Saturday, March 6, 2010

It's Time For...Secret Cave...

One of the things I like about being a dad is coming up with unique activities and bonds with my kids. It's like an inside-joke, it's something only we know about and do, and that makes it special. That may be a bit of a generalization or exaggeration, but at the least I'm hoping that we are building memories and strong bonds.

Before I describe the "Secret Cave" thing, a couple other examples of some of those "unique" things I like doing with my kids:

1. "Bonk" - Ever since Connor was little (pre-Cosette even) he and I will make eye-contact, then slowly move close and bonk our heads together. It's a form of a hug. I started doing it with Cosette too, but with her it's more dangerous cause she's a little wild and crazy.

2. Kisses - I like kissing my kids and do it often, despite the frequent complaints that it's too "slobbery". But once in a while the kiss is accompanied by one pop-quiz question: "What does a kiss mean?" And I'm happy to say that I have them trained to know and respond: "I love you." I see a two-fold significance in this: 1-They know that when I kiss them, I'm telling them that I love them; and 2-Hopefully, they will hold kissing as something special and meaningful, and will therefor wait to kiss later when they're dating.

3. "SURPRISE!" Almost every day when I come home from work, the kids hear my keys rattle at the door, and by the time I enter (or sometimes a little after) the kids jump out from the hallway and yell "SURPRISE!" It's like a family ritual of the kids welcoming me home. Me like.

4. Funny/Serious - This one I gotta give credit to Cosette...she's the master of switching moods/emotions at will in a split second. She and I will have a contest of switching from saying, "Funny" and laughing hysterically to saying "Serious" and making a very serious face. She's very good at it, and I have a hard time keeping a serious face because she cracks me up. about "Secret Cave"...

This is a newer one. One of the kids' favorite things with daddy is playing on the bed. We have tickle fights, light-saber battles, pretend to be toys in Andy's room, etc. Last week, while playing on the bed, the three of us ended up under the blanket where it was dark and "spooky", but we could still kind of see each other. It suddenly felt like a good campfire/ghost-story atmosphere, so using a semi-creepy, low voice (not wanting to scare them TOO much) I randomly said: "And's time for...Secret Cave Story Time..." *giggles of excitement from kids*

Uh-oh, I think...they're into this, gotta come up with something good. I don't remember what the story was I told, as I was ad-libbing something pretty random, but they loved it and wanted more "Secret Cave" when I finished. So then there was, "And's time for Secret Cave Monster-sound contest." Then "Secret Cave blinking contest"..."Secret Cave coming up with silly names contest"....etc. Now every time we do Secret Cave, the three of us take turns coming up with the next Secret Cave activity/contest. I love the kids' creativity and silliness. It's a real challenge to keep thinking outside of the box with new ideas!

I'll close with Connor's Secret Cave idea that we did tonight. It was a Secret Cave activity that went on longer than most: fall-asleep-then-wake-up-and-tell-our-dreams. So we all pretend to be asleep for about 5 seconds, then wake up and share what dream we just "had". For your enjoyment, here is a brief list of not even 10% of the ones that were shared (it went on for a while, and I can't remember all of them):
1. I turned into an eyeball! (Cosette)
2. I grew huge and stomped on all the houses and condos in the neighborhood, then turned into a monster and smashed the PLANET!! (Connor)
3. I was a drum, and you kept hitting me on the head! (Me - because every time we "wake up" Connor is tapping me furiously "Wake up! Wake up!"
4. I was all hairy, and made of hair, and went "MYEAAHH" (Cosette)
5. I was a balloon and flew up into space! (Connor)
6. I was a rock that could talk and looked at you with eyes (Me - lame)

Man...that was only a little over an hour ago, and I can't remember any more. Take my word for it, the kids out-imagination'ed me! Fun times.