Wednesday, February 18, 2009

::Gabriel's Day::

Why not take our kids on dates? I heard this concept a few weeks ago and took a liking to it. I recall going on dates with my Dad as a kid, just him and me: a bike ride to the river for a picnic lunch, a trip to the Museum of Nature followed by ice cream . . . And perhaps it's more important to make this effort when there are more children vying for your time. Aidan's dad made sure to spend one-on-one time with each of his boys. No competing for attention. No trying to be heard over the dinner din. And I, for one, relish the chance to indulge each of mine according to their passions.

Date #1 was bestowed upon Gabriel, as his birthday conveniently fell in the path of this burgeoning tradition. I was given the honour this time around, since it was a work day for Aidan. With Isaiah freshly tucked in for a nap, and my two eldest off to school, my newly-three boy and I went first to Chapters. I had every intention of buying him a few books that took his fancy, but instead we settled on one of these:

{Eco-points for me! It's all recycled material, and the driver's helmet-light is powered by pumping the dune buggy up and down. Cool.}

We chatted over a cookie at Starbucks. Gabriel spent more time under the table with his new toy than in his seat. Next, we popped into Walmart to gather a few snacks for the movie: juice boxes and Whoppers. Finally, we grabbed tickets at the AMC for the only kids movie showing at the moment; Hotel for Dogs:

And I must admit, I enjoyed it thoroughly. I likely enjoyed it more than my little man. He brought all of his textbook three-ishness to the experience. First I had to disavow him of the notion that a "big monster" would come up on the screen. {If we had come to a viewing of Monsters v. Aliens, there would have been a problem.} Next, he had to be taught about the fine art of whispering. "Look at the dogs, mommy! They're chasing that car!" He did a pee-pee dance at one point and I rushed him to the toilet. And by the end he simply "wanted to go home."

So, yeah, the movie thing should be limited those 5 years and up, perhaps. But the whole outing was great fun. Gabriel had me to himself and blabbered on a mile a minute. I translated his dialogue to the strangers he was addressing. We walked hand-in-hand and took our time. . . It was good. Aidan will accompany Elijah on the next date. And Caelah and I will head out after that. We figure every other month or so we can afford to take one of the kids out.

And, oh, there's more! On Gabriel's Day he got to choose the menu. We had french toast for breakfast. We made mini pizzas for dinner, {I let them use cookie cutters to cut their cheese into fun shapes: hearts, stars, butterflies...} And the evening was topped off with JUMBO rainbow cookies for dessert.

I think I LOVE Date Days!