Two weeks ago, Baby J took a bottle. This small event has changed my entire life. After seven months of being his only source of food. Of not being able to leave the house for more than two hours before rushing back to find him angrily staging a hunger strike. Ellis saying, “I fink he wants some milks.” And Dave calling me with a strained voice, “Hey, how’s, um, grocery shopping? Goooooood?’ While wailing commences in the background. Seven months of this and now…
It feels silly to complain. I worked really hard to make breastfeeding work. E gave up the boob at three months and I was determined to make it work with JQ. So, determined that when my mom came to visit a week after the baby was born she walked in to find me on the floor crying without a shirt on bleeding out of my nipples. I had mastitis. My mom made me go to the doctor and my friend Megan rushed some antibacterial cream over and we made it work. And it was a little too effective. Kid’s can’t win. They take a bottle, I cry because breastfeeding didn’t work. Then, they take the boob and I’m all take the bottle you little terrorist! Welcome to the rest of your life, kids. The bar always moves. It’s never good enough! Just ask your father.
The first thing we did when it became apparent that this bottle thing wasn’t a fluke was to book a sitter. Because we could go out. We hadn’t been on a date since three weeks before Jude was born and we went to Texas Roadhouse. That date ended with me crying because Dave wasn’t listening to me. I mean, he was listening, but was he listening? In my defense, I was approximately a million months pregnant and it was July and even my earlobes were sweating. Nothing could have gone right. Just throw the lady some steak and run.
But a date! It was time!
Both Dave and I were ready for a meal where we didn’t get yelled at for making one person eat their food and for not feeding the other person fast enough. And it would be great to have a conversation that wasn’t about the relative merits of eating your broccoli and to stop making your bread dance on the table or SIT IN TIME OUT!
So, Saturday night. We got dressed and I wore a shirt that was not made for nursing.
Then, we told Ellis to behave for the babysitter and she gave us this look that said, “I’ll do what I want!”
So, we turned on a movie, handed the baby off and left. At first, we were elated.
Out. Together. Without the kids.
But then, I kept checking my phone. Perhaps it was going to ring and I wouldn’t notice. I turned up the volume. Checked the clock. It was getting close to bedtime. Surely, the meltdown would happen. Maybe it was time to check the phone again.
And then in the awkward silences that commenced, I tried to Tweet. And it went down a little like this.
Dave is not an aggressive man. But he wasn’t spending $10/hour on a babysitter so I could Tweet pictures of a salad. Fair enough
Then, we tried talking like adults while we waited for our table. Dave said something about the Ukraine and I think I responded like this.
When conversation stagnated I pulled out my phone again. You know. Just in case. But there were no messages, which meant either that the citizens revolted and put the baby sitter’s head on a spike to warn future childcare workers. Or they must be sleeping. Either way, it wasn’t my problem.
When the menu came, I decided to order a drink. A real one from the adult menu. And maybe an appetizer. Things were getting wild.
We only talked about the kids briefly. It’s nice to be able to circle the wagons. And I was shocked at how much Dave and I had in common. We had similar interests and values. Oh, hey! You have two kids? I have two kids as well! What a coincidence!
Then, our food came and we enjoyed it immensely. Maybe it wasn’t that great. But not being screamed at is the best spice of all.
We got home and the kids were in bed fast asleep. Boom. Babysitters. Get yourself one. They are amazing.
It was 10pm and Dave suggested watching “House of Cards” just to make the night even better and I remembered why I married this man. He loves eating steak and evil protagonists too! We should do this more often.