Anatomy of a Date Night

Any married couple with children knows how elusive time alone with one's spouse can be. 

Some days Hubby and I barely say three words to each other. When he comes home from work, I hardly have time to give him a peck and ask about his day before three little boys bombard him, all clamoring for his attention.  We can forget having a conversation at the dinner table.  While I feed the baby and try to get Lil C to eat anything, Hubby is trying to keep our older two at the table.

After dinner there are clean-up and bedtime routines and a baby to put to bed. By the time the chaos dies down and everyone is asleep, Hubby and I are both so tired, so desperate for a little quiet time in our own heads, we often retire to separate rooms of the house to watch t.v. or work on our computers.

When we were first married, we made pact that we would go out on a real date every month. One month he would plan, the next I would and so on. It worked for a while, until we got busy with our twins, and then we moved across the country.

And then we had more kids. And then cancer. And then we were grieving. And then I was pregnant, again. You get the gist.

There is never going to be more time Life is never going to slow down.  Hubby always says, "It's just going to keep getting harder." The past eight years have taught me this is true.

But, regardless, I knew we needed a night out. So, I secured a babysitter and planned a nice dinner for Hubby and me at a trendy restaurant in an up-and-coming part of town. I even wore a dress! We were both looking forward to that much-needed alone time.

What follows is a break-down of our evening.

6:15 p.m. Forty-five minutes after our original reservation time, we are finally in the car. Forty-five minutes is the exact amount of time I spent on the phone with the Geek Squad trying to make an appointment. With a fussy baby on my hip.

6:40 p.m. We arrive at the restaurant, on time for a change without kids in tow, and are shown to a quiet table.

6:55 p.m. Hubby is drinking a margarita and I a mojito while we nosh on chips and guac, no double dipping.

7:00 - 7:45 p.m. We enjoy a delicious dinner and uninterrupted conversation. We remember what it feels like to be a couple. Unfortunately, our service is great, and dinner is over way too quickly. It is a beautiful winter evening, so we decide to walk to a dessert bar to kill some time. 

8:00 p.m. We share a decadent piece of chocolate cake and sip lattes as we people watch, a lovely stall tactic. We check our watches and wonder aloud if all the boys will be sleeping when we get home.

8:30 p.m. Feeling certain enough time has passed, we decide to head back home.

8:35 p.m. Mini make-out session in the parking garage elevator.

8:55 p.m. We are home, and two of the four boys are still awake. Hubby and I change clothes and cuddle with Knox and Slim, knowing a little Mom and Dad time will help put them to sleep faster.

9:15 p.m. Knox is asleep, but Slim is wide awake, and brings his Pillow Pet into our bedroom. We know what that means. Hubby gives him the standard line, "It's late, you need to get into your own bed and go to sleep."

9:16 p.m. Hubby and I are in bed together...reading - he a book on his IPad, me a blog on my laptop.  Hubby knows I will not engage in any sort of lovin' if there is even the slightest chance someone will walk in on us, and I will have to explain what we are doing.

9:22 p.m. Slim comes in to ask us, for the 50bajillionth time, if we can go to China sometime (for some reason he's obsessed with China right now). We say, "Go to bed!"

9:30 p.m. Slim is rummaging around in the hall closet. Hubby yells from our room, "Go to bed!!"

9:40 p.m. I go downstairs and make sure the kitchen is all cleaned up, and pump some breast milk for Baby E. I hear Slim's footsteps enter our bedroom above the kitchen and hear his and Hubby's muffled voices.

9:55 p.m. I return to our bedroom. Slim is in our bed cuddled up next to Hubby, fast asleep. I carry him to his own bed.

9:56 p.m. I return again to our room and power down my laptop.

9:59 p.m. I hear hysterical crying from the bathroom down the hall. It is Lil C, who didn't make it to the bathroom in time. His pajamas are soaked, as are the bathroom rugs. I wash him off and help him change his clothes. I put him back in bed with a kiss and take the wet clothes and rugs to the laundry room.

10:08 p.m. I crawl into bed, and Hubby sets aside his IPad.

10:09 p.m. I hear Baby E's cries through the baby monitor. Hubby sighs and says he's going to sleep.  We give each other a peck good night, both frustrated that our night didn't end as we'd hoped.

10:15 p.m. Our "date night" ends like every other night at our house. Three little boys are fast asleep in their beds. Hubby falls asleep alone in our king-sized bed. And I sit in the dim light of Baby E's room, nursing him until he falls back to sleep.

Oh well. There's always next month.

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