Last night my husband and I went out for dinner. To a restaurant. Alone. A Date. We go out approximately once a year. There are two main reasons for this. First, my husband is rarely home. Second, I find that the hours between school and bed are precious ones with the children. It is the only chance I have to connect with them in their busy days. That being said, we left the kids in charge (and fed) and went out for the evening.
My husband and I enjoyed a leisurely meal complete with quiet, intelligent (I can dream, can’t I?), adult conversation. As when we were dating, we could focus our full attention on each other. It was a lovely, idyllic cocoon. After dinner, we went for a short stroll, taking the long way back to the car. About a block from the car, my cell phone rang – and our bubble burst.
Daughter 1: Hi. When are you coming home?
Me: Why? Does your friend need a ride home?
Daughter 1: No, she went home. I’m just wondering.
Me: (as I pause to think, I hear son 2 in the background) Is son 2 still awake?
Daughter 1: (exasperated) Yes. I asked daughter 2 to tuck him in but she wouldn’t. She said she didn’t want to. Wait a minute, son 2 wants to talk to you.
Son 2: Hello (said sadly through clenched teeth)
Me: Hi son 2. What’s up?
Son 2: Everyone is being so annoying! (translation: they are all ignoring me and I miss you)
Me: We are coming home soon.
Son 2: Daughter 2 has a piece of glass in her foot.
Me: What? How did she get glass in her foot?
Son 2: I don’t know. (yelping in the background) Here, she wants to talk to you.
Me: What happened?
Daughter 2: (bursts into tears) I got glass in my foot! Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!
Me: Can you see it?
Daughter 2: (Still crying) what? Oh, daughter 1 took it out.
Me: Go and wash it in the bathtub.
Daughter 2: That’s what I was doing.
Me: Ok. We’ll be home soon.
By now we are in the car driving home. About 3 minutes from home the phone rings again.
Me: Hello. (I don’t know exactly what was going on but it sounded like they each had a phone in their hands. I hear ny baby crying, screaming, actually.)
Son 1: Ezzy is really cranky.
Me: We are 3 minutes away.
Son 1: Ok. Do you want to talk to him? (he holds the phone to the screaming baby.)
Me: (very chirpy) Hi. Hi Ezzy! (sudden quiet in the background) Hi! Do you want to say hi to Ima?
Me: Hi Ezzy.
Ezzy: Hi. Hi.
They are really all very competent, sweet kids. They really do not like when we go out at night. But they were fine – and they know they can do it, however annoying it may be.