Occasionally when I was a kid my parents would take us on a date for some one-on-one time. I'll never forget driving to Spokane with just my dad (this was when we lived in northern Idaho) and eating at that restaurant with the dancing chicken and the amazing corn muffins; and dad actually drove back through the drive-through at the end of our meal to get more corn muffins. I was shocked! Mom would NEVER do something like that!
So this week I had planned a date with Cody to go to the local Opera, which my parents and sister + her husband are performing in. However, a last minute schedule change made Cody unable to go. I searched for a different Opera buddy, when I realized that Lee was old enough to accompany me. I knew it might be a little thick for him--it's the traditional Russian Opera Boris Godunov--but I decided to take him anyway. Good culture. And overall, I'd say he did pretty darn well for being a five year old boy going to a three hour long Opera in a foreign language. He wiggled. He whispered a bit. But we didn't have any outbreaks of screaming or whining. We had a good time; Lee says he didn't like it because of the bad guys (there is one scene where Grandpa got his gun stolen and someone else got shot), but the costumes and music were ok. Lee practiced behaving like a Gentleman, which he thought was silly because apparently Gentlemen live in churches, not houses.
Annalisa, of course, was insanely jealous that she was too little for the Opera. "But I'm FIVE!" she would cry. "No, sweetheart, you're two." "I'm three on my birthday!" she would cry harder. So I promised her she could come to Aunt Sara's Tupperware party with me on Saturday (yesterday). That, plus going down to Daddy's office for a few minutes (strictly off-limits in our home) appeased her. So yesterday it was Anna's turn. As we drove to Sara's house, Anna asked me at every turn, "Is THIS the Tupperware party?" Even though it is only about seven minutes away, Anna was thrilled when we finally arrived. We were the first ones there. Sara gave Anna some toys, but she got bored rather fast. She took all the magnets off of Sara's fridge. After the cake demo, we gave Anna a piece. She sat down on her chair looking very bored. I held her in my lap for a few minutes and she fell dead asleep. So we put her down on Sara's bed and she napped through the remainder of the afternoon, eventually waking up in time for the family pioneer-day BBQ we had last night.
So, my first official attempt at Mommy-kid-dates were both pretty goofy, but hey! that's what parenting is all about. I know both kids felt singled-out and special, and that was the important part.