Not with your spouse, silly, . . . With your kids!
Owen fell asleep very early tonight (um, the before dinner kind of early). Todd was at the YMCA for meetings all day and most of the evening. That left Colin, the dog, and I. There was no question what dinner was going to be. Leftovers.
Then Colin declared it Date Night.
Todd and I make it a point every month to treat the boys to individual dates. Dates are sacred and the focus must be completely on the boys: no errands, no phones, and no computers. Todd usually takes them out for donuts. The boy who accompanies him for that particular date arrives home with a smeared chocolate frosting smile that may or may not have a sprinkle or two stuck in it. Sometimes (in the summer when Todd doesn’t have time off), he brings them to work at Camp and they get to be Director. Colin loves this date with Daddy, as carrying a clipboard and cardboard radio makes him feel very grown-up and important. There was a week this past July that Colin would only converse if it was through his cardboard radio:
Me (in the same room with Colin): Colin, are you on radio?
Colin: Yeah. Go ahead, Mommy.
Me: I’m going to need you to go pick up the blocks now.
Colin: Okay. I’m up at the horse barn now, but I can be there in 10 minutes.
Me: Copy that. See you in 10.
When Owen was a new two, we would frequent Starbucks for our special brunch; a cookie and a smoothie (for him) and a White Chocolate Mocha (for me). It was enjoyable to sit across from him at a window table to people watch and catch up:
Me: Owen, is your cookie yummy?
Me: Are you having fun with Mommy?
Me: Did you and the guys steal a tractor and cruise around town last night?
Owen’s current favorite place to visit on a date is Home Depot because he can sit on the riding mowers and watch the fork lifts. Good times, good times.
But, getting back to my most recent Date Night with Colin . . . he sure had some ideas of his own about it . . . First, there must a candle. Candles make dinners fancy. Second, we must not use forks or spoons, in fact, no hands allowed during dinner. We are puppies. Third, there must be Pirate Music.
If you have never had hands-free spaghetti night in your house, I highly recommend it. It’s a surprisingly therapeutic activity to do with children (or adults!) who need something silly to happen – something out of the norm. It’s a healthy way to relieve stress and just laugh and enjoy your children – a way to make their day seem magical.
At first, they will stare at you like you are crazy. However, that first look of shock and surprise will turn into amazement, which will turn into pure joy as they see you plopping your face into a plate of spaghetti and understand that they are allowed to do it too!
Do you have individual dates with your child(ren)? Tell me about your favorite one in the comment box below for a chance to receive a Surprise Date Kit. The giveaway will close September 6th, 2012 at 12:00 AM Central Time and is open to United States residents only. The recipient will be chosen by random number generator.