My favorite book back in the day was "A Day Downtown With Daddy." Yet, through more than five years and three grandchildren, I had never taken one of them for an outing all by myself. Usually, when I see the grandkids I am with Barb. After all, she has the car seats in her car and has her assigned babysitting days. Baba is just along for the ride and to enjoy where ever we are headed. It's a great grandfather perk.
But this Sunday was different. Barb and I were watching the girls while Mike and Becca were making a condolence call. Barb is still recovering from her surgery (she is doing great, thank you) and I desperately needed to get to the Nordstroms store in Old Orchard to pick up some new slacks, altered to fit my new, svelte body. We decided to split up the girls. Barb could stay home while N napped, and I would take H with me to pick up my new wardrobe.
We allowed the girls a little screen time, and then H and I made our departure--my first Baba - Grandchild one-on-one! H is an old pro at getting into a car booster seat, instructing me on which straps went where, and how to check that she was tightly in place.
We rode for a few moments in silence, and then H asked, "Baba--do you have Kids-Bop?"
"Nope," I said.
"How about the Beatles station?"
"Nope," I said again.
"Your Mommy and Daddy have something called Satellite Radio in their cars. That gets lots of stations. I don't have that."
I started asking about kindergarten and Sunday school, but H is less of a chatterbox than her younger sister, so the car soon became quiet again, the only sound the crunch of the pretzels H was enjoying.
Driving into Old Orchard, H did have an opinion about parking, wanting to take the garage ramp to the upper floors. I opted for ground level, right by the Nordstrom's entrance. Picking up my slacks was a breeze, and it was a joy holding H's hand as we walked through the store.
A treat was definitely in order--we found a coffee bar that served hot chocolate, kid's temperature, with whipped cream and with a spritz of chocolate on the top. Perfect! H's booster seat even had a cup holder for her to set her drink in on the ride home. No spills in Baba's car.
We looped back down the Edens Expressway and made it home just an hour after we had left, in plenty of time to wake N from her nap. It wasn't quite a day downtown, but it made me feel good all the same. And I am going to make sure there are lots more one-on-one times ahead.
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Filed under: life style