Adventure Dates, part two

Halle’s Adventure Date w/Mama

This weekend, I was supposed to attend the monthly local Starfleet meeting/annual Winter Holiday Party.

Well, Halle was just going to have to come along.  Start ’em young, that’s what I say!  I’ll have her spouting Spockian catch phrases in no time at all!  By the time she’s 7, she’ll be proudly wearing her own science officer’s uniform to conventions!

Ahh…a mama can only dream…

Anyhoo, when we first set foot in the home of the crewmember who was hosting, we encountered a small quadruped – a scottish westland terrier.  It was a cute little pooch, very used to small children and it wanted SO MUCH to be Halle’s friend.

Halle, however, felt that being sniffed at was not on her “fun” list and started shrieking.  Eventually our hostess and I got her into a lively game of catch the ball with the dog, and after that they were the bestest buddies.

While Halle rampaged with her newfound four-footed friend, I settled in to the end of the meeting, with Halle constantly running in and giving me an update on all the action – at the top of her lungs.  I wasn’t too worried when she was out of sight – I could hear her just fine – “Come here doggie!!  I want to play more!!”

I was a bit embarrassed, but everyone else assured me that it was all fine, that they had been through this with another member’s child a couple of years ago.

Star Trek people are SWELL!!!

Eventually Halle wore the dog out and it tried to find a peaceful place to nap – to no avail.  Halle still wanted to play!  So our hostess took pity on the long-suffering canine and hid it away in one of the bedrooms, where it promptly sought blissful unconsciousness.

After a potty break and a good hand-washing, she decided that she didn’t want any of the tasty food on the buffet table.  She preferred the appetizer table – and quickly decimated the cheese supply, keeping a careful distance from the jalepeno jack cheese.  A few peeled tangerines and a juice box rounded out her meal.

Then, as the dog was still in hiding, Halle chose her next “bestest buddy” – our C.O. (That’s Starfleet lingo for Commanding Officer), Dave.  She just plopped herself right onto the command staff sofa and leaned into him, gazing up at him with a happy smile.

Dave was a little surprised at this, but took it with good grace.  Later, at home I asked Halle why she liked Dave so much and she said “He feels like part of my family.”

Everyone else thought it was pretty cute, too.

Then came desserts – and surprisingly after just a bite or two of cake, Halle handed it off to me and said it was too sweet for her.  (Yes!!  The years of protecting her tastebuds from overly sweet foods and junkfoods have paid off!)  She settled for another tangerine and a couple of small chocolates.

Somewhere in all of that, she also insisted I go into an empty room with her and read her the Berenstain Bears book on Strangers.

 After a very nice meal, there was more socializing, but Halle chose to hang out in the kitchen with our hostess, her daughter Amy and Amy’s friend.  The bonus was that Amy’s friend worked in a Daycare center, and Amy had also worked in one of those, so they were both comfortable with small children.

As the ladies chatted, Halle sat with them and drew pictures.  They were pretty impressed when she started printing her own name and her sister’s name so neatly – and legibly – on the pictures.

At one point, our hostess’s son came home and no sooner had he set foot in the kitchen, than Halle ran over and gave him a hug!  (She remarked later that he reminded her of one of her teddy bears.)

Well, it was soon time to go, so we said our goodbyes and headed out.

Then the real fun began:

The majority of houses in that neighborhood had extravagant light displays!

We drove around oo-ing and ah-ing and Halle was beside herself with joy at the beautiful sights!

Zanna’s Adventure Date w/Daddy

Zanna and her daddy went to the playground for awhile, then they headed over to the library for some more fun.  Zanna played with the toys there, colored some pictures, and at some point there was a concert performance.

It wasn’t really to Zanna’s taste, so she requested that they leave.  After that, Mike took her to the indoor play area at the mall.  When Zanna said she was hungry, they had a small snack, then headed home.  Along the way, Mike noticed a Presbyterian church was having a Christmas music concert, so they pulled in there and both enjoyed it greatly.

Towards the end Zanna got a little restless so they went home, had some lasagna for dinner, and then Halle and I got there just in time for bedtime!

As we were getting the PJ’s on the girls, they both asked if we would be doing Adventure dates again and switching teams.  We assured them that we most certainly would be doing this as a regular thing!

One of the things that Mike and I have noticed is that when we’re paired up with only one child that it is much easier to be spontaneous, the child is much more manageable, and our nerves don’t get frayed nearly as much!  Also the girls really thrive on having someone’s full attention on them, versus having to compete with sister at the top of their lungs!

Rather than an exercise in torturing a parent, the outings are actually fun for everyone!  It’s really improved the quality of our bond with the girls, and we find it easier to interact with them during the week as well!

I highly recommend it!

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