Yesterday I had to take Cal for a checkup at the video-game-magical-treasure-chest-flat-screen-TV-playing-wall-to-wall-cartoons emporium, also known as the pediatric dentist's office. Can I say, first of all, how awesome I think the culture of pediatric dentistry is? Getting your kids--or at least my kids--into that chair is kind of a hard sell, but they sure hit that right combination of bribery and computer-animated video hypnosis to make it a much more positive experience.
Anyway, the only appointment I could get was at 10:00am, which means that Cal missed the morning at school, and when I saw what time it would be by the time I dropped him back off (after lunch, halfway through recess, with only two hours left before dismissal) I decided to just get his assignments from his teacher and keep him the rest of the day for some quality time, just him and me. It's something we don't get to do very often. We need to do it more.
The fact of it is, although I talk about Cal much more on this blog (first pass effect, I guess), Mack actually much more attention from me when I'm home. The thing it is that Mack is little, and just in terms of the activities of daily living, he needs a lot more minute-to-minute maintenance, whereas Cal I can just tell to go do his homework or go read a book or please wash your hands and get ready for dinner. He's pretty well-behaved too, which means that for the most part, he doesn't need me on top of him for every single last detail. Which is good of course, but when you work a lot and have two kids, I think it sometimes means he gets less actual time with me outside of the purely purpose driven tasks and me prodding him to hit all the points he needs to hit before bedtime each night.
Yesterday, we went to the dentist. Then I took him out for lunch at Five Guys Burgers and we stopped by Staples to pick up one of those plastic report covers for a school project due next week before finally heading home. The dentist, burgers, and a plastic report cover. But just him and me. Cal told me later that it was one of the best days ever.
I told him we'd do it again soon.