In the last 24 hours Emily found out she had strep throat and Benson has an ear infection. They are both really sick so I decided to come home a little early from work and take Abigail on an extended daddy/daughter date to give Emily as much peace and quiet as possible. We drove around for a while trying to decide on what restaurant to go to and Abigail convinced me that Wendy's chicken nuggets would be the "perfect meal." Most of the conversation centered around kindergarten politics and the use of frostys as an alternative to ketchup for dipping french fries.
After dinner we went to the mall to see Santa Claus and look for gift ideas for Benson and Emily. It was awesome. I just let Abigail go wherever she wanted (except for when she wanted to go into Victoria's Secret), and I let her spend as much time as she wanted pondering over different items. We spent about an hour in Claire's where she picked out many potential gifts for Emily. If Emily were a five year old girl Abigail would have picked out a veritable gold mine of Christmas gifts for her. We also went to a kid's clothing store and a toy store to think about what we could get Benson. Once again, if Benson were a five year old girl Abigail would have found some really good items! Needless to say, our trip to the mall was far more revealing about what Abigail wanted than what Emily or Benson would have wanted, but it sure was fun listening to her sincerity about how much Emily and Benson would love the items she found.
We spent about two hours walking around different stores in the mall and near the very end as we were finally making it to where Santa was Abigail said, "Do you ever feel like your legs are going to break?" ...Now before you feel bad for Abby, please understand that she said this to me while she was skipping backwards with a very big smile on her face! In response to her question I chuckled and said, "Yes. Yes I do!" She then proceeded to run ahead of me to spend more little more time looking at a water fountain while I caught up. She is a hard working little shopper!
After the visit with Santa we went home and Abigail stayed as quiet as she could while getting ready for bed so she wouldn't wake Emily or Benson up. Recently she has wanted me to sing her songs from the Hymn book as part of her bedtime routine. It has created many moments for me to teach her about the content of the songs. She fell asleep very quickly, which is pretty rare. It was a good sign that the daddy daughter date was a success!
With my first year here at UNI and my calling at church and Abigail now being in school it has been harder to find the same amount of time I used to spend with my daughter. It's hard say just how much I enjoyed being able to spend the time with her tonight.
By the way, Emily was able to take advantage of the time we were gone. She dropped everything and went straight to bed with Benson as soon as we left. Both are on antibiotics and will be hopefully feeling better soon.