Saturday, November 29, 2008

Date Night

Maybe we're making the grade as parents but we're seriously blowing it in the life-balance department. We never go out anymore. You know--L and J. The same L and J who were married for seven years before they had children. Who dined at world-class restaurants. The same L & J who traveled the globe together. Indeed, the very same mad cap love birds who were known to fly to Vegas for the weekend on two hours notice.

But lately, we've been two passing ships in the night. And in the day. And every time in between.

So today, on a whim, I took the plunge and made an effort to find a baby sitter so that J and I could have a BADLY needed night out. Nothing fancy, nothing hifalutin. Just nice. C'mon...surely it can't be asking too much to go to a restaurant where there are no pictures on the menus? No Chochkies, Chille's, Fritters, Portillo's, Applebee's, Fudruckers, Tooters, TGI Fridays, Outback, Cheeseburgers in Paradise, WoJos, and for the love of all that is Chuck E. Cheese.

We had it all planned. A dinner at a small but very nice bistro. You know, the kind of place where you can wear a pair of jeans and a turtleneck but you actually get wine poured from a --bottle (not from the 440z mega box perched on the back counter next to the ketchup packets). Children's menus are non-existent. Alas, there isn't a single food photo anywhere on the menu! This mommy was giddy with anticipation at the thought of our big night out--sans the offspring, of course!

There was only one hitch in the giddy-up. In order to leave said progeny in the care of one whom is not their parent, there is a certain amount of prep work to be done. Such as...ensure that the emergency number list is up-to-date. Feed munchkins early with special take-out fare in order to stifle whining and last ditch protests about being excluded from parents' night out. Document night time routine for sitter. Pick up clutter to the extent that sitter is duped into believing that his employers are not the craziest ones on the block. This process includes removing J's tools, screws, nuts, and bolts from food preparation surfaces, wiping goo of unknown origin from several often used handles, locating at least ONE of the four cordless phones rumored to exist somewhere in the house, and rounding up anywhere from five to fifty-five toys strewn from the basement to the attic. Straighten my office nook so that it doesn't appear as though a lunatic resides in the home. Make sure dog is fed and has gone outside to do his thing. Feed cat. Replenish water. Brush cat as giant mat is forming on his back. Check on dog who is currently consuming shredded, rubber playground material in the back yard. Return dog to kennel. Clean rabbit cage and provide food and water. Notice that six-year old son and his friend have smashed pumpkins in the front yard and have spread dismembered, rotten pumpkin parts on walkway. Listen to husband's conniption about said disaster and aid in the decontamination process. Notice that baby sitter is due in ten minutes. JoJo needs help going potty, dishes are still stacked in the sink, the dog is barking in his kennel, presumably because shredded rubber is not digesting well. Meanwhile, a phone's muffled ring can be heard but its vector remains undetermined. While assisting JoJo with bathroom activity, overhear upset friend caterwaul on answering machine about how we never pick up the phone. "I can't imagine what you're doing! Pick up that phone. I know you're there. Hellloooooo."

Five minutes until baby sitter arrives. Run upstairs to shower/dress. Suddenly recall that E's fish tank needs a partial replenishment. Forget it. In this family, we're living proof that a little clutter never killed anybody. Sorry fish. Just swim around the chunks.

Manage to squeeze in a shower while J greets sitter. He saunters upstairs to shower and dress. Current time: 7:15 pm. While he cleans-up after his twelve hour yard work day, I decide that I can rest my eyes for a few minutes on our bed. Apparently, I made it look rather inviting. J throws on some sweats and decides to join know, "just until she wakes up".

I woke up alright. At 10:30 pm.

Embarrassed and groggy, I skulk downstairs. Pay the sitter, endure his comical smirk, lock the doors. Sigh deeply as I notice that all the toys that were stowed just four hours ago are now hanging from a few lamps, crammed under seat cushions, and piled in various corners in the family room. Jabba the Hut smiles sheepishly from his evil lair atop our fireplace mantle. Two Polly Pockets dangle on a string and are desperately hoping to be saved by Luke Skywalker. Oops. I mean Mr. Incredible. Just yesterday, Luke met an untimely demise. Compliments of the dog.

As far as the next date night--let's just say we'll squeeze one in by the time E's in high school.

Then again, maybe not.


Anonymous said...

This is the FUNNIEST POST you have ever written. I was laughing so hard. You fell ASLEEP??!!!! Ha ha ha ha ha ha. There is an Erma Bombeck in you yet! I totally get this one. Next time, drop the kids off somewhere for a sleepover and leave it at that. You FELL ASLEEP!!! ha ha ha ha ha. You kill me.

Catherine said...

Oh man, this is priceless! The sitter must have cracked up. Plan a date night for some time between December 20th and 30th. I'll be more than happy to watch the kids and you won't need to worry about cleaning goo of unknown origin because Lord knows I've seen worse in my own college apartment. I hope you at least got a good night's rest in.