Long before Husband or I really appreciated how MUCH WORK raising a family is, we had idealistic ideas about how we would cultivate good relationships with our kids. This was before we knew how little time we would spend in a day not saying "put-you-shoes-on-eat-your-dinner-brush-your-teeth-turn-off-the-lights-pick-up-your-jacket-flush-the-toilet". Those moments where we can just be. Enjoy each other.
Back in those idealistic days, we decided that we would each have dates with our kids every month. One-on-one time doing something fun. We'd alternate kids so the one-on-one is equally distributed. This happens, in actual fact, rarely.
I have gone to a few fairy/princess/pixie type movies with Sydney. Once in a while I'll bring her along on errands and we'll window shop at the mall for clothes and shoes, and I'll call that Girl Time. John and Jackson have had the odd boy-themed excursion involving a hardware store. But these are infrequent. And we don't seem to find the time for cross-gendered (ie. Daddy-daughter, Mommy-son) adventures.
Last Saturday, Sydney told her Daddy she wanted a dinner date with Daddy. Husband looked in the calendar for a spare hour and found some spare minutes the following weekend. And date they did!
Husband was really a good sport about going on a Friday night. He is tired then, from a long week of work commuting and doing his bit to keep the household running. Sydney donned her "disco dress" (see here) jewellery and even threw a clip in her hair. She even put on her fashion boots! Daddy gamely went on a date with his daughter.
The pair were gone quite a while. I imagined the Friday night crash of the don't-want-to-turn-on-the-oven-to-insert-frozen-pizza-or-eat-Cheerios-for-dinner crowd and wondered how Sydney will have done with the wait. I knew she had been hungry.
They came home and Sydney says to me "did you wonder why we were gone so long Mommy?". She looked at her Daddy with a sly and private smile. Where did she learn that?
"Where were you?" I asked.
"We went to the mall. To look at shoes and clothes."
Apparently, while at dinner, she wanted to do one more "activity" and window shopping for shoes and clothes, was it.
I'd love to tell you much, much more but right now I have to prepare for an activity with my boy. I have to Google "fart joke conventions" and see if anything is coming up.