Strangely, the most accurate piece of parenting wisdom I have ever received came from a complete stranger waiting in the security line on one of my many trips with Kayla. She was being pretty fussy as I tried to separate our liquids, take off my shoes an put our electronics in a separate bin. He said “the days are long, but the years are short.” My goodness that is SO true! That simple sentence has stuck with me for at least a couple of years now.
Recently I was ushering Kayla out the door to preschool while thinking about all the work I had to get done, the laundry and packing for our trip that needed to happen as well as the things I still needed to get done for a little girls night in spa party I was planning to have. I had also completely forgotten that I had volunteered myself to cook for a party at Kayla’s school the next day until that moment when Kayla said something.
I didn’t hear her the first time because I was so wrapped up in my own thoughts, so I asked her to repeat herself. A reflective question came from the back seat. “Mommy are you not listening because we are in a rush again?” My heart sank. I immediately thought of the man from the security line.
I hear all too frequently about how people wish they could go back in time and savor more moments with their children and I’ve always vowed not to be one of those parents who is too busy checking their email to actually pay attention to their child.
So, I did a few things I normally wouldn’t have. First I bought some pre-cooked things for Kayla’s school rather than toiling in the kitchen all evening. Next I vowed to not touch my phone while with Kayla for the next 24 hours and actually stuck to it. Lastly I did the unthinkable and contacted my friends to cancel the girl’s spa night I was planning to host with the promise of a girls dinner out (on me) the following week.
Then I started thinking about an extra fun, unplugged activity I could do with Kayla that wasn’t about learning letters, accomplishing household chores or anything else but focusing on just being silly girls together and hearing what she had to say. Kayla, being the polar opposite of me loves herself a trip to the nail salon so I decided to plow ahead with the spa night idea but instead make it all about us. While she was at swim class with her dad I headed off to Sam’s Club to pick up some supplies.
The only things that Kayla likes more than getting her nails painted are hot chocolate, cupcakes and Christmas, so I knew I had to include those in our special day together. While I was shopping I found some great spa day items including pampering spa kits, this NIVEA lotion, some snowman marshmallows and the holy grail – hot chocolate cupcake mix!
Kayla woke up insanely early the next day and wanted to wear a very dressy holiday dress from last year and I said okay….pick your battles, right? Then we went shopping in our living room for spa day supplies as the sun came up and got to work baking cupcakes. I surprised her with some special snowman hot chocolate instead of her usual milk or water choices.
The night before I had set everything up amidst some holiday decor from years past to make it feel special for Kayla and let her choose what she wanted to do. All she wanted was to have her feet soaked so I poured some of the salts into a bowl and added a touch of cinnamon to make it smell extra yummy.
This might look fancy, but between Sam’s Club and Walmart I grabbed some great affordable essentials that you could use for an at home spa with kids and adults. I found some spa kits with slippers, pumice stones and nail brushes for just $5 each in the gift section. The NIVEA from Sam’s club is a great value at less than $9 for 2 huge bottles. Those sea salts that are front and center were staring at me from the Walmart dollar section as I cruised past it and did a double take.
While we were soaking those little feet we chatted like two girls at the salon. Kayla told me about her friends at school, how she is excited to move up the next class and be with the big kids soon and how it bothers her that our dog keeps taking her stuffed animals. I told her about our upcoming trip to Palm Springs to spend time with her Nana, how this year we would have Thanksgiving at our house and I would love her help cooking and that I missed having special alone time with her the last couple weeks.
When I rolled up Kayla’s leggings to soak those tiny toes I realized just how dry and scaly her little legs had become with the sudden arrival of Winter. She was all too excited to rub “grown up lotion” on her legs and while we did it together and kept talking and asking each other questions I felt my mommy guilt begin to melt away.
Of course Kayla went overboard and took way too much of the NIVEA lotion , but those giant bottles left us plenty to spare and I didn’t mind at all. The lotion left her skin smooth and soaked in pretty quickly which was a good thing because we’d been having such a good time hanging out that I knew we’d be getting to preschool on the later side. However, I wasn’t about to rush this special #NIVEAMoments moment with my daughter who just might be my one and only.
When I went to pick Kayla up from school that day her teacher told me she would not stop proudly telling her how she had “cinnamon feet.” After school Kayla said she wanted to continue our spa day, so that evening once she had a bath we sat down as “mommy reindeer” and “baby reindeer.” First Kayla wanted to put lotion on my arms, which she applied quite liberally again!
Then it was my turn to give Kayla a special manicure with our favorite kid-friendly nail polish, Piggy Paint. She requested pink with purple sparkles and I was more than happy to deliver on that. After Kayla went to sleep I sat down to reflect on the day and realized that there had not been any whining, disagreements or threats of a time out.
It really made me take a step back and think about my daily interactions with her and what my priorities are. Obviously it’s unrealistic for every moment together to be like the ones we had during our spa day, but I bet it is realistic for me to make sure we have more special days like that and to make a better effort as a parent to take advantage of our time together on a daily basis.
Just so you know, I am a member of the Collective BiasTM Social Fabric® Community. This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective BiasTM and Beiersdorf for NIVEA. #NIVEAmoments #CBias #SocialFabric everything you see is my personal opinion and I’m so glad Kayla and I were able to have a few more special moments together!