgotten emails, pick-ups, drop-offs, unspoken words. And there are desserts.

Once a week, me, a kid and dessert spend some time together. Some weeks it’s all about the dessert, other weeks words are saved up to be spoken over pie. There is no agenda, other than to make time and spend it together. A half hour, or an entire evening, it doesn’t matter. We have discussed everything from the consistency of the icecream, the skimpy size of the pie, the generous amount of cream, and sex. We have talked about the view, the weather, the crazy neighbour and the effects of pot. Friendships, gender stereotypes, politics, and the full moon. We talk about everything and nothing.

Over the years there have been a few silences, and that’s ok for you can’t always talk when you have a mouthful of icecream. It doesn’t really matter what is spoken or not, for I reckon I’m getting far more than just my desserts.

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  1. Becky Somsel says:

    Meg, As always, you offer such wisdom. I wish I had thought of that when my kids were younger or at least still at home! We have open relationships with both of our kids for which I am thankful. However, a time built in to each week would have been awesome! Plus we all like sweet treats!  Bonus for you, you have the baker too!Hope you are all doing well and are happy “back home.” Becky

  2. Keya says:

    Beautiful practice to have with your children Meg!  So inspirational! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Jerry says:

    Your words are grace-full. How fortunate your children to live with suchparenting. May they pass it on to their children & their children to——–Blessings to you.

  4. Margaret Leitch says:

    What a great idea.  I’m well past the time to do it but sure wish I had.  In spite of my omission, they (3)turned out unique individuals.  I am blessed but do apprecate what you are doing.   

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