The days of cuddles and kisses come harder these days. If I’m being quite honest, I usually only get these things from my four-year-old when he’s sick or tired, or, just sick and tired of me asking for them. These are the days of my little one following Daddy when he mows the lawn, whipping his Hot Wheels Jeep in line so closely his little head is covered with grass shavings when they come inside for the evening. They’re sharing a “boys only” camaraderie that makes me just a little jealous … in the best way possible, of course.
Geneva Hughes, mom to 19-month-old Walter, hasn’t yet experienced her son pushing her away for Daddy just yet, but she hopes she’ll deal with it well.
“I hope to handle it with a smile on my face, knowing that he needs every little second watching his Daddy, and learning from him how to be a well-respected gentleman,” she said.
Just as a special bond naturally grows between a father and son as boys grow older, keeping the camaraderie between a mother and son during this time can be as simple as making time.
“Inclusion is the best camaraderie building block in a mother son relationship,” Hughes concluded. “He goes where I go and does what I do. I enjoy cooking, and while I have to be careful with him because he loves to try to touch the oven, while I cook, he plays with pots and pans.”
As our little men grow, and decide spending time with mom is not as fun as hanging out with dad, how should we handle it? Two things: Learn to enjoy time alone again, and make a conscious effort to enter the boys’ world in a way only a mom can.
I enjoy the occasional spa visit, or an early Saturday morning breakfast with girlfriends, but recently I found a terrific way to enjoy more time with my son, by delving deep into his interest in all things related to construction. I decided to incorporate myself into his new, evolving world of pretend by making it come to life. I threw him a construction-themed classroom birthday party.
While I still feel a hint of jealousy watching my little guy “help” Daddy cut down trees on our property, I rest easier knowing I’m finding plenty of ways to keep our mother-son bond strong as he grows.
Mom’s Guide to Throwing a Construction Themed Birthday Party
1. Make sure your child is a fan. While a thorough search of Pinterest may convince you, a theme is “perfect” for you, make sure it is perfect for your child.
2. Establish a budget. DIY-ing can be just as expensive as buying personalized or theme-related items from specialty party or crafts stores.
3. Make the most of your venue options. If you have a child in preschool, classroom parties can prove great because you are almost guaranteed great attendance.
4. Pay attention to details. When you think about decor, think about construction themed colors like yellow, orange and black to incorporate in the smallest of items, from napkins and forks to orange colored juice. Safety cones are a huge part of construction sites so use them in your décor. For my son’s party, I placed orange safety cones at the head of each table with a dump truck balloon tied to each. For his table cloths, I found runners that looked like a two-lane highway.
5. Get creative with your food. For a group of four and five-year-olds, a small Chick-fil-a nugget tray was a good base with chips and yellow cheese dip, mozzarella string cheese, red velvet cookies and dump truck cupcakes.
6. Make the goody bag fun and stick with your theme. After tracing cupcake toppers, I carefully crafted dump truck goody bags using plain brown paper sacks. Amongst various treats inside, I included a wrapped package of Oreos, labeled “spare tires.”
Entering the weekend before the party, my family took a vacation and did not return home early enough on Sunday night for me to make a cake or cupcakes. However, due to careful planning the week prior, I discovered I could order two and, half dozen, plain chocolate cupcakes from a local bakery. Not only was this just as money savvy as baking the goodies on my own, but it allowed for certainty in the taste of the cupcake, while giving me the ability to get creative and ice each cupcake with yellow or orange icing, place my dump truck cupcake toppers and crumble Oreo cookies on top. For extra effect, I bought a toy bulldozer for the cupcake presentation. My birthday boy loved seeing another bulldozer to add to his collection carrying his dump truck cupcake with candles.
7. Don’t forget the hard hats! This brings your construction “site” to life.
8.Take many photographs. When your child tells you afterward that you’re the best like mine did, you will want the memories that introduced you into the world he and Daddy love so much.