Date Night with Henry

>> Saturday, September 26, 2015

Last night, I had a "date night" with just Henry. Before having kids, I heard of parents having once a week/month "date nights" with their kids, and I didn't think much of it. I thought it was cute, but that's about it. But now, being the stay-at-home parent all summer and for all but about 9 hours a week, I TOTALLY GET IT. There's a good need for 1-on-1 "date nights."

I realized it on Wednesday, before there was any thought of a night out with Henry. On Wednesday, Pharmie didn't work, and she took Charlie to his 15-month check-up (and shots). So it was just me (not me AND Charlie) getting Henry from pre-school. Right away on the car ride back home, the mood was different. It wasn't about keeping Charlie content; Henry and I could just chat about anything. (Sure, I'm chatting with a 4-year-old, so we weren't talking politics or the Pope's visit to the US, but the conversation was STILL more "mature" than when I'm with both boys.) And when we got home, we could do WHATEVER we wanted: we checked the veggie garden, played in the sandbox (with water, which Henry doesn't get to do much when Charlie's around), and even went to the front yard to weed the garden in the blvd (something I can't do with Charlie wobbling around). Through all of this, I was able to really "connect" more with Henry. That spurred the thought of an upcoming "date night."

We just got a "Chinook Book" coupon book from a friend at the Y, so we planned on using some coupons out of there. The plan was to use a free Metro Transit pass to take the light rail to the Mall of America, and then use a coupon to go to Sea Life Aquarium in the mall. Henry was pumped.

Before going, I set out Charlie's bottle and Mama's "bottle" for when Charlie got put to bed.

Running up the escalator to the light rail station.

On our 25 minute train ride to the mall! Henry loved it. We got to see a plane take off right over
us as we went past the airport! (His only other time on the light rail was to go see fireworks in July.)

Running from the trains at the light rail stop at the mall.

We made it down to Sea Life Aquarium about 45 minutes before it closed, but that was enough time. Henry didn't want to touch the starfish or sting rays in the tanks we could put our hands into, but he liked some of the upcoming tanks, like the jellyfish and seahorses:

Counting seahorses.

Running to see the sharks in the tunnels!



Right on top of us!

Needless to say, he loved it.

Freshwater tanks.

This was Henry's face as he realized there were 2 alligators just 5 feet in front of his face!

Pizza upstairs after seeing the fish.

... and a frog cookie for dessert.

We ended with a run-through of Legoland. This is a wall of different containers
of Lego blocks that you can mix-and-match to fill a tub.

He looks bored, but he wanted us to sit on either side of the train station to see
if the train would come in on his tracks or my tracks first. I won.

A cozy selfie on the ride back home (20 minutes AFTER he's usually in bed with lights out!).

The last photo of the night: Henry stole my phone and took 10 selfies like this.

Back with a final training update soon, because the "Loony Challenge" is NEXT WEEKEND!

(Check out my final "Friday Funny" from yesterday to see guys doing not-smart things at the gym.)


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