It was Tuesday.
Earlier in the day I had been looking forward to it, but now?
Now I was tired.
Both kids had been up multiple times the night before and neither had napped during the day. I was scrambling to bath the kids, tidy the house, and make dinner before my mother-in-law arrived to babysit.
Six years ago I would have spent hours getting ready – picking out a new outfit, doing my hair and make-up, painting my nails – but now I budget approximately fifteen minutes for self-beautification.
I glanced at my watch. Nathan was due home any minute, so it was probably time to start getting ready. I parked the kids in front of the TV with some cheerios and disappeared into my room. The dinner theatre was “business casual”. I knew what I wanted to wear, the question was whether or not it would fit.
Or whether or not it was clean.
It had been almost two years since I had worn that particular outfit, back in my pre-Ellie days, and it was covered in more dust than a quick spot clean could get rid of. I sighed. Now what? I finally settled on a skirt and top and plugged in my flat iron to do my hair. I heard wailing from the living room.
“TOPHER! What did you do to Ellie?”
“Nothing, Mommy!” was his response.
“Then why is she crying?”
“Oh. Well. I accidentally punched her in the head.”
Accidentally is Topher’s new favourite word. I don’t think he quite understands what it means …
I snuggled Ellie for a few minutes until she was calm and I was reasonably sure she didn’t have a concussion, then let her empty the bathroom cabinet while I finished my hair and make-up.
Nathan arrived home. “DADDY! DADDY!” the kids yelled, racing to the front door for hugs and wrestling and tickles.
I stirred dinner, which I had completely forgotten about while I was getting ready, and which was by then completely stuck to the bottom of the pan.
The doorbell rang. “GRANDMA’S HERE!” I scurried around, grabbing whatever random out of place items I could find and throwing them in our room, which has essentially become a storage room for anything that doesn’t really have another home. We keep the door closed whenever we have company so people think we’re super tidy even though we’re really not.
We said our goodbyes to two sobbing kids (Seriously. We need to get out more!) – and we were off.
We had an hour before the theatre opened and we could pick up our tickets, so we sat in the lobby and talked.
About the kids.
Once we were inside, we found our table, then filled our plates at the buffet.
I filled mine with things that would be easy to share with the kids before I remembered that I didn’t have to. I didn’t have to take spaghetti and meatballs or chicken fingers and fries – but I took those things anyway.
Nathan took extra cookies to bring home to Topher.
While we ate, we talked.
We laughed about the lame jokes we were sure Topher was telling Grandma. “What kind of socks does a bear wear?” “I don’t know, what kind?” “A bear doesn’t wear socks, silly! He has BEAR FEET!”
A former co-worker of Nathan’s passed our table and stopped to chat. Nathan pulled out his iPhone to show him pictures of (what else?) the kids.
The lights dimmed and the show started. We both enjoyed it, but when the lights went up for intermission we both checked the time: Nine o’ clock. Bedtime.
We debated whether or not to stay for the rest of the show.
“It’s date night!” Nathan finally declared. “I’m on a hot date with my wife and we’re going to stay for the whole thing!”
So we filled our plates with more dessert to sustain us through the rest of the show, making sure to take extra for the kids.
The evening ended at eleven o’clock. We both crawled into bed, exhausted.
“That was a good date,” Nathan mumbled, drifting off to sleep.
“Mmmhmm,” I agreed, snuggling under the warm covers.
Then I heard the door open.
I’m sure I groaned then, but looking back, it was the perfect ending to a perfect date night.
Life looks a little different now that we have kids, marriage looks a little different now that we have kids, and date night looks a little different now that we have kids – but I wouldn’t change any of it.
Well, except maybe the spaghetti and chicken fingers. That herb crusted prime rib looked awfully good …