I love dating Sarah. We have a lot of fun when we go out, she laughs at my stupid jokes, we eat great food, it’s always a good time…but there is another girl in my life. This girl drives me bananas, she cracks up all the time, she loves hanging out with me, and we share a strong passion for breakfast meats. Of course, I’m talking about Adeline. For about the first year of year of her life, I could not take her anywhere without Sarah. Not only do I lack the physical equipment needed to keep her fed, but she hated the idea of being away from her Mommy. When she turned one, we were able to do a little more, but it always had to be well planned out with perfect timing.
After her second birthday, she became little miss independent. I feel safer letting her run around as long as I can still see her and she actually enjoys my company. The past few months have been a blast being able to take her out at random times and hang out with just the two of us and I feel that bonding between Dad and Daughter is incredibly important. I know it can be daunting to go out alone, but I’ve found a few activities that are simple and have yet to fail me. With Valentine’s Day coming up, why not make time to put an extra date on the calendar with your other love? Make a day out of it, or even just an hour or two. Do something out of the ordinary, and make them feel a little extra special. They may not remember it, but the time you’ll spend together is worth more than gold.
Any outdoors fanatic knows that Cabela’s is a holy place. I could spend hours there by myself just looking at guns, boats, or new fishing gear. Our new house is about five minutes from this great place so I would spend quite a few lunches looking at all the taxidermied animals or fish swimming around, then I realized, Adeline loves these things. One day, Sarah was busy so I took Adeline by myself to look at all the deer, polar bears, and elephants and she thought she was in animal heaven. We had a great time looking at the animals while I gave her hints on what to tell Sarah to get me. We now go on trips there about once every other week.
October is our favorite month of the year. Not only were Adeline and I born in that month, but there are festivals everywhere you turn. These are great places to blow all of your energy and then get it back with monstrous handfuls of kettle corn and cups of hot chocolate. Events like this are not only relegated to Fall though, you can find all sorts of events throughout the entire year. One of our favorites used to be to just go to the local Farmer’s Market and pick a fresh bunch of flowers to bring home to mom.
Take Them Out To Eat + Play
If you have followed Sarah for more than a week, you know how much we love Chick-Fil-A. Not only are the breakfasts delicious but the playground is always clean and secure. I love taking Adeline in, ordering some food, then plopping her in the playroom while I watch from my seat. The only downside is that it is impossible to pull her away once I’m ready to go. So be forewarned, do not make time sensitive plans scheduled after a trip to Chick-Fil-A. If Chick-Fil-A isn’t an option, this little girl loves cheese dip, so a trip to Rosa’s is always an adventure in her book! It’s fun to let her dive in, make a mess, and I get to eat a good meal too.
We are lucky to have a great park and a massive field just a few houses down. If there is ever a night where Sarah is cooking and we just need to get out of her hair for half an hour, we grab the dog and a ball then head to the field. They both love running free and will usually poop out at about the same time. By the time we get home, all the wiggles are out and dinner is on the table. It’s a weeknight miracle.
Teach Them About Something You Love
Adeline loves helping us with everything from throwing a paper towel into the trash to feeding Truckee. She takes pride in responsibilities we give her and enjoys feeling like a big kid. We could spend half an hour sitting in my truck acting like we’re driving around and talking about all the things we see. I love seeing her imagination go wild when she’s helping me with my woodworking in the garage or fixing my computer. Even if it is just plugging something in or turning the shop-vac on, she’s learning how to take control of situations. I hope she always remembers our ‘rides’ in my truck as fondly as I do.
I know that the days of Adeline wanting to go out on a date with me are limited, so I’m taking advantage of every chance I get. It is important that she knows that I’m not just the guy who works then comes home and plops down on the couch or the chauffeur on weekends. I’m her dad and her mother and I share a responsibility to make sure she knows that she is loved and we will always be there for her. I know she won’t remember the dates I take her on now, but she will remember that she spent time with me and had fun, which is all that matters.
And remember, this doesn’t have to only apply to daughters. If you have a son, you can ‘date’ him too. He’ll love going on special outings together just as much.
What’s your favorite date spot with your child? Do you feel like you ‘date’ your daughter or make an effort to spend quality time with your kids while they’re in the toddler stage?
P.S. There are some things that I can never leave the house without, especially when taking Adeline somewhere. I will pop back soon with my no-matter-what must haves.