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Try this Today: Secret Wink

By Gretchen Schiller

Try this Today Series. Everyday application for healthy co-parenting

In earlier posts, I mentioned how I’m working hard toward making the daily choice to try to strengthen the bond between Ana Lu and her dad instead of allowing the toxic poison from the divorce to seep into her innocent life.

So I’m going to try this today. Maybe you can too.

Secret Wink. A secret sign between you and your munchkin.

Over a year ago…

“Ya know, Sweetie, I was thinkin’ about it and you and I are going to have a special secret sign. It’s going to be so much fun!”

“Yay!!” Ana Lu squealed while eagerly leaning her ear so close to my mouth that I could taste her hair. What child doesn’t love a good secret, right? I whisper into her ear, “Every time I wink at you with my eye like this (I demonstrated) it’s like I’m saying, ‘I love you.’ It’ll be our super special secret sign so we can tell one another we love each other without saying a word. No one else will know except us!”

Ana Lu LOVED this idea. She was young, so winking wasn’t a skill yet. It was fun to watch her attempt to wink, eyes closed tightly, little face scrunched, looking more as though she was being pepper sprayed than winking. But now that she’s 5-years-old, she’s rockin’ the one eye, sweet girl wink.

I got the sense that Ana Lu was having trouble with the drop-off/pick-up time between Charles and me. He and I are generally polite and pleasant but I see her feel the distinct divide between Charles and me. When he would pick her up at my house he would come to the door and she’d leap into his arms. From that moment forward she averted eye contact with me and rarely said “goodbye.” It was as if she thought she had to choose sides, letting me know she is with her Daddy now.

So the I love you wink was born. Our secret sign is exactly what Ana Lu needed.

Now, up in Charles’ arms, the two of them walk down the driveway and I follow them out saying goodbye. This is when Ana Lu, all smiles, looks over his shoulder and winks at me. I return the wink threefold. I could not believe the joy in her eyes the first few times we did this. It was as if she could say “I love you” to me without feeling as though she took anything away from her time with Charles.

This secret sign is incredibly handy for sending a silent “I love you” when saying goodbye at preschool, sitting across the dinner table at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, when I want to provide her with a thoughtful reminder, and even after disagreements. We’ve winked to say I’m sorry before words were ready to be spoken.

I have no doubt Ana Lu will use this secret sign when she’s older. I imagine dropping her off 4 blocks from the movie theater so she can look cool in front of her friends. I see her hopping out of the car, pausing, turning around, sticking her head back in and winking at me, “I love you.” (Thank you for understanding.)

A little word of caution.

Take inventory of your child’s surroundings before throwing the wink in their direction. While waiting in line at Target with Ana Lu seated in the front seat of the shopping cart, I sent her a quick wink.  I then noticed the surprised, confused look on the man’s face who was standing in line behind us.


Do you and your family have a secret sign?



Originally posted on Single Sassy Mom (dot)  com  | Feb 6, 2013 |

You can follow me on twitter @GretSchiller and Facebook Sassy Single Mom (dot) Com


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Originally posted 2013-03-01 17:11:29. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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