Seven months ago Sandeep and I were getting ready to go out on a date in Kuala Lumpur. As we were walking out the door, we saw Ava all dressed up and Kayan with his shoes on. Ava announced, “Kayan and I are going on our own date to the playground.” Her interpretation of a date was spending time with someone she cared about doing fun stuff. That made us realize that kids need dates and special bonding sessions just like adults. Even though we love spending time as a family, Sandeep and I take opportunities to go on dates while we travel. We get some drinks, listen to music or catch some local theater, like this memorable clown play in Istanbul.
Ava and Kayan go on their own dates, often engaged in made up games.
We have found a lot of value in this one-on-one time and decided to implement dates with our kids. Ava and I had our first date today over haircuts. You may be familiar with Kayan’s haircuts around the world. Ava’s last trim was in New York but we haven’t felt the need for a cut since her hair just grows into tighter curls instead of gaining any length. Ava told the stylist she wanted a haircut like Kayan’s, but luckily I managed to convince her out of that. Her second request was, “Cut my hair straight.” Ava gets continuous compliments on her curls, but I suppose that she is like any girl in wanting what she doesn’t have. We enjoyed an hour of mom and daughter bonding, fussing over each other’s hair and talking about our trip with the stylists. As we walked back home Ava said, “When I get home I am going to write A-V-A so that Dada knows who I am, because I don’t look like Ava anymore.”
Without other distractions, Ava and I had great conversations. Now we’ll have to figure out date activities for other adult-kid combinations.