After reading about solo dates on SouleMama over a year ago, the idea of spending individual time with each of my special ones in this way became a priority. The reality is, this can be hard to do when you have three little ones and a hubby and work. But, I did it.
First, was Ella. On Monday, Joey and I had to take her to get her passport renewed. We spent the morning doing that and running to a few other places while we were in town, including getting lunch at Tai Koo. I loved that she didn't have anyone interrupting and we had ears for only her. She helped me pick a new lipstick color while Joey looked at groceries in Great, among other things. Solo dates are pretty important for my middle baby, who is so good at being the glue in our family, but needs time to just be Ella.
My solo date with Ella was on Monday afternoon. We got pedicures and she got a manicure at the spa in Stanley. It was her first time, and she was such a sweet girl. She sipped her water when I sipped my tea and she leaned back to relax on the pillow of her big soft chair when she saw me, but mostly she watched intently with elbows on knees to see what the woman was doing to her toes. She never spoke above a whisper and a few times reminded me to wake up when I got dozy.
Next up was Buddy. He needed a bit of coaxing to come for a solo date with me, as he had already had a friend sleepover, which at almost eight is much more appealing than hanging out with Mum. But he wanted to go to the bookstore. So we checked out the newest bookstore in Stanley.
After picking out Diary of a Wimpy Kid (he's such a reader these days) and giving the new bookshop the once over, we wandered over to get a fresh juice and walked along the waterfront. He even admitted to having fun and got all snuggly in public! He's such a sweet boy, but sometimes he needs a little prodding to remember. I feel lucky that it didn't take much.
I was really looking forward to my solo date with Cally. Being the youngest, most days seem like a solo date with Cally. She is quite demanding of my attention, and I'd have it no other way. I secretly love that she comes to sleep in our bed every night (or early morning these days). I also love that when she really needs comfort, she needs it from me. I put her to bed each night, and she nestles her nose and mouth into my chest, just below that hollow spot on my neck. The connection with me nursing her is still there, faintly.
I took Cally to Honky Tonks, her Friday music class. She's been doing these classes for about a month now, and she really loves them. The Honky Tonks teacher (an old Stanley neighbourhood acquaintance) gives updates after each class, and lets parents know what the next class will involve. She runs two parent classes and two helper classes. Being the working mum that I am, she goes to the helper class with Eva.
This Friday, I took her instead. It was so fun to watch her interact with other little ones her age, and to see how she is really her own person in this environment, clapping her hands or playing peekaboo and following along with the teacher. She was always eager to help tidy up after each song and went right along with the sleepy song at the end of the class. Now I can imagine what she does on Fridays, when I'm at work. I admit I'm one of those mums who likes all the little details, which Eva doesn't always give (usually I get 'she had fun' and sometimes 'she was dancing'). Now I know the introduction song and I can sing it with her when she's home. Next week Ella will tag along (for the second time), and she's VERY good at details.
Last, but not least, I did manage a solo date with my biggest special one, who makes it all possible after all. He was given a gift certificate to Wooloomooloo from his baseball players last year, which was set to expire in November. They have several branches in Hong Kong, so we chose the TST location, overlooking the harbour. After dinner, we took a nice stroll down Festival walk to the Avenue of Stars, where Bruce Lee's statue stands. It was a cool evening, just perfect for a cozy walk with my lovely. We took in the skyline of Hong Kong at night with the colorful lights reflecting in the water, jumped in a cab and still got home before ten.
We managed quite a few family outings, too. Some dimpy simpy, the markets in North Point, and Pottinger Street in Soho for some last minute Halloween shopping.
Catching up on valuable time with my family. Just what I needed.