This summer we created a new family tradition... It's called One-on-One Time. Not a very unique name, as I'm sure every parent who's read ANYTHING on parenting knows that one-on-one time is very important for children.
However, we decided to formalize it. So every Friday (or Thursday night if we have Friday plans) is One-on-one time. Each one of us spends some devoted time hanging out with a kid. Uliana enjoys it, and Nikolai seems to really LOVE it. (And I don't blame him... Uliana continues to be a dominating force in our household. She is 2, and it's what 2 year olds do best.)
Sometimes we do something special, but most often it just involves a walk to the park, or playing board games at home. The real goal is to connect with the kids and spend a bit of time simply focusing on them (not the dishes, not our phones, not adult conversation).
Of course we often spend individualized time with our kids. But as Nikolai grows up, he spends more time playing outside with other kids, reading or doing his own projects. I figure a formalized One-on-One time is a good tradition to start BEFORE Nikolai becomes a tween. Then we'll need to take the time to connect with him.
So here are some pictures of One-on-One time from my phone (not a great camera... but hey, imagine it's 1998, and my phone is a super hi-tech!).
Nikolai with a heron at Fisherman's wharf.
Horticultural Center of the Pacific. He went there with his class, and wanted to give us a tour. I won't explain the second... other than to say, she had fun.