What a great weekend. Miss M and I had so much fun on our playdates, going to the Big Apple Circus, and just spending time together. I'm lucky in that while she's an independent little thing, she always comes in for the spontaneous hug and loves to sit in Daddy's lap while relaxing, reading, or watching TV. Lots and lots of cuddle time. Savor it while it's there, right?
It was raining a good part of the weekend in NYC, so we had to be creative in our play. We had a playdate Saturday morning and visited the playroom in our building (SO lucky to have one of those), but for the most part my little one just wanted Daddy and Me time. Who am I to argue, right?
As you saw in my last post, we are right in the middle of the Princess phase. She has more princess gowns than I can count (grandparents and her nannies are great for that), so she wears one of them almost at all times. Lately, she's started asking for a castle to go a long with her shiny princess shoes and gown. For those of you in NYC, you get the dilemma already but for those of you outside, I'll explain:
Cost of living here is RIDICULOUS. Having grown up in the South, I have pretty good perspective. For example, my sister and brother in law live in a 4 bed, 3 bath giant house in SC on over 1 acre for about 1/2 the cost of a studio apartment in Manhattan. True, you do get paid more in NYC, but not that much more. You need to learn to adjust to MUCH smaller spaces. So when my little one asked for a castle, my first thought was "Christmas!" and I began thinking of those play castles she could crawl around in and use as her little private playhouse. Problem is, I have very little play space left in our little apartment.
So, first I went old school. Remember the "forts" you made as a kid by putting two chairs back to back and throwing a sheet over them? Credit Daddy for pulling out an oldie but goodie from the deep folds of my every forgetful brain. It was fun for a bit, but 3 year old don't stop moving, climbing, and fidgeting so the sheet kept coming off. Our princess was starting to get upset. Now, Daddy is a fairly experience backpacker with a couple of good tents stashed away, so I thought, "Hmmmm...setting up one of those might be fun for her!" Again though, floorspace is at a premium and even my one man tent would take up most of our space, plus those things are NOT cheap, and I could see my monkey breaking a tent pole and Daddy having no one to blame but himself.
Then, EUREKA! I had forgetten that when she was 9 months old, her mother and I took her to the beach for a week and had bought one of those little pop up sun shelter tents for her...and that I had gotten custody of it! I set it up in front of the couch, put some pillows in it, her giant teddy bear, and VOILA! a castle fit for a princess! She was THRILLED and crawled in with her doggie and laid there giggling with excitement. I wanted to give her space though as it was her new little place, so I sat on the couch behind her as she watched Pooh Bear and sang to herself.
After a few minutes she called out "Daddy, you ok?" What a sweetie. "Yes baby girl, I'm ok. How are you?" "I ok Daddy. Daddy come here?" with her little face plastered against the mesh window facing me. An invitation from my best girl! "Of course baby, here comes Daddy!". Jumping out of my skin with excitement, I crawled into the tent. My Princess gave me a big hug and then said "Daddy, you're here! Here Daddy, you share pillow and blanket." My heart melted. There we laid there for the next hour watching Winnie the Pooh (my all time favorite) and cuddling. Every once in a while she's just look at me and giggle "Daddy!" and give me one of those spontaneous hugs. I am the luckiest man on the planet.
Everytime we get together I think "this has to be the best moment I've had with her," and then she tops it. I know there will be a ton more of these moments over the years, some of which I may sadly forget. This one, however, has now been documented and burned into my memory. I really think it was the happiest hour I've ever had. :)