Impromptu dates are the best, particularly for a planner like me. At the beginning of every week (or month or day!), I like to see what’s in store and I plan for it accordingly. There’s not much room for impromptu in our schedule, because the girls have to be picked up at a certain time from school. And they have their afternoon extra curricular activities that run routinely.
The last few weeks, I set up my schedule trying my best to work around the girls’ routines and to maximize our time together. It’s not always perfect and at times I’d have to leave for meetings and the girls were already home. Sam has been sensitive to this (it being a marked change from what we’re both used to – which is having me around all the time), and she’s complained quite loudly about the little time we’ve spent together. “Meeting AGAIN?! Ugh!” She groans. Sometimes she makes it hard for me to leave because she says she wants to come along and she’ll behave. Sometimes I’m already halfway out the door and she’s wearing her shoes trying to catch me. And when I come home she’s not quick to forgive. She reminds me that I left… again!
Needless to say the mom-guilt hit big time. So one morning on a whim, as I was on my way to fetch Sam from school, I decided to make other arrangements for Jamie’s pick-up on a whim. I also silently promised myself I’d make it up to HER soon (does the guilt ever end?!) but I digress. Thankfully that worked out, and so I was able to surprise Sam when I picked her up from school. “We’re going on a Mom-Sam date,” I said.
She gasped in the backseat with delight. The sweet big sister she is, she worried about Jamie but it quickly disappeared and I said that we’d see her after. She’d have to nap anyway.
The better part of that morning was my husband’s timing. He called just as we were pulling away from school and asked about our plans. As it turned out, he too had a few moments to spare and could join us for lunch. So we picked him up across the street and took him with us, much to Sam’s delight as well. She normally doesn’t get to see her dad in the middle of the day and by the time the evening comes around she and Jamie are constantly looking for him (again, not what she’s used to since he’d normally be home before dinner in Chapel Hill).
It was only then when I realized that we hadn’t really been out — just the three of us — pretty much since Jamie was born. Apart from a quick errand nearby (also only recently), I couldn’t remember a time that she had both our undivided attention in the last two and a half years. It was just how we’d operate, one of us was always with both of them, or we’d take one child each. As an eldest child myself, I realized just how big a transition these last 24 months have been for her. We’re quite lucky she is a trooper and a doting Ate and she’s taken everything better than expected.
We made our way to Podium Mall and before we could get to lunch, we swung by Bono Gelato. It was opening day for them, and owner Rea Gomez-Harrow was there to greet us. Much to Sam’s delight, she handed Sam her very own card for a free scoop of gelato! Sam was so excited she immediately went in line and said “I want the cioccolato!” – Which when I read it, said it was made of 70% Dark Chocolate. At 4 and a half, I already have a true chocolate lover on my hands.
We had to convince her to wait until after lunch, but we hung around for a while because Rea’s partner Zarah Manikan was in the parlor supervising some ice cream that was being made, and Sam wanted to see.
Eventually we did head on upstairs for a quick Xiao Long Bao lunch (also at Sam’s request. Rea was quite impressed at Sam’s sophisticated palette). We were later joined by fellow #SoMoms Cai and Kris, but by then Sam was ready to go back downstairs and claim her cioccolato.
My goodness did she love it. It was gone in minutes. She even tried the Brownie Fudge scoop that my husband and I (technically) shared. We loved that one too! I particularly love the wafer cone that goes with every cup. I usually like my scoop on a cone (because of the wafer), but motherhood just hasn’t allowed me that luxury. So this is literally me having my gelato on a cone, and eating it too!
Naturally, Sam didn’t want to go home. We had to drop of her dad at work and after we made it back just in time for her ballet, so it was the perfect intermission to our day and the break that we needed. Sam kept saying it was “a great day so far.” She did say too that she wished Jamie could have joined us, “because she’d like their Strawberry mom”. That’s true, Jamie would like their strawberry.
Like Sam, it was my very first time to try Bono that day. My brother and a few other friends have been raving about it for months, and I can totally understand why. I don’t know why I waited so long, but I’ve been craving for it since! Then again maybe it was meant to happen that Sam and I tried it together for the first time. It’s now our new “thing”.
And so of course, after our very next Mom-Sam impromptu date… guess where we went. 😉
For more of #TheRealScoop, follow Bono on Twitter and Instagram at @bonogelato and like them on Facebook! And by the way, Bono Delivers! Need I say more?!