As a father of 2 blossoming children with busy schedules, a full time shift work job, home day care and multiple other commitments, it’s rare that I get to spend any quality alone time with either child.
Sure, I’ll take my son to the grocery store or my daughter to a doctor’s appointment but I’m talking about “Quality” alone time. You know, the kind that you build long lasting bonds with.
You can only imagine my excitement this week when my wife mentioned that her and her mother would be taking my son out for some Back To School shopping, and that I would be in charge of my 2 year old daughter for an entire afternoon!
I’m pretty sure the adrenaline from the excitement kicked in right away and I got busy planning out our special Daddy/Daughter Date Night! Unfortunately, there were so many thoughts running through my mind that I needed to have a nap, but after that, I got back to planning!
Once the big day arrived, I sailed through my work day, only staring at the clock 7 or 8 or 100 times! We said our goodbye’s and off we went on our date. I should probably take a minute to explain a few things at this point.
1. My daughter has recently given up her afternoon nap, which means that around 4pm she gets very tired and will literally fall asleep anywhere.
2. She has no idea how much this alone time means to her Daddy. To her, at least from my point of view, it’s just another trip in the car.
Back to the date. I had a big night planned and our first stop was to the local Claire’s jewelry store. My little girl is really into jewelry and accessories right now (what little girl isn’t!), so I thought I would take her to pick out some new fashions! We had a blast, both trying on bracelets, rings and hair accesories, until she had found all the items she wanted.
It should be noted that Daddy did not purchase anything for himself, even though I did have my eye on some wonderful Hello Kitty sunglasses!
We then headed off to our dinner reservation at my daughter’s favourite fine dining establishment, Pizza Hut… Seriously, she loves pizza! This is where the story gets inexplicably emotional for me.
My daughter is a Momma’s girl through and through. For the number of times I’ve heard her scream “No, Mommy Do It!!” while trying to help her, my heart should be broken; but it’s not. While laughing and colouring at the table with my daughter, I received a text message from my wife that read “Stop making her laugh!”. At that moment I realized that my wife and I had chosen the exact same restaurant for our dates. I won’t even begin to try and explain what the odds of this were.
We went over to say hi and they asked us if we wanted to join them, to which I answered “No Thanks, we’re on a date!”. This is the part where I get all sappy Dad on you.
My daughter came back over to our table with me and didn’t mention Mommy, Nana or her brother for the rest of the time there. She just laughed, ate and enjoyed Daddy’s company for the entire dinner.
It was one of those moments for me, where time stood still and we genuinely enjoyed each other’s company. I hope someday my daughter will read this and understand how much this gesture meant to me because I’m not sure I can accurately put it down in words.