As a busy working Mom, every once in a while, I get that guilty feeling that I am not spending enough time with my daughters, and as a result, I always want to make certain that our time together is valuable, meaningful, and special. I like planning special activities for us to do together. Most recently, I took my oldest daughter and her friend to Disney on Ice at the XL Center.  We had great seats, bought over-priced Disney toys, and had a wonderful and memorable afternoon.

Driving home from the show my daughter wanted to play the name game-for twenty five minutes straight:

Mommy, Mommy, Bo Bommy, Banana Fanna fo Fommy… Mommy! With every single person we know, twice over. She was laughing so hard that she had tears in her eyes.

That evening I reflected on the events of the day and came to a startling, yet obvious realization, it was quite possible that my daughter had a better time playing the name game with me than she did at the show. How was this possible? Going to the show was special, it was entertaining, and it was expensive! Don’t get me wrong, she enjoyed it, but the pure joy of singing silly names for an entire car ride, had her bent over in stitches!

This reflection heightened my awareness of the many innocuous requests that my daughters are always asking of me, which I sometimes object to, simply because I don’t feel like it, or I’m tired. How much additional happiness could I bring to their lives, by…

– Making pairs of rhyming words on the car ride to school,

– Pretending to be squirted with water, sometimes hot, sometimes cold, and sometimes ‘medium’,

– Giving my daughters wooden spoons to make food for their babies,

– Pretending to be a bear,

– Not noticing they are hiding in the bathroom and feigning surprise,

– Giving extra kisses or an extra hug when running ten minutes late for work,

– Letting them use coasters to set up a hop scotch game,

– Reading an extra night time story,

– Playing the run, jump, and spin game after dinner,

– Letting them eat fruit salad on the way to school,

– Saying ‘Yes’ to lying in bed until she falls asleep.

It’s easy to say ‘No’ these type of requests. Sometimes I’m distracted, sometimes I’m rushing to get dinner made, and other times, I’m simply exhausted. My daughters don’t whine or nag when I do say ‘No’, they move on and play with other toys or do another activity. However, the happiness and joy that they get out of me saying ‘Yes’ is worth stopping whatever activity I’m doing, or having dinner be late.

I’m going to make more of an effort going forward to say ‘Yes’ to these requests from daughters, after all, it doesn’t cost me anything to pretend to be squirted with water. As I’ve stated many times before, life is all about balance. My daughter’s happiness will be derived from both special events as well as the simple, silly things that I can do to put a smile on their beautiful little faces.