April Moments

Maybe, just maybe, telling the story is just as important as the story itself

Date night adventures

Like most things in life that are important, date nights are a lot of work. I know that may seem counterintuitive, but it’s true.

Mike and I celebrated eight years of marriage on Tuesday. He was working that night, so we planned to go out to dinner last night.

This means that we arranged for a babysitter. A couple of my friends have watched Elliot in the past, and I am truly grateful for their help. However, it wasn’t until three months ago that we finally found a real babysitter, who I will simply call “Babysitter.” (Creative, I know.) By “real” I mean someone we pay and can count on regularly to provide this service. This was a huge step for us – er, me. The only regret I have is that we waited three years to do it.

If you read last week’s blog, you know that I am a dead-liner who hates to clean. I always wait until the last minute to do so. Naturally, I spent hours Tuesday evening wiping down kitchen countertops, sweeping up crumbs, dusting tables, scrubbing toilets and rescuing lost toy pieces. I am happy to report that all the shapes have again made their home in the picnic basket shape sorter, and every Avenger has his respective weapon at the grasp.

Mike knows I stress myself out with the cleaning rush every time we have company. He made a good point Tuesday when he called, “You know Babysitter isn’t going to care, right?”

“I know, but I cannot let anyone see what our house really looks like.”

“It looks like a family lives in it. Happy anniversary, Honey.”

“Happy anniversary. I gotta clean some more.”

I also made sure the kids’ rooms looked presentable and stuffed a bunch of jackets, shoes and hockey equipment in the foyer closet downstairs. The tile floor in the entryway had very noticeable footprints all over it, but I let it go. Who has time for mopping? Besides, it was midnight by that point. I needed to get some sleep before my 1-year-old alarm clock named Cecilia woke me up at 6 a.m. Oh, and, you know, I had to be ready to go to work, with the ability to write comprehensible sentence and paragraphs all day long.

Before Babysitter arrived at 7 p.m. yesterday evening, we had to feed dinner to the kids and get them ready for bed. At about 6 p.m., I settled into the rocking chair with Cecilia, nursed her and put her in her crib. Of course, she started crying, which hardly ever happens at bedtime. I still had to get dressed and make sure not too much mascara and eyeliner had found their way onto the skin underneath my eyes. A little bit of comforting from Daddy and me, and she found her thumb. She whimpered every few minutes, but we knew she was on her way to dreamland. I got dressed and looked in the mirror. Operation touch-up-makeup-in-the-car would have to do.

Elliot was excited to build a ship out of blocks for Babysitter. She arrived a few minutes early, and I finally felt like Mike and I were ready to go. After hours of cleaning, stressing and primping, I could exhale and enjoy the evening. But first we had to stop at the ATM to get cash for Babysitter.

We had a lovely dinner, during which we discussed all kinds of grown-up stuff, like Pinot Noir, peppercorns and pudding. OK, pudding could’ve been kid talk, but this was savory corn pudding. Very adult conversation.

After our date, I took Babysitter to meet her mom at a halfway point between our house and theirs. When I told her where we went to dinner, she said she likes that restaurant. “They don’t have a lot of food I like, but they have really nice bathrooms,” she noted. “That’s how I rate a restaurant. By their restrooms.”

She may be only 15 years old, but she is a smart cookie. Sadly, I admitted to her, I did not use the restroom at the restaurant. I guess I was too busy enjoying the adult conversation. Maybe next time. A new reason to have Babysitter come over and go out to another dinner with my husband.

Originally published on ovparent.com.

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