My husband and I will be married for eight years this summer. Those of you with children know that they make it difficult to have quality time with your spouse. I’m very fortunate that my mom takes my kids overnight, affording us the ability to have "date night". However, it seems the opportunity sometimes brings disaster. For example; two of my last date nights started with my four year old falling into a frozen pond (it was only three inches deep where he went through...but still) and my having to perform the Heimlich maneuver on my six year old. These are not the ideal conditions for me to try and focus on my husband. I spent the evenings re- living the events the whole time and thinking of the worst case scenario for each. All I could see was my six year gasping for air while I practically broke his ribs desperately trying to remove the lodged food item. What if I hadn’t been in the room when it happened? Then there was the vision of my other son falling in a pond that was over his head and being carried away under the ice by the current..."I'm sorry, what honey?...Were you saying something?"...
In order to establish why date night has become so important to us, I have to start with a really embarrassing story...
A few months back my husband and I were caught "in the act" by our six year son. Let me apologize in advance because this may trigger a painful memory for most of you. I will never forget the time that I walked in on my parents doing "the deed". Granted, at the time I wasn’t sure what I had just witnessed. I believe the same applies to my son. He has never asked about the birds and the bees, and I have adopted my own version of the policy "Don’t ask, Don’t tell". I feel really horrible about this though because I know there will come a time when he does learn the facts and this image will enter his mind again- and haunt him for the rest of his life. I can picture him coming home from school the first day of Sex Ed; wide eyed and despondent. Oh crap...he knows. "What’s up Buddy?"..."How was school today?" Unable to even look at me he’ll say "Umm, I think I’m going to go to my room". There he will stay, curled in the fetal position, trying like hell to make the image go away. Sorry pal, speaking from experience I know it will never go away. Poor kid.
Well, needless to say this "event" has made me very uncomfortable. It’s difficult to be intimate when I carry around the constant fear that I will be busted by my own kid. I’m also trying to save my youngest from a lifelong crippling image of his own.
Date nights that begin without potentially life threatening drama tend to have a common sequence of events. As with girl’s night out, I tend to go through hours of preparation. I’ll ask my husband his opinion on outfit and shoe selection usually to get an answer like "I don’t care, whatever you think". Alrighty then. "How should I wear my hair...up or down?" "Umm, whichever one takes less time to do" Super, thanks babe. At least we will be meeting other couples when we go out and the women there will tell me how great I look.
We usually meet our friends that have also had the good fortune of obtaining a babysitter out for some drinks and to see a band. After drinking and dancing all night we get in the car, I turn to my husband and say "I’m hungry". Let me add that the act of eating after a night of drinking always has the same result for me- instant coma. He doesn’t have to ask what I want because the answer is always the same; Taco Bell, of course!
My husband has a love/hate relationship with Taco Bell. Loves the food...hates my taco induced coma. Nevertheless, we find ourselves at the drive thru at 1am ordering "the usual". This consists of three items for me and sixteen for him. As we approach the window I notice the totals for the cars in front of us; $2.35, $4.65...then we get up there and the total is $34.50. WTF? How is that possible at an establishment where the average cost of a menu item is 89 cents? Oh well, I’d pay $50 for that beefy, crunchy deliciousness.
As soon as we get home we start digging in. My eyes grow heavier with each bite I take. As the darkness starts to take hold of me I hear my husband say something like "You look beautiful tonight", but it’s too late...I’m out.
I usually wake up around 4am, a half eaten taco on my lap, still sitting up on the couch. I brush the cheese that has spilled out of my taco off my lap and do the walk of shame up to my bedroom where my husband is asleep..."Curse you Taco Bell!!"
I have promised to make a conscience effort not to fall into the hands of my nemesis (Taco Bell) on our next date night. I will heed the words of my friends as they grab my face and look in my eyes on the way out of the bar saying "NO Taco Bell!...Taco Bell BAD!". I will go straight home with my hubby and show him how much I love him without any fear of being caught by our kids. When we are done I will jump up, get dressed and run for the Border!!