Over the past few weeks we have been having a special outing for Daddy and one of the kids. Three weeks ago it was Daniel and Daddy going to the movies and lunch. Two weeks ago it was Sarah and Daddy going skirt shopping with iced chocolate and muffins after. Last week was Jono's turn.
I'd come up with the idea of taking Jono to a games arcade at the local shopping centre as we had been to one in the city and he really enjoyed himself. Rob was quite excited about it and spoke with Jono about it quite a few times in the week leading up to the day, Jono seemed rather excited about it as well. On the morning as they headed out they both seemed quite happy to be going. I bundled up the other two and a tag-along friend and went iceskating.
After we all got home it turns out Jono didn't really have a good time at all, he spent a fair amount of time in the arcade with his hands on his ears and crying (which he's never done when we all went together in the city). Rob took him to a Macca's and then for a wander around the shops, but it just didn't quite turn out the way he'd imagined it to.
They where ok when they got home, and Jono was happy enough (he really is a very happy boy) but Rob was quite downhearted about how it all turned out and we talked a bit about expectations and reality and adjusting them as need be. He didn't do anything wrong, it just didn't quite go to plan... and that's ok.
I distinctly remember the times for myself where I've had an outing or a plan in mind of what I want to get done with the kids because it's all I have energy for, or because I think they will enjoy it if they just give it a try.. or whatever reason, but having it go wrong, and usually because Jono isnt coping (or more to the point I'm not coping with Jono not coping). I've had to learnt to adjust, adjust my own attitude, adjust the plan, adjust the schedule, decide to not stress if we are late or have to leave early, and above all, to not blame or throw guilt around on anyone... especially myself.
*and hugs for you too, coz there are days we can all use a hug*