Sunday, March 27, 2011

The New Dating Scene: Mommy-Daughter Date Night

Lately, I've been stepping out on my husband - with my daughter. In the past few weeks, we've had a couple of mommy-daughter dates, and can I just say they were the best dates ever! None of that awkward first-date nonsense, it was straight to the fun.

When you have two kids, it can often feel like you're playing basketball - running everywhere, trying to guard people, get things away from people and occasionally make a score (I assume that's what basketball's like, I'm not at all athletic and have never actually played said sport, but I digress). Also, with multiple children, your attention's never just truly on one child, you're trying to keep the peace, find an activity that everyone can enjoy and just getting home in one piece is a significant victory.

Having the time with just Bonnie was a delight. There was no fighting over who got to push the button on the elevator, it was all her. She was the only candidate to feed the parking meter (aah, the little delights of toddlerhood). Not to mention hours of undivided attention from me.

We started our first date off by going to her dear friend's birthday party, which was so relaxing for me, only having to keep an eye on one child. Then, we took a stroll down a popular street, enjoying some people-watching and dropping in a couple of stores. I was able to let her help me with everything - handing the money to cashiers, holding bags, everything. We both loved it. Then, we went to dinner and it was so relaxing to sit and talk with her and her alone.

Our second date was to the nail salon. I don't know how she became aware of the mani-pedi ritual but she did. (Please don't think I'm some kind of Toddlers and Tiaras mom, this was all her idea - I swear!) Talk about a stereotypical suburban family, while she and I were doing that, my husband and Clyde were shopping for paint at Home Depot together...

Here's something I've observed on our "dates," strangers look at you in a completely different way when you have just one child with you. 99 percent of the time, I'm trying to wrangle two toddlers in and out of stores and people give me either a pitying look or one that says "Wow, you're a trooper." Not so when it's just one kid. Everyone just looks at you with an "Aww" expression on their faces and you glide serenely along like you're a celebrity mom photographed in US Weekly with the caption "So cute: mommy-daughter date."

As we were wrapping up our date Bonnie suggested "Maybe we could go to a movie or something on our next date night. Wouldn't that be nice?" Yes, yes it would be. I can hardly wait.

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