Alli’s new favorite activity these days is getting chased around the house by yours truly, followed by a tickle-fest on the couch when Dad-E gets tired. Aiden has been joining in on the fun recently, which is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it frees up Mommy B to work on her papers for a bit; on the other hand it means I get double duty of chasing the kiddos around our open floor plan and throwing them on the couch when I catch them. Each time I catch one of them, I grab them up, run over to the couch and let them flop down on the pillows. They of course bounce right off and take off running again, so I have to alternate between them so as not to keep one of them waiting too long. Each time Alli takes off running, she’ll say “Daddy, get me!” I think it kind of defeats the purpose of being “gotten” if you ask for it first, but hey whatever works, right?
Once I tell them that Daddy is tired, they immediately switch gears to an activity that they know is much less strenuous on their father – tickling. Thanks to genetics, I have big enough hands to tickle each one of them with a single hand… one on one side, one on the other. Not sure how much longer that’ll last, but I digress. These two will literally giggle themselves blue unless I stop to let them breathe. The tickling will continue until one (or both) of them gets the hiccups, at which time they’ll take a break – for about 30 seconds.
After that, it’s on to piggy-back rides around the house. They’ve gotten very good at taking turns recently, so Alli will wait her turn while I run Aiden around first. After I drop her off on the couch, Aiden will pounce on my back and say “Bump bump!” Apparently he thinks we’re “bumping” up and down when we run around the room. Lap after lap we go – until Mommy B decides to join the fun. At that point we’ll each grab a kid and take turns chasing each other around the house. That way, both kids get to be both the chaser and chasee… until we all get tired and flop down on the couch again. While this activity certainly gets tiring night after night, it has instantly become one of my favorite pastimes with my children.
Last week I had to make a short trip to Washington, D.C. to teach a class on a new piece of software that we’re going to be rolling out next month, and boy did I miss those kids! I flew out early Tuesday morning and got home late Thursday night after they were already in bed. I missed three night’s worth of playing with them, and I didn’t like a minute of it. Don’t get me wrong, I got to meet a lot of people I wouldn’t have otherwise and get my face/name out there… but nothing beats play time with my kiddos.
Friday morning came around early (as does just about every morning these days), and it was back to the same morning routine. Even though I was running on less than six hours of sleep, I had to get up and get everyone under the age of 29 ready that morning. I walked into Alli’s room first as I heard her stirring a little bit and said “Hey hun… it’s Daddy.” She sat up in the dark and these were the first words out of her mouth in the sweetest, most innocent voice: “Daddy, can you get me… and tickle me downstairs?”
It was the cutest thing I’ve ever heard in my life. In that instant I could tell that’s all she’d wanted to do with me while I was gone. That’s what she had missed about me the most and now that I was home she knew we could do it again. I told her that of course we could play downstairs, and she leapt into my arms. Aiden heard us talking and woke up, and he was equally as excited to see me – which warmed my heart even more. He said “Dada? Dada!” when I walked into his room and began bouncing up and down in his bed.
It made the lack of sleep all worth it to get them both back in my arms again. Needless to say we were a little late getting to school that morning… we had some missed play time to make up for.