08 August 2018

A Mother-Daughter Date

From time to time, I try to take my girls on one-on-one dates; just short trips to the nearby fast food restaurant where we could sit and enjoy a meal while we talk. A few months ago, I promised my eldest that if she accomplished something in school, we would eat at a restaurant (not too fancy, but not the regular fast food or in a food court either) and I would take her shopping. Well, Caila did, and of course I gladly kept my part of the bargain.

This particular date happened one Saturday in May which we spent at Al Ghurair Centre. First stop was one of her favourites: Borders. There she scanned the shelves for toys, books of a certain series, and then the stationery and art supplies section. We then went to a few other shops where Caila looked around, picked up things that caught her eye and put them back, and then repeated the same thing until she was satisfied. She said she was taking note of the things she liked, and once she made her decision on what she wanted, we would go back and buy them. Good girl ☺
After window shopping, we headed to Yakitate for lunch. My daughter absolutely adored the Japanese décor and cute pastries, so even though she was already full from her Salmon Teriyaki Rice Burger, she still asked me to order their Japanese soufflé cheesecake for dessert…which we enjoyed because it was so soft and cheesy.
Finally, we went back to Borders where Caila perused the shelves and supplies section over again. I could see she was really thinking hard on what she really, really wanted.
In the end, she decided on a binder and writing pad where she could write simple stories and have a place to keep them all together. I was almost tempted to allow her to get the book she was also eyeing, but decided against it because I already told her she could only choose two items. Giving her the money, I encouraged her to pay for the items by herself. Since she’s very shy, I expected her to hesitate and ask me to do it instead; but on the contrary, she confidently went up to the cashier and completed the transaction without any problems. Yaaaay!
Pleased with the bag of purchases in her hand, we met up with my sister who was in the area with my nephew and Sophie. As soon as she saw them, Caila hugged her sister really tight (it was as if they hadn’t seen each other just that morning) and raved about our date. I took Sophie on a similar date the following week, but that’s another story ☺

I was really happy my eldest enjoyed our special time together. Of course I enjoyed it too.  At this age when she’s a tween, there’s a lot of things going inside her head. And as I mentioned earlier, she’s really shy, so most of the time she keeps these thoughts to herself, making it hard for us to get her to talk. Fortunately, through this date, she opened up. She had questions which I answered, she told me about her friends in school, her worries, ideas, and dreams…and I listened while trying to give suggestions and advice. Sure we can do these things at home, but it’s different when you have other people around and other things to do.

These dates are treats for both of us because our attention is only on each other, allowing us to bond while having a good time, and giving me the chance to get to know Caila more because she’s growing up so fast. Teenagers usually prefer to share things with their friends and peers, so it’s important that parents keep the lines of communication open. And dates like these while they’re still young are a good way to start.
Now a new school year is about to begin and I’m sure we’re going to have lots of things to talk about again. It’s time for us to have another date ☺

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