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Side Effect

It's officially "Girl Time" at our house. With big brother off to Kindergarten from 8:00 am -3:00 pm, my sweet three-year-old-daughter now has free reign during those hours.

No one to swipe her babies from their naps and use them for footballs.

No one with whom to argue over which show to watch while lunch is being made.

No one to adamantly oppose playing dress up.

No one to randomly begin chasing her across the family room.

Instead, she has her first opportunity to set up her toys without fear that they will not be there when she gets back. She has Mom, all to herself, and the conversations are totally different. There is no battle for who can be heard first and she has time to think about her answers. We're discovering that she has quite an imagination, when things are calm enough to actually observe it.

In fact, I'm realizing that this is what it was like, for my son and me, before my daughter came along. Although he had my undivided attention for the first three years of his life, she has my full attention for the first time in her life, at age three.

I wonder what kind of impact this will have on the people that they will become.

Only a week into the new schedule, I do know that they are happy to go their separate ways at 8:00 and just as glad to see each other at 3:00. These developments are not unique to my family, but are NEW to me.

Getting to know my little girl, more intimately, is a Kindergarten-side-effect that I had not imagined.