Had you asked me a few months back whether I would commit to a Saturday night in on a regular basis, I would have given you a firm and final, ‘NO’!
Saturday’s pre Covid-19, pre lockdown were saved for date nights, girls nights, or dinner and drinks with friends.
My son has just turned four, and finally he loves to watch a ‘full movie’. I started this as a small, fun and entertaining ‘special’ treat. Rather than our standard routine of dinner, bath and bed, I suggested that we set up downstairs in our comfortable lounge room. Straight after bath time, we would bring his duvet and pillow, and we would agree on a movie to watch together and fall asleep to. Obviously this is a Disney movie, but I am a child at heart and secretly I love Disney and Pixar movies.
Well, we now have a promise and a routine. He knows that Saturday night is ‘sleepover night’ as he calls it. He looks forward to it on a weekly basis and we agree on a new movie in advance (as mummy cannot watch Moana every week!). You’re welcome!
What I will say is that regardless of the fact that I am not spending my Saturday nights socialising, or enjoying good food and bubbles, I actually also look forward to our ‘sleepover night’! Perhaps I’ve gone soft, or my social life has gone astray with lockdown and the follow-on restrictions? Regardless, I do look forward to that special time I have with my feisty four year old, as we snuggle on the sofa and decide on a new movie to watch and discover.
I delight in his giggles and enthusiasm as he follows the story of a new movie. Even the several-hundred questions he will ask me, as his little mind attempts to navigate the plot or the dialogue. He will push himself to exhaustion so that he can finish the entire movie in full, and then (as he is not ready for bed of course), his standard secondary request is to watch ‘Moana‘ … again! I concede as I know this is the time he will finally relax and start to let sleep take over.
It is that moment where you know he has hit his sleep wall, and despite the fact that he wants to watch the entire adventure between Moana and Maui, he finally rests his little head on my lap. Sometimes I get too engrossed in the storyline (for the hundredth time) and I finally realise my little man has dozed off for the night.
Between my husband and I we carry him back to his own bed, and sleepover night is done for one more week. I get to relax, albeit a little later than his normal bedtime, and he feels he’s had a little bit of freedom from his weekly routine.
The key thing here is that it is simple activity. My son loves it, and he looks forward to it every week. Often he’s asking us by Wednesday, how many days it is until Saturday. It is the small things that matter during these times. Kids like simple, and they love spending time with their direct family – so this is literally a win-win!
Of course I could find something else to fill my Saturday nights with right now. With lockdown restrictions easing there is a lot more options available right now (who knows how long that will last thought). However, we have been doing these movie/sleepover nights for just over two months now, and I would break his little heart if I changed that schedule.
Personally also, I love his cuddles, the down time, and just being able to watch a movie without really thinking too much. Maybe it is a little relaxation for me too?
What have you started since lockdown that’s different to your ‘old’ schedule and lifestyle?