Of course you might have already guessed from the name what I am about to ramble here.
Yes. Date nights. No they aren’t the same once you have a baby. I have heard people saying, when the doctor gives you the six weeks okay card after birth, you can have your first date night. Well our six weeks turned six months when my husband finally realized we need a date night. Our anniversaries went by. My birthday came and went. We didn’t have time to celebrate. I don’t blame him completely because it’s always parenting O’ time on our clock after Yuvan arrived. The thought of spending some time ourselves just never comes up. Even the little time we get, we are like- lets sleep. Yes, we are very very sleep deprived!!
So, one evening my husband says, “I have been looking for a fine dining place.”
I knew what he’s trying to say so I asked, “Are you sure?”
He said, “Yes. Yuvan sleeps almost around 8pm most days . So we can reserve after that. He’ll be sleeping in his stroller and we can have a good time.”
He does sleep around that time but I was quite skeptical. I knew he was too. We didn’t opt for baby sitters because I am not quite comfortable leaving my 7 month old to one. Maybe an year or two later I will be okay but not now.
We skipped the reservation part because going out requires whole lot of preparation with a kid and we will never be able to reach there on time. Spontaneity just flies out of the window once you have a kid. Pre-motherhood I could just walk out with a lipstick anytime I wanted. Nowadays I feel it would be easy if I could pack the entire house. It kills me every time to think what if I forget something and he doesn’t stop wailing.
Coming back to our Date night. I should have known things wouldn’t go as planned. Because this is the day he decides he doesn’t want to sleep. He hates his stroller as well. He sits on my lap and grabs everything that’s on the table. He already dropped the menu card twice and the girl sitting beside picked it up. TWICE. Watching my kid wailing and grabbing everything, I could tell from their faces that the couple beside me were thinking, ‘Lord no!! We are not having kids.’ It looked like my boy was already ruining their night.
Trust me we couldn’t stop laughing. I thought it’s best if I could lull my kid to sleep. So that they could enjoy their night. We might be lucky too if he falls asleep. So I ask my husband to order something and wait for me until I return. The funny part comes here as I walk up towards the girls at the reception desk and ask for a lonely place somewhere in the restaurant and a chair . They stare at each other with sarcasm thinking ‘Who wants a lonely place and a chair!! Figuring out their looks I promptly say, I need it for my kid. They were really helpful though. They did manage to find me one. Probably no one in their history has asked for a quiet place in that restaurant at that busy hour. And that is definitely not a kid friendly place. So I try to put my kid to sleep in a far corner and my husband waits there all alone getting asked, “sir, are you waiting for someone?” He finished one round of appetizers and an entree platter while I finally succeed to put him to sleep after numerous attempts (took almost an hour). That is the first time after coming to the restaurant, I could sit peacefully with my husband to enjoy our dinner. We were so overjoyed watching our kid sleep that we ordered appetizers and entrees all over again. Our night turned out pretty good. Maybe we didn’t have a conventional date night but it was adventurous in a way and fun at the same time.
Realization: Long gone are the days of a relaxed date night. Saying hello to a life which consists of eye-ing my kid every now and then to behave in public and asking him stop throwing everything he gets his hands on. Wouldn’t change it for the world though. He is our world and he melts our heart every time with his toothless grins. But it’s also fun to have a few hours off and enjoy with the husband.
PS: Sometimes I think pre-parenthood date nights aren’t actually date nights. You are not allowed to call that because you can go out anytime you want without all the mommy-guilt. You understand the true meaning of a date night only after you have a baby.