My husband loves what he does. But sometimes I feel badly that I get to do so many more special things with the children than he does. Alex is pretty much a genius at creative play ideas and Daddy-time around here nearly always results in busy play and lots of giggles for everyone. But in the area of arts and crafts or special projects, I think he’s missing out. Sometimes I try to help by doing all the set-up for activities that he can do with the children, so he can just sit down and enjoy special times with them whenever possible without having to plan ahead. I have dubbed these “Dadventures.”
For example, one week-day evening recently we had a little pizza kitchen. I made the dough and the sauce in the afternoon. After Alex came in from work and I heard him and the girls trying to decide what to play before supper I said (in my best June Cleaver voice), “Why don’t you make some pizzas together? I have everything ready!” They washed hands and sat at the table with Daddy. I gave them each a little plate of flour and a ball of dough to flatten. (This is great for toddlers too because the dough is safe, no egg, even if they do decide to sample a little . . . ).
Alex sat and helped the girls spread a spoonful of sauce on their little pizzas, then I gave each of the girls little bowls with shredded mozzarella and bowls with olives, spinach, and pepperoni to add.
I have three tips to success with this particular Dadventure, provided today free of charge. One: have everything well prepared in advance (even the oven and pizza stone preheated). Two, give each child their ingredients to apply but have these portioned out so how much of each does not become a problem or subject of discussion. Cheese Wars would not make for a lovely time with Daddy. Three: hand out the stuff and then stay out of the way. Restrain any urges to wipe, admonish, or assist anyone. Have them give a shout when the miniature masterpieces are ready for the oven.
Then simply admire,