A Date with My Daughter
July 17th, 2012
Have you ever noticed how you can get so caught up in the daily grind of parenting that you forget how much you actually like your kids?
Don’t get me wrong. I love my kids all the time. But sometimes, my interactions with them become a blur of diaper changes, temper tantrums, picked-at dinners, lost shoes, squabbles over toys, whiny pleading for cookies, battles with the car seats, and just One More Story Before Bedtime. It’s easy to forget that my kids are actually pretty cool little people with whom I enjoy spending time.
I was reminded of this fact tonight when I had a date with my daughter.
Miss Mouse was supposed to start swim lessons tonight (a much-anticipated event) but her teacher flaked and had a scheduling conflict. To make up for the disappointment, I took her — and only her — to the community pool for an hour after daycare and then out to dinner.
We had a blast. Miss Mouse was beyond thrilled to have some time alone with mom. We dubbed it “A Mommy Daughter Date” and she informed everyone we met of our plans. She reveled in getting to swim in the “big pool” since I wasn’t also juggling her little brother and therefore relegating them both to the wading pool. She puddled in my lap in the sun as we dried off after our swim.
She preened at the information that we were going to a “grown-up restaurant” for dinner, since we didn’t have an impatient and food-throwing toddler with us. (It was Applebee’s, and she was very impressed, which says something about our usual dining choices.) We sat on the same side of a booth together and shared each other’s dinners. She clambered into my lap for dessert, digging with gusto into her ice cream sundae.
And she talked. She chattered about the pictures she was drawing on the place mats, told me a story about her friend at daycare, and recounted (repeatedly and enthusiastically) several vignettes from our swim and the drive to the restaurant. My honking at a guy who ran a red light was the highlight of the drive, apparently.
She didn’t whine, didn’t tantrum, didn’t fuss. She was a big girl, conscious of the responsibilities of being out on a date with mom. And it was great. I had a wonderful preview (I hope!!) of future girl adventures we’ll have together, and I look forward to sharing similar special moments with my son. Just as soon as he stops throwing food at the walls…