Date Nights (When You Have Young Children)

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When you have small children you don’t get very many date nights. Maybe you do if you’re super rich and have a staff of nannies at your disposal. I can picture it. I imagine you can just say “I need a break from watching my chef cook our meals. Let’s go pay someone else to cook our meals.” and you just do it.

Well that’s not how the Shoemakers roll.

By the time we decide it’s time for a date night it’s usually been months since our last one. One of us (me) has had a complete and total breakdown as a direct result of cooking 2-3 meals a day for 48 consecutive days, wiping 3,429 bottoms, and being deprived of all conversation with grown ups.

We’ve also probably had ten vague discussions about going on a date and each time ruled it out because we’ve calculated the price of a sitter, the price of our meals and drinks, and the price of movie tickets. It almost always leads to the conclusion that it isn’t worth $400 for us to get away for 4 hours.

But occasionally, after the above mentioned breakdown, we throw caution to the wind and make it happen.

These date nights generally go the same way every time.

We get in the car and start googling movie times. Why we haven’t done this prior to the beginning of our date night is beyond me. One of us says “I almost looked up movies this morning”. But we didn’t.

I announce that I’m starving.

We conclude that we don’t have time to do dinner prior to a movie and because I am (always) hungry we cannot possibly do dinner after a movie.

We discuss how movie times are always ridiculous. Why must they be at 7 PM and 9 PM? Why can’t they be at 8 PM so we can do a 6 PM dinner? Don’t the planners of movie times have children? Don’t they understand that you can’t possibly get out of the house before 5:30 which means dinner cannot be earlier than 6:00? Do they not realize that when you have small children the idea of eating a late dinner is absolutely absurd because at least one child will wake you up before 6 AM so sleeping in is never a possibility? No, I will not be ordering my steak (which I’m obviously going to be having) at 9:00.

We go to dinner and rule out going to the movies.

We eat.

We talk.

I feel like an adult.

I check my phone to see if the sitter has texted.

I tell my husband to get off his phone.

I check my phone again to see if the sitter has texted.

I again tell my husband to get off his phone.

We talk some more and can’t help discussing the kids because they are so funny.

We take a photo of us having fun and send it to our parents and sisters.

We drink. I only have one cocktail because I know I will have to drive.

I announce I’ll be having a dessert.

I eat the dessert and wish I had on stretchy pants.

I want a second cocktail but don’t have one because I will still have to be the driver. I settle for a fancy coffee.

I only drink half of my coffee because I realize that nobody makes a good coffee like I do.

I again wish I had on stretchy pants.

We drive home and discuss how we wish we had time for a movie.

We pay the sitter. I finally put on my stretchy pants. Relief.

I wake up at 5:30 AM. I make a really good cup of coffee and snuggle up with the toddler for some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. It’s as close as I’m going to get to a movie for the next four years.