It goes without saying that it's been hard on the kids to not have their dad around on a day-to-day basis, which makes the times he is home with them even more precious. They each yearn to spend that 'one-on-one' time with their dad - something that is quite often difficult to do when there are three children, two days, and a list of 'stuff' that he needs to attend to when he's home. (Like fixing the crap the kids break while he's away, replacing light fixtures, you know - the guy stuff that I either can't or refuse to deal with.)
A few weeks ago, Deonne came home with the sole intent to catch up on his one-on-one time with the kids. I made sure The List was minimal, and cleared the calendar so he had ample time to take each child out for something deemed special and worth by each of them. (And yeah - I also scheduled a little mommy time for me - and gave him the fun of cooking/feeding/bathing/putting to bed for ONE night while I went out to a much appreciated dinner and movie with a good friend.)
First up for Daddy Fun was Anna. Deonne purposely scheduled his trip home the weekend that the Columbia City Ballet was performing their spring piece, 'Snow White.' It's become an annual event the past three years for the two to get dressed up, go to dinner, and see the ballet. A real 'date night' for the pair. This didn't disappoint.
She started the evening by getting all gussied up - including curling her hair with that horrible no-clasp screaming hot curling iron I hate ... but she insisted on for the ringlet curls. And getting Matilda (favorite American Girl doll du jour) dressed and gussied up as well. (The matching dresses were her idea.)
Then daddy came round with a corsage of red roses...
And following the show - our princess got to meet Snow White - and all was right in her world.
I don't have any special photos of Jack from his daddy-date (nor James for that matter) - but can report that Jack and Deonne had a super duper time with an early morning treat of 'Arnie' donuts (chocolate glazed and sprinkled donuts from Dunkin' Donuts - Jack's FAVORITE treat EVER) followed by a trip to the local music store where Jack charmed the store owner with his love of music and subsequently got to play with the strings on the electric guitars, try out the cymbal on the drum set, and ended up with a kazoo (compliments of the owner) to take home as a parting gift.
Later that afternoon James got his turn - an afternoon of whatever he wanted to do. He chose lunch at McDonald's (of course) and a trip to the SC State Museum - where Deonne reported he ran all over the museum - thrilled beyond measure to be the official tour guide. Meaning he got to decide what they saw, what order they saw it in, and how long they stayed at each exhibit. I think he was running around so fast that Deonne was never able to snap a photo to record the event.
That's okay. The memory is there - of a fun afternoon being completely in charge. It's the little things...