I was divorced many moons ago. At that time my children were very young and stayed with me every second weekend.
We had good routine going….well….they had a good routine going.
Every Friday I would pick them up from school and we would go shopping. We would buy whatever they wanted for their school lunch on Monday and whatever treats that they would want in the meantime. This would vary from fortnight to fortnight.
As they were generally exhausted after a week at school and from shopping I didn’t make it compulsory that they change out of their school clothes. Sometimes my daughter (my youngest) would fall asleep on the couch & I would carry her through to her bedroom, which she shared with her older brother and put her into her pyjamas there….and that would be her asleep until 8am. Friday nights were spent watching old Looney Tunes videos (back in the day of video cassettes).
Saturdays were largely spent at the nearby Fern Glad Reserve. We would pack our lunch & trek down there. Whilst there we would feed the ducks and kick the soccer ball around. My daughter took great delight in kicking the ball into the small stream there. We would also play chasings around the track that encircled the Reserve. I would give my children a head start & pretend to be the Big Bad Wolf. I would also catch my young daughter first & swing her over my head. Soon afterwards I would do the same with my son. We would do 3 or 4 laps. Old Dad here was knackered.
Saturday night was ‘treat night.’ We would go & grab some videos out and buy McCdonald’s or a pizza for tea. I think I can recite the movie ‘Ice Age’ word for word. I’d let my children stay up until 9pm on ‘treat nights.’
Sundays were spent through my back gate which revealed the spacious grounds of the local High School. We would take a set of mini golf clubs (with real balls). My young daughter was a bit too little to get the hang of it so she would hide behind trees. My son was a different kettle of fish. When he hit a ball it stayed hit.
I recall one incident where my daughter hid behind a tree right in the line of flight. I told her not to move until I said, “Okay.” My son hit the ball with that familiar ‘click.’ It was a blinder. As the ball approached the tree my daughter popped her head out. Even though the ball was about 10ft above her I had visions of her head being split open. She had such a chirpy grin on her face that I couldn’t help but laugh.
We would also take their pushbikes up to the school basketball courts and they would ride around there for hours.
Sunday nights were bath nights. Due to the fact that they were very young, the took a bath together. I had containers of different coloured water dye. They didn’t like yellow as it looked like urine. They didn’t like blue as it was too dark & they couldn’t see their toys under the water (despite diluting it). They preferred red so I bought a batch of red colouring.
I would also make up the childrens school lunches for the next day and had their school clothes washed, ironed & all ready for the next morning. I even manages to learn to plait my daughters hair. I think she enjoyed it to be honest.
Every night that my children were with me I would sneak into their rooms and just look at them sleeping….until next time.