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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dates with your child

Do you guys ever take your little ones on dates? Now that he's (almost!) two, Toby and I are starting a new tradition...

Toby is enamored of the French cafe across the street from our apartment; every time we walk by, he points to the window and asks if we can go inside. So, we decided that every Saturday morning, we'll have brunch there, just the two of us. We dress up for our date in our favorite clothes--this time, I wore pink jeans, and Toby wore train-conductor overalls (since he's currently in training). When the waitress comes, Toby can now say "quiche" all by himself!
We read the paper while we wait for our breakfast (me = the Book Review, Toby = the Automobile section)...
But Toby sometimes has a hard time waiting, so we also try on sunglasses.
Finally, the waitress arrives! We give her a hearty round of applause, since when you're a toddler, you clap for pretty much everything.
The quiche with Gruyere and spinach is delicious, and we wolf it up.
Afterward, we mingle with other customers, play hide-and-seek with the friendly waitress and do upside-down kisses.
And then we walk home. I'm looking forward to our new Saturday breakfast tradition. Do you have any rituals or "dates" with your little ones?
P.S. Toby saying, "Quiche." :)
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174 comments:

American Mom in Bordeaux said...

Cute photos...Dates are great with kids!..I have 3 and I try to rotate them and individually take them out. As they are growing girls = it's often shopping paired with a meal. Always fun...! We try different places...sometimes I take 2 or 3 of them out together too.

The A and B Stories said...

These pictures are SO beautiful! I just took my son Benjamin (he's one) on our first 'date' recently, we had frozen yogurt, it was lovely!

Shruti said...

What an adorable post and a great idea...most parents are so frustrated with the thought of taking their 2 year olds to restaurants, but i love how you just made it into such a fun event. Great pics and the little guy looks adorable :)

AVY said...

I don't have a little one but this is adorable enough to make me want one, eventually.


/Avy

http://mymotherfuckedmickjagger.blogspot.com

13bees said...

sweet tradition!!

Molly said...

This is such a sweet post, it truly warmed my heart!

Shannon said...

Oh my goodness! That's the cutest thing ever, those pics are adorable. I go on dates with my 2 year old, our favorite weekly tradition is biking to the beach and then having crepes and bubble tea afterwards, usually just the two of us. :)

Shannon
www.11thandshannon.com

Amelia said...

We do this too! Not on a schedule, but as sneaky surprises...the other night we had to run an unexpected errand at dinner time and so I sweetened the deal for my 2-year-old with an unchartered 'yo yo' (frozen yogurt) stop. The look on his face when I told him that we were going on a special date, just the two of us, for yogurt when he would normally get in the bathtub was worth any price that we might have paid for pushing bed time back. It makes me feel oddly special too, another lovely benefit!

chelsie biehl said...

I'm the middle of three kids and my mom used to do a friday night date with each of us. So for a long time during elementary / pre teen years I had a date with my mama every three weeks! We all looked forward to it & got to plan what we did. It was always really simple like a movie or pizza, but I love that she did that.

SmartBear said...

OH, I love it. Yes, my little guy and I started going on special dates around the same age. We go for "noodles" or "shushi". Now that he is five (hold me), we love our little lunch or dinner dates, especially since his Papa is not a lover of oriental food.
Adorable kiddo.
Best,
Tina

Diana said...

I love Toby's overalls!

How adorable is it that he loves quiche? Is he proving to be adventurous in the cheese department like his mum and dad? :)

Gillian said...

Toby's so adorable! I don't remember my mum doing this when we were really young (well, there were four of us 2-3 years apart, so she had her hands full!) but as we got to middle school/high school she definitely made a point of getting in one-on-one time with each of us individually. And since we rarely ate out, it was that much more of a treat to go for lunch with Mummy!

Pamela said...

The little car!!! Our little girl has a little car too and she LOVES it.

Awesome mummy-son date :)

ElsaD said...

Awww...this is so adorable! One of your cutest/most tenders posts to date! :) Love the window phone, btw...XOXO

Nataša said...

I have dates with my older daughter who is 5. We go shopping, to the movies or to see a children's play, and then we have some ice cream or a cake, of course :-) However, I admit I would not take the younger one on a date yet, cause she throws terrible tantrums andc cannot be persuaded about anything. I'll just wait she grows out od it a bit :-))

Jenni Austria Germany said...

i love your toby videos! especially ones in which he is dressed like a train conductor.

Malia said...

Too Cute! Love your new tradition.

Katie Ann said...

This post is toooo sweet! Oh my word, your little Toby is precious! And your photos are wonderful! I remember going on Saturday morning dates with my dad to the bakery every week. It is one of my fondest memories from when I was a kid. :)

Katie

Molly said...

What a sweet idea, and I'm sure it'll be something that he'll come to really appreciate as he grows up. Also that last photo captures the "toddler strut" so perfectly that it's almost heartbreaking.

Juggling in Heels said...

I do a lunch date with my middle man every other week so that he feels like he gets some alone time with mommy. It is harder to schedule with my oldest but SO necessary! I cannot wait until Baby Girl gets a little older and we can do mother/daughter trips!

Heba said...

this post is so cute that i read it 3 times :)

http://girlynote.blogspot.com

Erin said...

Adorable! And such a well timed post for me. My girls are just a couple weeks younger than Toby, and Hubby and I have really been meaning to take them on more individual dates. They're almost never away from each other and i think they could use it. Thanks for the push! (Btw, did you and Lucy have individual parent dates? If you have any twin perspective on solo time, I'm all ears :-)

Amy Turman said...

My dad used to always take my sister and I on "dates" and we used to say "eww Dad, we're not on a date!" Even Dads have cooties, I guess.

But these are some of my favorite memories of the three of us (especially when my parents were divorcing and we were adjusting to two separate families of 3+ versus our family of 4). Now our "dates" consist of Saturday night steaks and asparagus on the grill and fighting off our beggar cat for scraps :)

xoxo,
mon amy

Anu said...

I take my son to cinema (we have this cinema for babies once a month) once a month. And after that we'll go to his favourite cafe where he can eat cake and drink tea from a big cup and then play with toys. :) And do lots of running around the table.

Kirsteen said...

Aaw, adorable! Toby is so sweet.

Sarah said...

How adorable. I love how he says quiche. We have a regular time to have dates, but not a designated place yet. We just moved to the bay area and visited Bumble, a cafe Oh Joy recommend that's kid friendly and we may make that our regular spot =)

- Sarah
agirlintransit.blogspot.com

theresa said...

when i was a little girl, my mom used to take my sisters and i out for mini "dates" every month. with three other sisters, this time was really special because we weren't used to spending lots of alone time with her. i always looked forward to it. the mini dates began with us going out for breakfast. as we got older, she began taking us on individual trips. once, we went to croatia. i think it is a great idea.

Nicole said...

I take my son on dates at least once to twice a month. He will be 12 and going in to middle school this year. I hope to continue it even when he is in high school. Having a special night of one on one time with our children is more important than I can express. It helps build trust and better communication. I usually let Logan pick where we go too. Kids get to control few things so this lets him feel like he is planning it. Starting early with your son is great!

Jenna said...

My dad used to take me on breakfast dates when I was little. I would pick out my nicest dress (ones that my grandmother had me for Easter Sundays) and we would ALWAYS go to Waffle House. I literally thought I was the Waffle House princess and that everybody knew who I was. Now I am in my 20's and getting married this weekend, but I still remember exactly what I would always order and how my dad's suit felt when I would hug him goodbye when he dropped me off at school. You are creating such special memories that he will hold onto for many, many years!

Alex said...

I love that shot of him in the sunglasses. And that shot of you turning him upside down and him laughing is one of my all-time favorites.

Mollie D said...

We don't have a sey schdule, but we do dates. Charlie is just about Toby's age. We also do brunch/breakfast food because there always seems to be better stuff on those menus than most kid's menus consisting of chicken fingers and mac and cheese.

I love it but end up talking to strangers most of the time as they ooo and ahhh over my Charlie, he's a hit every where we go!

Trina said...

Toby looking over the Automobile section of the paper cracks me up. I love how serious kids are when they read.

As for dates, my dad made it a point to take the neighborhood kids on a group date at least once a week in the summers. First, tennis in the evening, then a drive in the country; he'd pack us all into the back of his old Datsun pick-up and there we'd be, just young and giggly and carefree kids, wind in our hair, stars shining, crickets chirping from orchards that smelled of wet earth. I think it's important to do those kinds of things with kids. I find that that time my dad spent with us is one of the "tender shining" memories of my childhood.

Lindsay @ Darling Clementine said...

This is darling!

I haven't had enough dates as I would like with my little 2 year old, we did have a pal around the city sans stroller/carrier day recently which was amazing and I really felt like we were buddies. It was hard at times to be fully alert and not able to strap her in anywhere the entire time, but it really focused my attention on her and we had a great time, laughing and enjoying each other's company.

We'll be doing it again soon...

I hope to encourage my husband to do 1 on 1 dates with our daughter, Juliette soon, we keep meaning to do it then I get my craving peaked when I hear where they might go! ha, I need to make some plans too and let them have their time!

And Toby, what a peach ordering Quiche! ah, love this.

jessd6 said...

He is so darling! I love the pic of him chatting with the cute plaid-shirted guy at the cafe, so curious and friendly!

When I was really young, my dad would take me on what we called "4-D Days," aka "Dad-Daughter-Date-Days." Movies, bowling, A&W for root beer freezes. Great memories!

Aron said...

Toby is SO adorable reading the NY Times! Wait until he understands that his dad writes articles in it--how cool. And what a lucky kid to get to go on those morning dates with his sweet mom who loves him so much. (Even as I'm sure you feel that you're the lucky one, so is he!)

Aron said...

Oops, that comment from Aron is from Ashley. But I'm sure Aron feels the same way. :)

Sarah said...

So cute! Yes, I love dates with my daughter (age 7)! While we don't have any set date routine, both my husband and I make both an effort to take her on special dates (out to lunch, to the park, mini golfing, etc.) often. When I tell her it's a date, she knows she'll have my undivided attention (no work or phone calls creeping in!) It's fun how our dates have changed as she gets a little older too.

PS Your brunch fare looks amazing! Too bad I'm very far from away from this little cafe!

kendra said...

i don't have kids (yet) but i would very much like to meet the other customer that Toby was chatting with. My oh my. WINK

Anonymous said...

@Kendra

After adorable Toby, I also noticed the other diner.... ;)

Keiko said...

I don't have kids yet but I've been 'bookmarking' all your good ideas about motherhood and cute things to do with kids for when the time comes! xx Thank you for sharing.

nykeiko.com

Anonymous said...

You two are adorable!!! :)

Sadie Smith said...

I'm one of three girls and my Dad used to take us each individually on adventures, they were so fun and made each one of us feel so special. (We live in Chicago and one of my adventures was to Disney Land...best Dad ever!)

Shawnee said...

this is so adorable and so fun:) toby will love looking back at these when he's a little older! xoxo

Leila said...

If I understood what you mean by "date with your child", of course I want to go to cool places even without my husband and I'll take my son anywhere. He's always gone out with us at night (couldn't always afford, or didn't even want to leave him with a babysitter) since he was a newborn. My husband and I both work full time and we can't wait to spend time with our son, childhood goes by too fast.

Aja Lake [the gold hat.] said...

what a sweet post. ace and i also share breakfast "dates". we have the best time:)

p.s. i love the pic of toby reading the paper. too cute!

xx,
Aja Lake
the gold hat.

kater said...

I work a a small bakery/patisserie, and we get a fair number of moms (and dads!) who come once a week or so for a special treat, and it's one of my favorite things! I've been at the place for three years, and the whole time I've been marveling at how much the kids grow! One little boy was only months old when I started, but now he's three and can ask me his own questions, ask for his own Elmo juice box, and even order a rectangle (he calls the cake he likes a rectangle)! It's such a joy when they come in!

Leanne said...

Yes! I have a lot of evening meetings for work so my husband takes our 2 year old on "Daddy-Daughter taco dates" Maybe not as posh as quiche but they have fun together.

emily said...

Mega-adorable. ALSO thank you for saying enamored OF. I know you're a pro, but it's one of my biggest pet peeves when people say or write it incorrectly!

Happy brunching!

lisacng said...

Aw, how cute! What a wonderful tradition. Your Toby is well behaved!

Luce, UK said...

This is a weird thing for a stranger to say but Omygaaad Toby looks so much like Alex! Cute!

Alexa said...

My dad took me on dates throughout my childhood and even now (I'm 24!) makes it a point to have special one-on-one time with me every time I visit. It's such so special and important, and I intend to do the same with my children! :)

nikki said...

oh this is the sweetest post i've ever seen. I'm not ready for kids yet, but your blog has me making notes of the little moments that are important to make childhood special.
my mom got paid once a month while i was growing up and so on that day she would get me from school, give me an allowance of $20 and we would go to barnes and noble and spend every penny of our money on stacks of books. those "dates" are some of my best memories.

Tania said...

that video was seriously adorable!

my mom has taken me out for "special breakfast" since the weekend my sister was born, when i was 3. we went out at least once a month for breakfast all through my childhood and even as an adult, i visit home and we still have our "special breakfast" dates. from the perspective of the child, i can say it has been one of the sweetest traditions!

samantha hahn said...

oh those photos are ridiculously sweet!!! I love going on dates with Henry. We go to Rodeo bar because Dave does not love Mexican food. We both get cheese quesadillas and then Henry orders "beans" from the waiter! I love the little moments you documented---the visit to another table and the clapping for the waitress!! You really captured the whole experience. So great! Thanks for sharing.

Mrs. Buck said...

So sweet, I love this idea!

clarity enhanced diamonds said...

Such an adorable kid!

meet emily said...

i love this! graham and i treat ourselves to brunch whenever we have a particularly tough morning. but a ritual like this would be super.

alice said...

Toby is so sweet!
I've been following your blog for a while now but don't think I've ever commented before. Your posts always put a smile on my face and I love reading them. It also makes me so happy to see this amazing little boy who is obviously so loved by his parents. My best friend is currently pregnant and I hope to become a Mum one day too, so I really love reading your motherhood entries especially.
So I guess I just wanna say thanks for all the lovely things you post! oh, and please don't stop!
Alice, from the UK.

michelle tree said...

I look forward to the day I can have dates with my children too!

The Ferrytale said...

Sat brunch with baby boy sounds fantastic!!! What an adorable tradition and great bonding time (with delicious food)!

Xoxox

beth said...

joanna, this is so dear! what a darling tradition : )

when i was little, my dad took me on dates to get breakfast foods & play putt putt. i love those things to this day! maybe toby will love quiche & engines for his whole life - sounds like a cool dude to me.

Anonymous said...

Totally adorable! I love these pics. Thanks for sharing.

Amie said...

My dad would take me out on dates when I was little, and I still remember them. They were some of my favorite times! He took me out for our last "single" dad/daughter date a couple days before I got married. It was just the sweetest time. We still get together for those dates every now and then - he's the best! :)

M Hood said...

Cute fic, reminds me of myself and my son when he's younger.

Before he starts going to school (he's 6 now), we used to set aside for a mommy-baby/son 'date' lunch or dinner.

Now that he's going to school full time as a first grader, and having busy scheduling with extra curricular activities (sports, piano, archery, etc) after school, plus play time with his friends beside homework..we've not been out on 'dates' for a loong time. :(

But yeah, thanks to your post, I realize what we've been missing and will start making time to do it again <3

Anonymous said...

You have one of the cutest kids in the world! So adorable!

The slow pace said...

I've never thought about it but I think that is a great idea! I'd love to have baby dates... when I have a baby!

Anonymous said...

My husband has been travelling a lot recently for work and so my three year old son and I have at a "date nught" at his favorite Japanese restaurant whenever Daddy is away

Tasha said...

For the last 3-odd years, every second Friday afternoon - after the kids & I knock off school/work - we head down to our favourite cafe for an afternoon of thick-shakes, chai lattes and whatever deliciousness is in the cake display... It's our time to unwind, decompress, giggle and plan our weekends.

Have fun growing your 'tradition' with Toby!
Tasha

Shoko said...

What a sweet idea - Toby's so lucky to have you! And the photos are the cutest - LOVE the Polaroid effect! :)

mikandesu said...

>_< too cute kid & sweet mom. love you guys much!

JaneMG said...

How timely, my son who is 4 1/2 and I are going on a date tonight, we are going to the nicest restaurant in our little town. My husband travels for work so we often go to restaurants by ourselves when he is out of town and sometimes we go and meet him in a different city where he is working and we have no choice but to eat out all the time.
We have had to do this since he was a baby and as a result he learnt how to behave well and to have a fun time. I used to take a lot of distractions when he was younger but don't much need to anymore, sometimes a colouring book but I don't let him watch anything, I would prefer him to engage with me, anyone else we eat with, the staff and other patrons.
Even though we have eaten out a lot with him, he is still excited to be at a restaurant, it's pretty cute.

Emily said...

I have two nieces (twins-3 years old) and a nephew (5) that unfortunately don't live nearby. Whenever I visit, take each of them on a date! Often it's just to the mall for a ride on the merry go round, followed by a cake pop. But they love it!

Anonymous said...

Toby looks just like your brother!

Anonymous said...

This is such a cute post! What a little metrosexual Toby is to be ordering quiche! love it.

Jam Oblina said...

so ccuuuttteee!!! toby is just adorable! :-) what a nice activity i'm inspired to do it with my son too.

Beth said...

How cute! My dad used to do this with me. We were both early risers and would get to go out to the diner before anyone else in the family was up. Those breakfasts are some of my favorite memories.

Also, Toby's little 2-year-old voice saying "quiche" cracked me up!

Rachel said...

When I was little my dad would wake me up early and say it was a "snow day!" I grew up in southern California, so what it really meant was that we were both going to play hookie and have a skiing date! We started having "snow days" when I was seven, and they are some of my fondest memories of my dad.

Claire said...

This is too cute! I'm 21 and love going on dates with my Mum :) On mother's day, we went to an awesome art deco movie theatre, watched a lovely film and then hung out eating icecream, it was the best. I love that special time with Mum.

Sally said...

I know this wasn't the point AT ALL, but I love your shirt! You have such great tomboy style - feminine yet relaxed at the same time.

Melissa Blake said...

How cute! When I was a kid, father and I had a tradition of our own. Since I was in the hospital a lot for my surgeries, to make the whole scary experience a bit less scary, we'd go "exploring" as he'd call it. He'd take me strolling in my wheelchair -- IV in tow -- around exploring the hospital. We'd go to the gift shop, the cafeteria or just find a window and look out over the Chicago skyline. Such good childhood memories!

Amy said...

These are the best kinds of days!!

Toby looks so much like you by the way. Such a sweet face!

Caroline said...

Toby looks adorable in his little overalls...looks like such a fun saturday...I'm 20 and I still love going on dates with my parents..its so special!

http://www.anabstractnoun.blogspot.com/

princess butterfly said...

so adorable! I take my daughter (5) on dates, but I haven't done one with my son (1). Maybe it is time...

Brianna Soloski said...

He is going to remember this for the rest of his life. Props to you for starting him off right.

blerg said...

AAHH! So freakin cute, and such a GREAT idea! I'm a child therapist, and I spend at least an hour daily talking with parents about the importance of one on one time with their kids. It's so great that you're starting the tradition young! (Plus, your dates sound beyond adorable).

caotonoga said...

my dad took my sister and i each on separate dates like this until he died when i was 19. they are some of my fondest memories. thanks for the flashback joanna!

Thalie said...

Such a sweet post!
I am from Brazil e I read your blog everyday, but I never leave a comment. I'm currently finishing my Master's thesis and it really hasn't been easy. So, when I come home after work, I have dinner and before starting to work on my thesis I read your blog. It really does make my evening much more pleasant!
Thank you for sharing your life with us! You are inspiring me to go after the things I love!
:)

Meagan Murtagh said...

i just LOVE little Toby. he's getting so big!

xo the egg out west.

Kate said...

We definitely go on "dates" with the babes! one of my favourite parts of parenthood.

mariclare said...

Love it, love it, love it.

Anonymous said...

My dad used to take me to McDonalds for breakfast sometimes before school. We'd sit in his truck that smelled like dust and old coffee (he was a landscaper) and stare at these giant recycling bins in the parking lot. We called it "contemplating the mystery of the bins" and we imagined that they were space ships or bomb shelters. Maybe not the classiest outing, but I loved it and still have a soft spot for egg mcmuffins :)

Aurora and Ulysses said...

What a gorgeous post! Toby is so adorable, and I love those overalls!

When I was little, my dad and I used to go on "dates" every Saturday morning to do my favourite childhood past time - grocery shopping! We made a whole event of it, with the walk to the shops (playing word games, pointing out the neighbourhood sites) and doing the rounds to the greengrocer, butcher, etc who I came to know by name.

I would love to start taking my 6 year old stepdaughter on dates. I think it's a great tradition that the child (and the parent!) loves and will have fond memories of when they grow up.

Carol said...

Haha that photo of Toby reading the paper is too cute! So serious!

I never had "dates" with my parents when I was little - I think with 4 of us there wasn't really much time! But I love the idea and plan to do this when I (eventually) have kids :)

elizabeth said...

Adorable <3

Jess said...

My daughter and I do the same thing. We have a date every Sunday morning for brunch at a diner. I love the quality girl time with just me and my little girl :) Such a fun tradition. She is a year and half so waiting for food is the hard part for her, too.

Anonymous said...

I've just started taking my soon to be 6 year old daughter on dates - I took her to see "A Toby Show" (!) at a kids theatre. Next up: Beauty and the Beast in 3D!

Hollie said...

I take my little one (she's three) on a date for pho once a week. We call it Pho Friday. :]

kelseamarie said...

Relevant: http://www.theverge.com/2012/5/14/3019960/apple-siri-best-smartphone-ever-answer-patched

Melliebay said...

This is seriously the most adorable thing ever. I wish my parents had done stuff like this with me when I was little. Toby is just too cute and so fortunate to have 2 wonderful parents!

NosyRosie said...

This is so sweet! My son and I go to the health food store every Monday after I pick him up from daycare. I love our special time together just the two of us and he loves the cheese samples!

northsidefour said...

Absolutely yes to dates! We have twins and so even a walk to the market has date potential, it's the one on one time that works so well. Enjoy your Saturday date time for as long as you can!

Natalie said...

These photos, as well as their captions, made me smile so hard. You're such a sweet mama.

I've started to take my little cousins on special birthday dates. Whether it be lunch or ice cream, I hope they cherish the memories when they're older.

kLr said...

Not as classy as your French cafe, my dad and I used to go on breakfast dates to McDonalds. I loved that tradition!

Norbyah said...

i love the idea of solo dates. i feel like we even talked about this when i met you....anyhow, having three children, it's become an essential part of reconnecting and nurturing each of them individually. to hear just one voice. to not be worried about engaging all of them. so glad you have a new tradition....it makes me think i need to have solo dates with my kiddos more frequently...

Robyn said...

such a great idea-and honestly the cutest thing to read to start my day. Toby is just growing up to be the most handsome little boy-charming everyone.

Georgia said...

I don't have any kids yet but I used to pick up my friend's adorable little boy Max from pre-school once a week and we'd have hot chocolate and banana bread at the local cafe. He would introduce me to all the customers, so sweet! Looks like you two have got a special little tradition starting there!

Anna said...

my husband and I always take turns 'dating' our 4 year old. it's a special time. i did a little post on it here: http://simplystylishmom.com/2012/01/19/a-table-for-one-and-a-half-please/

Ann said...

you are such an amazing mom, Joanna! I love this idea because it shows Toby how special he is to you. (PS i agree with you about his eyebrows--TO die for!)

jennifer lane designs said...

what a fun date! I think it is great that you do this, I used to love going on dates with my mom or dad.

www.jenniferlanedesigns.blogspot.com

mindi1014 said...

This whole post is so adorable! Cute pictures, Toby saying "Quiche!", sweet tradition. I feel like we all have some sort of breakfast tradition :)

Thea said...

My job's just been cut back from fulltime to freelance (a bit scary!) but the upside is now I can go on regular lunch dates with my mum! I love it, it's so rare to be spending just one on one time with her. Toby's a lucky little man being able to go on special dates with his mama.

Annie said...

As I used to live hundreds of miles (literally) from old friends when my children were very small, I made a point of taking each one away with me on a mini-trip for a weekend so I could catch up and we could have some fun together. We'd travel by train, share beds, eat out, explore London by red bus, tube and foot and generally have a great time. And all before they were 2 or 3. Easy peasy as long as you are good at packing and heaving stuff about. The one at home got to spend time with Dad, eating cake for breakfast and going to the pub. Seemed to work a treat.

Ieva said...

Reading your Motherhood Mondays posts is such an inspiration for me! Thank you for reminding once again, what a joy children could be (we're experiencing a "2-year-old" crisis with our little one coupled with a "5-year-old-or-whatever" crisis with our daughter... not always fun... so I do need some light at the end of the tunnel once in a while :D ). And the idea of dates with kids is great! I'll have to come up with something like that as well. For now we only have a tradition of going to the library together - they LOVE it there (and the fact that they can choose however many books they like all on their own)! And train rides - sometimes just for the heck of it - they're always great fun :)

melissa anne said...

Wonderful idea! My father and I did saturday morning breakfast through my teens's and until I moved away to college, since I didnt live with my dad, it was our time to catch up. It created such a strong bond between us, though I'm away at school I still try to call saturday mornings.

McKenzie said...

Naw, what an adorable photo of Toby in the sunglasses!

http://currentlylovingblog.blogspot.com/

yours truly said...

You're smart for starting it so young! We started about a year ago, when our daughter was 4 (now 5), and we alternate months. This last month I took her to see Chimpanzee & to dinner after. We've been swimming, picnicking in the park, a museum. It's so fun for us because with twin babies now we don't often get one on one time with her. I imagine when our twins get a bit older we'll take them out individually too. It's so fun because so far she REALLY looks forward to them & it makes it awesome.

Anonymous said...

My dad and I had father/daughter dates when I was growing up...some of my favorite memories! Toby will have some wonderful times to look back on with you!

Rose said...

Ah so cute!

REread said...

I like the pic of you hanging him upside down ... Cute.

Miina said...

Thanks for sharing this brilliant idea! I had been thinking of ways to spend some true quality time with my 'almost 2' son, particularly as we now have a 'just one week' son in the house, too. We have a favourite little cafe close by, so this is perfect!

Miyan said...

while i dont have kids yet, i do hold up a tradition of "dates with my dad." we meet once a week (or once every two weeks, since hes so busy and we have coffee and a pastry for breakfast for an hour and then continue on with our workdays. its a great way to see each other routinely and to just chit chat about whatever. i wouldnt trade this tradition for the world!

Miyan
www.miyan-overseas.blogspot.com

amy said...

we didn't do dates but we have a tradition in my family of each going on a trip with our mum when we turn 11 (just before we're a full adult airfare!). this was such a great thing to look forward to in our childhood that I'm definitely doing it with my (future) kids.

Alissa said...

My mom used to take each of us on dates (in a rotation) and they were so fun! I always loved when it was my turn.

Nina said...

Toby is just the cutest little button!!!

AnastasiaC said...

i used to do that with my boys too... awww lovely memories
i also blogged about it many moons ago!
http://anastasiac.blogspot.com.au/2007/02/fridays-with-my-little-neo.html

i still love solo time with my boys...they love having all my attention!

Stefania said...

OMG how adorable. He is getting so big! Mine are 3 months and 20 months, and I keep wishing I could stop time at will.

Kirsty - Belle Fantaisie said...

Oh he is so adorable! Everytime I read your blog it makes me want a baby more and more! I can't wait to do things like this with my children! x

Michelle Kendrick Hartney said...

So cute! Yes I take Shine out on little dates on my two days off during the week. We play tourist and hit up the museums and parks. So much fun!

Miss Bibliophile said...

This is such an adorable tradition. I remember loving "Daddy/daughter" days out when I was little. Also, I may start trying on sunglasses as a way to pass the time when service is slow at a restaurant :)

mamalooks said...

I would definitely do dates like this with my son if a had a french brasserie across my place! Ah, I sometimes miss London and the variety of food in a big city...

Jessica Cole said...

I used to take my baby boy out for lunch dates once a month as a treat. We'd go to a french restaurant because the food is scrumptious and they are amazing with kids. We'd normally order a meal and share it as he was too small to buy a whole meal for. Sometimes he'd fall asleep and others we'd hold hands across the table! We don't do it so often now but I cherish the memories we made.

MollyFera said...

Aren't his little words so heartwarming? It's the best feeling in the world when I hear new words. It makes for one proud mama! Sweet Little Toby, you're very cute!

Anonymous said...

Joanna, this is beautiful! You are such a wonderful mother. Stories like this make me excited for the future. :) Thanks for sharing!!

Hope said...

I LOVE having dates w/ my almost-3-year old little boy. The other day we went for lunch and he sat back in the booth, stretched his arms out and said, "mama, let's talk!"

Love the pictures, love the pink jeans! :)

Shannon Brickner said...

This is such an adorable tradition! I don't have kids, but could definitely see doing this if I ever do. That pic of Toby reading the paper is priceless! It definitely made me smile, so thanks!

whatwouldsummerwear.com said...

I love this idea. I have Saturdays all alone with my little love since my husband works, so I think this is going to be our new tradition too. Thanks so much for giving me the idea. :)

p.s. Toby is gorgeous! Love the photos. Thanks for sharing.

Elisa said...

I'm with my little dude everyday, so we're always going on little adventures together. But, I'm going to be job hunting soon and this is a great idea to connect after a long week away from each other. What a great sport Toby is! And what a great place to have across the street :)

Caroline said...

my dad did these with my three siblings & me!! we called them "time only" and each got one with him every month. =)

Katie said...

This is precious! I love the date idea. I'd like to do that with my kids some day.

Luna said...

My fiance and I take turns to go see a movie with our 8yo son. Our toddler isn't public friendly at the moment, but we will do something with him too. Toby looks extremely satisfied he picked the right date venue! precious.

LC Taylor said...

He is too adorable! And I love this idea, too. My mom and dad used to take my sister and I for dates occasionally as kids - they typically were 1 on 1, without our annoying sibling tagging along to steal the attention. I loved those special times as a kid!

Colombina said...

This is strange, but have you ever noticed how much toby looks like agyness deyn?
They have such similar noses and eyes!
It's a high compliment for them both.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2936228/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2144475/Cameron-Diaz-Kate-Moss-bad-skin-days-Glamour-queens-pimples-bay.html

(hate to post this snarky link, but the picture of agyness deyn was too close to toby not to post --minus the blemishes of course)

Carmen Eva said...

the dates with your child are the best, congrats you to find them!

Wendy-Frances said...

I Love it! My daughter, Lola and myself have a date every Wednesday after work/school. We go out to dinner, come home, get in our jammies by 6:30 and watch "girly television" until bedtime. I soooo look forward to Wednesdays. We started this when she was probably Toby's age and she just turned 11. She enjoys this time together as well.

Anna C. said...

My dad and I have a funny date tradition that started when i was seven. I grew up in Seattle, and had always wanted to eat at the restaurant at the top of the Space Needle (it rotates!). We had only passed it on the way to the observation deck with visiting relatives. So, for my seventh birthday, my dad took me there for dinner. Somehow it was decided that we would go again when I turned 14, and then 21. I'll be 28 this year and I am so looking forward to dinner date #4! The long interval in between makes it that much more special.

Natasha and Jesse said...

My husband and I want to do this when our baby is born. Toby looks so grown-up in the pictures! I can't believe he's almost two.

Monica L. Shulman said...

We do this all the time. I love taking her on our private lunches. Mostly we go for a cupcake or a pizza and then a walk and the park just us. These days at the park she goes and tries to play with the big kids but she looks back at me and I love that quiet time to just watch her.

I can't believe Toby is almost two...I want to stop time sometimes. Lucia is just one month behind him and I'm not ready for her to turn two yet! Didn't we just have them yesterday? sigh....

Tamara said...

So lovely! I too took my almost-two on a quiche date last week & he sat in a big-boy chair (not a highchair!), enjoyed his quiche, read a little book, and generally behaved like a perfect gentleman. Love Mama-Son breakfast dates (when they go smooth like buttah)!

tutusandtea said...

Well this is just absolutely precious.thank you for sharing such a special afternoon with all of us....Toby is adorable, and it sounded like the perfect date :)

Melissa said...

Sweet post! That little Toby is the bee's knees!

We have six children and we love to spend one-on-one time with them. Some of our favorite dates include a mom / daughter trip to NYC, a dad / son stay in LA, frequent trips to our local frozen yogurt shop, and most recently, my trips to the gym to workout with our 14 year old son (it is a blast!). That same 14 year old used to wear a cute pair of conductor overalls when he was a wee one. We saved them for future grandchildren.

Michele said...

Adorable! Next time try ordering him a crepe. That's my little Parisians favorite restaurant food: crepe with egg, ham, and cheese... une galette complete

Bailey Martin said...

Super cute post! Toby is adorable! :)

Anonymous said...

the random customer looked more delicious than the quiche ;)

Felicia said...

Your little son looks just like you! Love this idea; one day, when I'm a mom, my children and I will go on dates too (:

sweetory said...

That's a great idea and tradition! I wish my parents did this with me, but it was difficult at those times. As for me, I do this with my daughter occasionally and she adores going out.

Josephine said...

Everytime I think it's impossible for this kid to get any cuter, he proves me wrong again! You are so lucky this little guy is yours!

didi said...

oh my Joanna, he is the CUTEST! I love how he says "quiche" and then "please". so darling.

Kerikins said...

Such a great idea! I used to have "dates" with my dad on Sunday mornings when I was really young. We would get bagels and juice and go to his office, and while he worked, I colored opposite him at his desk. On other days, my mom would plan a special Mom and me date. So meaningful and really makes you feel special as a little one. I can't wait to have kids and continue the tradition. Thanks Joanna!

Hollan said...

Oh my goodness! Toby is soo cute! I think that is such a sweet tradition and it's awesome you're starting when he's so young!

I love to spend time with my youngest brother (he's 9 now); we go to the movies, go for ice cream, try a new restaurant in town, or he will accompany me to the craft store and we'll spend the day making things :)

Meghan said...

my dad used to take me on dates...when I got older & asked him why, he said it was so I would know how I should be treated :)

Laurie Jones said...

My daughter is 13 and we've always done dates just the two of us, my husband travels a lot so she & I spend lots of time together doing fun things, picnics in the park, movie night in my bed, music downtown and even ballgames by ourselves and once a year I always take her out of school for the day for brunch and a day of beauty. I love being a mom and I love that I can honestly say she's one of my favorite people to spend time with!!

Anonymous said...

that's adooooooorable!
I don't have any kids, but I'm totally stealing the idea :P

and you guys look so stylish on your date :)

Iriska

Desiree Fawn said...

I'm a single mama, so my daughter and I have dates ALL the time. I love spending quality time with her like that... we usually go to our favourite cafe, or down to the river <3

Kate said...

Hi Joanna,
I laughed out loud reading this post. My little boy is 13 months old and you have inspired me to start going on little dates with him :)
There is nothing cuter than a scrummy little boy. How lucky are we?
I live in Brisbane, Australia by the way. I jokingly asked my husband whether we could rent your apartment in July - he just laughed at me! I would absolutely love to live in NYC - having said that, we are pretty lucky here too. Love your blog. Keep up the sensational work. Kate x

Kate said...

Hi Joanna,
I laughed out loud reading this post. My little boy is 13 months old and you have inspired me to start going on little dates with him :)
There is nothing cuter than a scrummy little boy. How lucky are we?
I live in Brisbane, Australia by the way. I jokingly asked my husband whether we could rent your apartment in July - he just laughed at me! I would absolutely love to live in NYC - having said that, we are pretty lucky here too. Love your blog. Keep up the sensational work. Kate x

Lisa Maria said...

That's such a sweet idea! All growing up, my dad would take each of us on "special dates" about once a month. We got to choose whatever we want. Sometimes that involved eating Target food for dinner, riding up and down the Embassy Suites glass elevators and seeing a movie. My dad worked and traveled for work a lot, so most of my bonding with him was done on those dates - they meant a lot.

CocoMay said...

I don't have any children, I'm only 27 [not young to most people, but I don't want kids til I'm 30+] but I do have 12 year old sister who I go on "sister dates" with once a month. She looks forward to it every time. Sometimes its dinner and a movie. Sometimes we get all dressed up, go out for a fancy dinner and go to the theatre. I'm ruining her for future boyfriends by making her high maintenance. I did the same with my other sister [now 21 and a new mom]. She told me the otherday that she secretly wishes we still had sister dates. So I'm surprising her with a trip to the arcade where we used to ride the carousel, play games and take tons of pics in the photobooth.

iLa said...

What a great idea and so special moment to share with your baby!
Ila

Julie K. said...

He looks just like you <3

Chrystina said...

So adorable. Quiche. I wish I knew classy words like that as a toddler. Really love this idea. And brunch is an awesome meal in general.

L.E.M. said...

this is super cute. reminds me of my coworker. She is a single mom at 40 years old and has a son who is 8yr old. She opened his own checking account and he has his own credit card and she says weekly they will go on a 'date' and he pays for their meal. teaching him how to be a real gentlman! I love it!

Nicole said...

Every Tuesday morning, my 1 1/2 year old girl and I cycle down to Granville Island Public Market (we live in Vancouver, BC), for the Toonie Crepes, a coffee, some pidgeon chasing, a walk about the market (we usually will buy some blueberries), and a lovely bike ride home. I love having one thing that can become a tradition:)

Nicole said...

Every Tuesday morning, my 1 1/2 year old girl and I cycle down to Granville Island Public Market (we live in Vancouver, BC), for the Toonie Crepes, a coffee, some pidgeon chasing, a walk about the market (we usually will buy some blueberries), and a lovely bike ride home. I love having one thing that can become a tradition:)

Mr Poppy and mole's confusion said...

i was reminded of this post yesterday:

there's a big age gap in my family and on monday my lovely sister turned 21.

when we were all giving her presents, our eleven year old brother (Buzz) disappeared and came back with an envelope.

none of us knew that in july he had won a voucher for lunch for 2 in a prize-draw competition at his school fair.

he decided secretly that he'd take her out for a lunch date to celebrate her birthday.

joy opened the envelope and found the winning prize-draw ticket, the menu and the voucher.

poor littlee buzz was a bit nervous, he didn't know if she'd want to go with him but of course she was delighted so yesterday they were all ready to go (buzz had already decided to ask for no salad when he ordered, and see if he could get extra fries in its place!) and joy noticed he'd put on a button-down shirt, which she commented on and was met with the suggestion that she might want to put on a dress!

they went and sat outside and had a lovely time, i'm told.

anyway, this got long, and i know he isn't quite a toddler anymore, but it reminded me of your dates with toby and made my heart smile :)

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