Sunday, October 5, 2008

Date night disasters

So, last night was date night. I almost called it off because we've spent a lot of money lately and I felt like I was pretty tired anyway, but then we decided to push through and go. We drove towards Michigan Avenue, because with the cold weather coming I start to feel holiday-ish and thought we could walk around stores a little. And because just driving to a place like this makes me feel like I've been out and "on a real date" even if I don't buy anything.

But alas, after 45 minutes we still couldn't find a parking spot so we went down to the south loop to go to a Barnes & Noble bookstore...which was closed.

So, trying to keep our spirits up about having already spent $10 on babysitting while we drove around, we ended up back in our stomping grounds on Taylor Street at a Starbucks, (I forgot to preface this whole thing with the fact that Matt made homemade pizza for the kids last night and we couldn't resist eatting it too which is why we weren't going to a restaurant for dinner). We split a "salted caramel hot chocolate" (pretty good, but the milk killed my stomach since I'm a tad on the lactose intolerant side).

We walked along Bishop street coveting the cute row houses, the clean and neat street, and the trees. We do a lot of coveting on date night: coveting other peoples' houses mainly.

And we talked about Safe Homes which is a ministry through Lydia Home where you take in children for short periods of times while their families work through problems. It's a program that the churches in Chicago are really pushing these days because it would be nice if the church looked after the children who need homes and safety, after all. But we couldn't figure out how it would work with the kids we have. Sam is so demanding and Claire gets shafted all the time anyway. Would she just disappear if we had more kids who needed lots of attention in our home? Wouldn't it be better to adopt a child who needed a home permanently so that they could really be a member of our family rather than kids coming in and out of our home so often? I know that the latter would technically help more kids, but would our kids be upset to see kids coming and going out of their lives like that? We decided they would and that we'd have to revisit it after our kids are a lot older.

Then we came home to a disaster. Sammy had gotten up while our babysitter was in the other room, gone to the bathroom, and destroyed it. I mean, he dumped every cleaner out into the bathroom sink and some on the floor. He opened a box of bandaids and covered the potty with them. He was also naked...we don't know why. When we got home, the sitter had just discovered it. I told her "no worries" and apologized for Sammy and then we paid her and Matt walked her home. I was absolutely shocked. Discipline followed, and he seemed to realize that this was really bad after a few minutes, but may I rest my case about his being demanding? I'm afraid this kid has no soul!

Sometimes this kind of night makes me think that dates are not worth it…that it’s too much trouble or too much to worry about. But that’s not true. Because somehow I can’t think at home. At least not about anything besides immediate needs. I would just keep cleaning stuff or organizing the house or thinking about stuff that needed to be done. I would feel overwhelmed by the frustrations of the day and instead of having a fun conversation with Matt, I’d just complain about how hard things are.

But somehow, when I came home with lipstick on and a Starbucks in my hand, the bathroom mess didn’t seem so devastating. I handled it with a level head and without crying about the disaster. So in the words of Sue Funk, whose children I used to babysit: “Go on dates. Even if you can’t afford it. Go on dates. Dress up. Shave your legs. Drink wine. And go. It’s cheaper than marriage counseling! It’s cheaper than a divorce! So just go. Even if you don’t go, you’ll still be just about as poor, so you may as well go.” Oh Sue. You are so wise. I’ll have to share more Sue-isms with you someday.

1 comment:

Urban Mom said...

Salt, caramel AND chocolate? All at once???? Oh, manna from heaven!


Glad that you were able to get out. Sometimes it is just nice to get OUT, isn't it?