Last night, Husband and I went on kind of an impromptu date. A phone call at 4:30 revealed that the baby-sitter was free, so I quick booked him before he got a better offer! After fielding no fewer than 42 phone calls at work from Boy #1 begging, pleading, whining, negotiating, yelling, and just plain grumbling at me for not letting him go to the movie with two friends and their family (because one friend is a girl and happens to be his “girlfriend” and he’s not even 11 yet), I was ready to head my car south and not stop until I hit Florida (or the Missouri border considering I’d have to get gas). But since Husband’s suggestion that we go out for the evening seemed a bit more responsible of me and a bit less traumatizing to my kids, I chose his option.
After work, I made a quick run to Dahl’s, feeling a tad bit guilty as I picked up frozen pizza and Cheese Puffs for my kids for supper knowing that Husband and I were going to eat good tonight, but my guilt was quickly overshadowed by the loud roar of my stomach growling, so I threw the pizzas and preservative-and-saturated-fat-filled snacks in my cart and checked out.
I picked up Jake, the favorite baby-sitter (you know, the one whose name got carved into my kitchen table
“mysteriously” by Boy #2 ) and we headed home. Does it say anything about how much I was looking forward to going when I tell you that I DIDN’T EVEN TAKE MY COAT OFF?
“Hi, kids! How was your day? Here’s some pizza! Be good for Jake. Love you! Bye!”
And we were off, like two teenagers who had just snuck out after curfew, amazed that we actually made it and feeling exhiliarated by our freedom!
“What do you want to do?” “I don’t know. What do YOU want to do?”
The possibilities were endless. A rockin’ Friday night in a Midwest suburb—it doesn’t GET more exciting that that!
“You wanna try that new Buffalo Wild Wings that just opened?”
It was settled…until we saw the parking lot at Buffalo Wild Wings, which was OUT OF CONTROL. Cars parked everywhere. Traffic jams. No empty spaces.
PEOPLE, it’s a BUFFALO WILD WINGS. I mean, maybe they were giving away free food or something, but if not, there was no reason for the mass chaos!
Needless to say, we didn’t stay.
Then it became a game of “Where do you want to eat?”
Husband kept saying, “Where do you want to eat? It’s up to you. I’ll go wherever.” And then when I suggested someplace: “Ok…so that’s where you want to go? No, that’s fine. Is that where we’re going then? Really, it’s fine! But that’s your choice then?”
Obviously, Bandana’s wasn’t tripping his trigger! So we decided to leave our little suburb for another suburb where all the swanky people go (Because we fit in sooo well with all the swankies!) and find someplace else to eat.
So after 15 minutes we made it to our destination—Jordan Creek Town Center. Now, if you’re not from around these parts, I’ll just tell you that it’s a newer area with a big mall, restaurants, shops, theaters that’s actually very pretty and inviting. But it’s also the “hot spot” for everyone in about a 60 mile radius, and last night was no exception. When we pulled into the Town Center to check out how busy some of the restaurants were, we were immediately struck by the fact that there was NO PLACE TO PARK. ANYWHERE. People were parked at nearby shops and literally RUNNING across the Town Center roads and parking lots, some even pushing strollers or pulling kids along behind them. Did I mention that it was about 20 DEGREES? I have no idea what was going on, but I hope it was some sort of special event and not just people running and shoving to eat at Joe’s Crab Shack.
So by now you’re probably guessing that I yelled, “Get us the *bleep* out here!” as Husband burned rubber to get us away from the crazy crowds of people. (Crowds make me a wee bit crazy.)
And I finally took the paper bag from my lips and breathed a sigh of relief as we pulled into O’Charleys. It was full, but I could handle the 15 minute wait as long as people weren’t RUNNING to get inside the restaurant.
As we waited in the lobby, I looked around and felt a pang of guilt that the majority of people were there with their kids. And we had left ours at home to eat cardboard with pizza sauce and cheese. But then I thought of how relaxing it was not to have to constantly remind the boys to quit fighting, stop yelling, quit picking their nose, don’t touch each other, try not to bump into the other people, stop arguing about which Pokemon is best in a battle, etc., etc. And the guilt magically vanished!
So we were seated (Aren’t you excited that you’re getting the play-by-play of our date? Anything for my peeps.), and Husband ordered a Sam Adams and I ordered Pepsi by default (no Coke products). I know, I am a PARTY ANIMAL! And then I ordered the most deeeelicious meal I’ve had since I can remember. This.
It was tender. It was cheesy. It was heaven in the form of beef. And I ate until I nearly got sick.
So, once I rolled out of O’Charley’s, we hit the hottest night spot in the Metro. That’s right, I’m talking about Toys R Us. Nothing like strolling through a toy store WITHOUT children. It’s so much more fun! No whining, no begging, well, unless you count when Husband insisted that he HAD to have Elmo Live, and I had to tell him what I always tell the boys: You’ll have to ask Santa for it.
We purchased a couple Christmas and birthday presents for
our kids my father-in-law and were on our way. Wow–8:30 already! Where did the evening go?
But we were feeling especially daring, so before we went home, we stopped for one more drink. From Starbucks. At Barnes & Noble. Yeah, I often think that I would LOVE to work at a Barnes & Noble, although I’m sure I’d get fired after the first day because I wouldn’t be able to walk past all of the books without picking them up and reading them, ripping them out of customers’ hands, saying, “Wow–that looks good!” It’s like a drug for me, all those books. I get a buzz just scanning all the covers, feeling the pages between my fingers. Oh, yeah…
*Ahem.* Where was I? Oh, yes. The bookstore. We bought a couple books for the boys, Husband pried a couple books out of my hands that I couldn’t bear to put back on the shelf myself, and we went on our merry way.
Wouldn’t you know that when we got home at 10:15, Boy #1 was the only one asleep? Boys 2 and 3 were still raring to go, and didn’t even fall asleep in the car when they rode with me to take Jake, the favorite baby-sitter, home.
But just those few hours of relaxation were enough for me to feel a bit more energized and patient with my boys. Today’s agenda? Cleaning the house (a standing chore) and then heading down to the grandparents’ house to see an afternoon matinee of Bolt (Seriously, I don’t know who’s more excited–me or the boys! I am going to try to squeeze into one of our leftover Pull-Ups because I am sure I’m going to pee my pants laughing at that hamster in the ball!) and then celebrating Papa’s birthday with Wii and pizza. Sounds look a good day, indeed!