Monday, September 19, 2011

Table for Three, Please

I recently took on another day at work, so that I can take Little Diva and Little Dude to school on the days they are with me and so that I can support the kids just a little bit more comfortably on my own. This was a very tough decision for me, but a very necessary decision for both reasons. I had a tough time discussing this with the kids, since they enjoy "Mommy Day" so much. I've already given up my kids fifty percent of the time I previously had them ... and now I was given up more time. They were sad with the change in our schedule and our routine, but both were very understanding of our life changes. I told them both that it simply makes the time that the three of us have together even that much more special.

I rarely take my kids out to a restaurant, because: 1) sometimes the stress of the situation isn't worth it, and 2) we are on a pretty tight budget these days. Our outtings usually consist of free family-friendly events, using using coupons, or packing picnics and our own snacks.

But last week, I decided to venture out with the kids on my own and take them out for lunch. There was a festival going in Wisconsin Dells and I figured that the free window shopping, parade and free candy offset the cost of lunch. And, after tossing our stroller in the garabage earlier in the week because of Little Dude's ability to now hold hands and walk responsibly (like he's Line Leader at school) through crowds, gave me a little bit of confidence to tackle a sit down meal with them. After going over our option in the Marathon Mommy Minivan, they decided to go to a local mexican joint ... obviously because of the free chips and salsa.

After VERY slow service (so much so that Little Diva kept asking why the waitress still hadn't taken our drink order, and encouraged me to go get the hostess), we survived a nice meal together filled with chips and salsa, coloring, taking some posed photos, and sharing a few out-of-the-blue "I love you's" (which are the absolute BEST!) ... we survived ... and enjoyed it ... and I look forward to taking them out on my own again, when we budget for it.

We then headed out on foot and walked along the new Riverwalk, which the kids really loved. We got some great photos, a nice family walk in, and found some nice picnic spots that we can enjoy sometime next summer.

After spectating the parade, doing some window shopping and digging through my purse for as many quarters as I could find to plug the cheap riding toys at the Outlet Mall, we headed home. I realized on our drive home, that as many times as the kids saw something that they wanted, and I said that they couldn't get any special treats or prizes today, they never threw a fit, never begged and never asked why. They know. It is the quality time spent together that makes it special. Not the THINGS. The experience of doing things together, as our new family of three ... him, her and me.


  1. So nice to hear you had a good outing!! :) Cuties!

  2. I am sure it is a real challenge, but you're handling it well. Being honest with kids makes a big difference.

    I'm glad you had a good dining experience and weekend with the kids.

  3. I'm glad you had such a great day out with them. I know it can be a challenge to have to tell them "no" when there are things they want, and it sounds like it was handled superbly by all of you. :)

  4. Sounds like a fabulous outing!!!