Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Date Night!

I've been wearing plenty of hats lately. My Betty Jane & Co. custom paper goods shop. Staying home and caring for my daughter. Doing my best as a wife. Personal chef to the kids. Managing an online health group daily. Providing childcare and teaching 2 sweet little girls along with my daughter. Hosting everything from holiday parties for the kids and adults to Jamberry parties (yay - check out the link if you're interested in details and purchasing)! Homemaking. Providing chauffeur duties to the kids. Field trip planner (mostly to Sweet Arts Bakery and the library.) Dance mom. Professional DVR-er of shows and sporting events. Being the best friend I can to some of the most amazing women I've ever met! Playdate organizer. Weekly Girls' Night Host. Arranging volunteer services to those in need. Sometimes I even get a shower in - whomp! whomp!

As a result of all of this, though, my time with Addison can easily take a hit. Amidst all of this, I feel like I turn into the master of "whispered scoldings", the wide eyed "you've really done it now" look and empty threats depending on the situation. Let me break it down. I have absolutely met that last resort of bending down to my daughter's level in a room full of people while she's really losing it over something completely significant ("I wanted that toy so I took it out of her hands!! I NEED IT!") and whispered in like this firm, speed whisper that comes through my clenched smile, "PleasestopthisrightnowitisnotniceandyouWILLbeintimeoutifthiscontinues" ... obviously, her upset only gets worse and I sit wondering, yet again, why I even went there. "The Look" is another one of those desperate, not thought out attempts at controlling our children with mind control. It's not exactly rolling your eyes but has more of a nostril flare, tight lipped appearance paired with WIDE eyes. I mean that's it. Sometimes it pans out, other times it brings on a sneaky smirk from my child and nothing is resolved. Last but not least, the empty threats. I will credit myself in that I am PRETTY consistent depending on the severity of a situation. I will remove my daughter from a trip to the library or withhold a cakepop accordingly. There are times, though, where we slip up and give a threat that's end result would affect more than your child. For example, you can't just force a child to leave a birthday party for bad behavior. As a parent, I'd be spoiling my own visit with friends and letting my daughter know that it's okay to have fits because I will bring you to the comfort of your home to resume your fit in your playroom until you realize you're in ... your playroom ... at which point you can play-YAY! Also, I would feel like this would be a dramatic end to a four year old fit that would draw attention away from the birthday kiddo and their special day. Not cool. Now there is also the time AFTER all the chaos when I have one on one time with Addison. That can also suffer.  Most days around 6pm, I am hardly thinking. Reading to her can often cause immediate eyelid fluttering and I realize I have a flood of unanswered texts and emails to tend too. Enter "date night."

I know, I know. Like enough of our lives aren't consumed with our precious babies and now I'm making "Date Night" about the kids! The reality is, I get plenty of solo time with my husband once A is in bed or when she is out on a sleepover. Addison and I have one on one time daily but, as I mentioned, it gets clouded quickly. After dinner, we really only have two or so hours to make the most of the time and I often don't feel I'm giving her quality time. I'm there physically but my head is coming down from the day, sleepy, etc. And so we have the glorious date night and it's oh so wonderful. We love our local restaurant, Peppermint's and often go for a dinner date there. The staff is always so friendly and we can take our time there without disturbing anyone. She can color and chat with me. Twice a week we often end up at the library. I love how late they are open because I know we can go there any night and just relax. They have a fabulous children's floor that is the entire downstairs. What makes this so wonderful is that kids are contained and have that whole room for themselves so we never need to be worried about disturbing older patrons. Addison and I find books together, play computer together, color together. That's what the date is all about, getting out of the house and simply talking over our day. Yes, we go to the same places often for our little dates but that doesn't seem to dampen anything because quality time is about communication and enjoying the company of our kids outside of our everyday environment. It's not always perfect and I've been known to practically beg her to step away from the computer at the library and she can sometimes forget what a small voice is while singing her latest tune at the restaurant but I'm thankful to God for my girl, her good AND not so great qualities that she will grow from, and the little moments with her that are so dear to me.

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