Date Day has come to mean a day where I spend alone time with one of the kids. Oona started it with forlornly saying that she wishes we spend some time together, just her and me. It really touched me, given that we spend virtually everyday together, she still wanted to spend time having me all to herself.
1. Park Date With Spaghetti.
For Oona, Date Day would be going somewhere and eating food anywhere that’s not “our house”. For this month, it’s walking through a park to see how big the world is. Then we’d have a spaghetti picnic lunch on the grass, taking our time, not hurrying or worrying about messes. Then we’d watch cloud shapes or go somewhere else to see what’s there to see. And we’d talk or tell stories, because as she says, “I love all your stories, Mom! Don’t worry, you can tell me any story, they’re all good.” As long as there’s spaghetti in the deal somewhere, because she misses having it.
2. Movie Date
I also suggested that maybe we could watch a movie together in a real movie theater with tubs of popcorn. She perked up at that and said my idea was better. Of course I said it wasn’t, as it’s just a different adventure we were going to have. So she said we ought to set another time for that and I agreed since, I pointed out, it’ll be hard to be gone for a long time with Eva still needing me to breastfeed.
I was actually thinking of just making our own “movie house”: set up the couch in front of the big TV, secure tons of popcorn supplies (as I’m sure, it’s not just going to be a me-and-Oona date if it’s at home!), turn off all the lights and pop in the chosen movie. We already did that before, watching Iron Man2 together with Olly and Daddy and we had a lot of fun. She kept shushing us, like we were in a real theater!
3. Project Date
She’s into projects like arts and crafts, experiments and seeing how stuff works. She’s very tactile and it’s how she learns best, so she suggested that we have a Project Date too. I asked what sort of project she wanted us to do, thinking of the materials that I would have to prepare and source. “Anything!” Oona says, “As long as we do it together.”
Sometimes I have doubts about my parenting and if I’m dong right by them. I question whether they see me as a necessity rather than one they’d really like to spend time with. Like any other parent who’s typically in the middle of the chaos of child-rearing, I lose sight of the big picture and feel like I’m drowning in the minutae. Then, Oona comes out with frank discussions like these, Olly hugs me out of the blue and Eva, well, headbutts me with a smile … I am satisfied that I might somehow be on to something right.
Photo credits: http://themoviebros.com/2010/08/28/the-real-reason-i-love-movies-popcorn/