It finally happened—me, my husband, a leisurely three hours complete with cocktails, appetizers, good wine, entrees and dessert. And the whole time, not a shrieking baby to be heard. After ten months, we finally, finally had an evening out without a pint-sized chaperone. Bliss.
Stop right there, because I know what you’re thinking: “That baby is 10 months old, and this is the first time she’s been away?!”
Ahem. I work from home, but I moonlight as a kickboxing instructor. So twice a week for 90 minutes since she was about 4 weeks old, I’ve had my much-needed me time. Well, me and a roomful of sweaty friends, but same difference.
But you’re technically right—this was actually only the second time that both my husband and I have left the baby at the same time. I’m her favorite, and I figured I was saving my mom or my in-laws from the trauma that comes from a screaming baby you can’t console. But then we got an invitation to our oldest son’s thank-you brunch in his second grade class. How could we refuse?
I left my napping baby and her big brother with my mother and hightailed it out the door. When I returned about an hour later, I got a full debriefing: She woke up just as I was leaving and cried for about 15 minutes. Then she got over it, and they all went upstairs to the playroom. She was happily eating yogurt when I got home, like it was no big. Immediately, I made reservations at an incredible local restaurant. Let’s keep a good thing going, right?
In deference to the witching hour, I made reservations for an early—like geriatric early—dinner. We got there before the dining room even opened (we were giddy with freedom, clearly), but guess what! It was no problem. We just sat in the lovely paneled bar and ordered appetizers and cocktails. No stressing about missing our “window” (parental code for the time limit on our kids’ good behavior), no scanning the menu for kid-friendly foods. When we finally moved to the dining room, we were seated in a cozy booth for two. For two! There were no emergency potty breaks, no one spilled their water, and no one crawled under the table. Just two grown-ups eating grown-up food with grown-up beverages and enjoying grown-up conversation.
When we got home, it was still early, but the baby was already asleep. The other three had their bags packed for a sleepover at their grandparents’ house. We waved them off and talked about watching a movie, but the allure of an early bedtime was too great. I guess all that freedom went to our heads.