Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Mommy & Daddy Date Night Can Be Wicked


For some odd reason I’ve had that Spiderman theme song stuck in my head since Saturday. It’s REALLY starting to bother me.

(Spiderman, Spiderman…does whatever a spider can…)

I’m curious, so how many of you parents do “date nights”? You know, a real one where you get a sitter and run out the door for a few hours and go somewhere childfree that doesn't rhyme with Chuck E. Cheese.

In the 2 and half years since our daughter was born, the wife and I haven’t done a real "date night." I’m pretty sure Dr. Phil would call this behavior extremely unhealthy and then camp out in front of my house yelling through a bullhorn. But who cares, the guy is a quack. But now the wife and I are beginning to think this is a good idea to try at least once a month.
On Friday we went to see Wicked The Musical, which by the way was O.K. Not great like all the hype would have you believe, but overall entertaining. Without spoiling it, I thought the ending was borderline cheesy. Although, I must say the ‘Wicked Witch’ main girl did have an amazing voice; to be honest I wish she had sung more. I think that would have made it even better.

(...Spins a web, any size..hey there! There goes the Spiderman....)

Anyhow, when we got back home my daughter had the sitter write the wife and I a letter. This is what it said:

Dear Mommy and Daddy,

I hope you had fun tonight without me. Alexis and I had fun. I love you both very much, even though you left me.
I made art for you and left it on the refrigerator [sitter: in case you’re wondering, the tears made the markers smear.]

Your daughter,
Sunshine Sparkles
(My new name)
XOXOXO

P.S. Captain Hippo was playing in your closet.

(...Catches thieves, just like flies...Look out! Here comes the Spiderman.)
I hope he catches that criminal, Captain Hippo, soon…

40 comments:

Awesome Mom said...

It was hard enough getting my husband to plan a date when we were dating and he actually really wanted to impress me, but now after six years of marriage.. forget about it. I am not up to planning the whole thing and having to find a sitter. We go out when we have built in family babysitters. I always feel lame when we get a teenager and are home before 8. I feel like I should be able to be out partying until late at night just to impress them. Generally we eat dinner and then wander around Target just to kill a little bit of time.

SciFi Dad said...

While I wouldn't day we never go out on a date, I would say it is a rare occasion. I think a big part of it (for us at least) is leaving her with a sitter (something we've yet to do). So, we have to wait for my inlaws to feel up to a night with our daughter (I know, what kind of grandparents aren't chomping at the bit to get a night with their grandchild?) to book one.

But yeah, I can totally relate to the feeling of guilt when we go out and leave her behind.

MamaLee said...

I think we go out on a real date every few months. Definitely not often. We just don't have sitters most of the time, and with 3 kids close in age, it can be daunting to some.

I think it's healthy - and I want MORE of it. Call my in-laws for me?

Slow Panic said...

ah, the elusive date night. i know couples who claim to be faithful and do this every month. we're not quite that cool, but manage it every few months or so. now that the boys are older it's easier. really.

the letter was a nice touch. that girl knows what she's doing.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Yeah, we're extremely lucky. The husband's parents take over the kids two nights a month for our date nights. VERY nice to talk to another adult.

LOVE the letter. Nothing like twisting the knife after it's already been shoved in!

Scarlett Wanna Be said...

Did you roll around on the floor weeping and gnashing your teeth after you read that letter?

Colleen said...

It doesn't so much matter what time you get back or what you've done while you were gone, so long as the two of you (awesome mom) spend some time alone - together. We *maybe* get out once a month, but we typically go to eat then...what? We've actually gone to run errands together before returning home at 9:00. We're lucky to have lots of family that live close to watch our boys. Yeah, we feel lame sometimes that we don't have the *coolest* plans, but its nice to have time to revert back to our geeky old selves - stopping for ice cream without pondering how we'd eat it without making a mess in the car, or playing with the super-lame generic toys at Wal-Mart without worrying that someone is going to have a melt-down about HAVING to have one. We aren't the party people we used to be (can't say we'd even gone so far as to see a musical or play like real grown-ups) but we at least realize we still like each other.

Roth Family Adventures said...

I think we've had two date nights in the nearly two years since our son was born. The wife is always complaining that we need to go out more. Can't always find a babysitter though.

BTW...love the guilt letter. And I'd hire a hit on that Captain Hippo.

Beck said...

I'm ambivalent about date nights, really - I do LOVE going out with my husband, but these days we just hang out and talk about the kids anyhow. We're going to have one of our rare evenings alone together this Thursday....

kittenpie said...

We hve the theoretical plan to have regular date nights starting at some point. But right now, with the third floor under construction, our bedroom is in the living room, and you can't really invite someone to come to your house, btu if they want any entertainment, they have to sit in your bed... It's just a little weird. So it'll be at least another few months before there is any dating going on around these parts!

Tismee2 said...

We rarely get to do what you call 'date nights'. Once or twice a year on a special occasion. It's difficult with no local relatives - ones that are young enough to cope!
Although over the christmas holidays our youngest asked to go to his childminder a few days (to play with his friends there) so we took the opportunity to go for a wander around the mall, have lunch and even hold hands! (shame of it - at our age!)
Love the letter!

Try the 'Spider pig' version - for a change?

Rima said...

Oooo, hot topic! Date nights! We do them whenever we can. We've even been known to get a sitter and then just run up and down the aisles at Trader Joe's, giddy with freedom and wired on coffee samples. Good times.

Your sitter sounds like a gem.

The Real Mother Hen said...

I have a friend who was so into the date night thing...
Then he realized, crap, a movie cost just $20 for them, but the baby sitter could cost up to $60, turning a date night into something really stressful (financially).
Needless to say, the date night went packing with the moon after that.

PS: btw, I passed your hearsay (Japanese eat KFC on the V-Day) on, they thought it's bloody fanstastic and all of them are going to do it!

Fairly Odd Mother said...

Eie, yie, yie---the tears smeared the marker??? Guilt, right to the heart!

We didn't do a hired sitter for an evening out for ages (although my mom would babysit for us). We are now trying to hire one once a month (my oldest is 7, youngest is 3), but we've NEVER had a sitter handle bedtime. So, you are WAY ahead of us so far.

Sarah O. said...

Ouch!

Mr. Lemony and I didn't go out much when our kids were little but we made up for it when they got older. I know you won't believe this but in a dozen years you'll need posts like this to remind you of those days.

Oh, yeah, feel free to leave the little one with a sitter occasionally, even though it does cost a fortune and you'll be greeted home with a guilt trip note. It gets easier.

Spider Pig, Spider Pig, does whatever a Spider Pig does...

ronUpNorth said...

it's definitely hard to find time to get out. I have a hard time trusting any sitter that isn't family. Maybe I'm just paranoid, but I'm finally starting to get over that. Those first couple nights away from the kids are bizarre. I felt like a giddy teenager sneaking out of the house. It's a much needed break from those kids.
on an unrelated note, if anyone wants to play meme check out http://ktcatspost.blogspot.com/2008/02/week-month-year-half-your-life.html

Sisu said...

I applaud the concept.
We dated for 1.5 years (long distance for most of it -- I was in Europe, he was in NYC). Married on Sept 22, 2006. Learned I was 11 weeks pregnant in Nov (oops: something happened a little earlier than planned). And I thought all the random retching and headaches between Oct and Nov were due to a parasite I must have contracted from petting a lot of wild/stray animals and eating raw fish on the honeymoon. Scrambled to buy a new place with at least 2 beds ($$$ in NY), moved in May, baby in June. Our first night out was our 1-year anniversary, and all we could do was stare at our dinners in a stupor, reeling at the thought that we had a 3-month old daughter already (and the honeymoon vacation was probably the last one we'll have like that for about 18 more years). We were home by 930, desperate to go to sleep. Since then, we've tried dinner out only once more (2 nights ago), and the bub woke up at 930 pm and screamed her head off until the boobs got back home. Send Dr. Phil and his bullhorn our way. It might take a bullhorn to get us back on track...

wayabetty said...

Date night? What's that? We're lucky if we get "under the sheets" and not get interrupted!! Ahem!

Darren said...

Ignore the tears and do it again. We go out every few months and I wish it were more often. In time, your daughter will probably like having a babysitter.

creative-type dad said...

wayabetty -- You guys need to hang a tie or sock on your door so the kids "know"
If they don't get that, install a good lock and turn up the Barry White.

Sisu -- Wow! I'll call the Dr., he may be at your house a few days.

Sarah O. -- Oh how I love Spider pig. That'll be the new song in my head..

Rima -- Trader's Joes- that's awesome!
Yes, we did get lucky with our sitter - she's great and my daughter adores her.

Beck -- We did that about half the time. It was weird, but expected.

Awesome Mom -- At Target?! Wow.
Then again, I could see myself hanging around the electronics area.

♥♥♥ A- Licious ♥♥♥ said...

awwww...that is precious.

i hope you keeo the letter for years to come....

;-)

great - nwo the song is MY head.....geeeesh

a-licious

♥♥♥ A- Licious ♥♥♥ said...

man i cant type today - that was KEEP the letter and NOW the song is MY head...lol

Steve said...

First, I loved Wicked. We actually saw it the first few weeks it opened on Broadway and the leads were phenomenal.

Since our son spends time between two houses, we get a lot of nights with just the two us. It's nice to have that time.

On the few nights he does have a babysitter, he enjoys it. I think it's nice for them for kids to get time with other adults or teens who can be role models for them.

Denguy said...

At first we did Date Nights in our own house. We put the kids to bed and when they were asleep we dashed to the tv room to watch a movie with potato chips and beer.
Now we get out once a month on real Date Nights.

Leslie said...

We actually DO go out about once a month or maybe every two months depending on money. Sometimes we just go for a few hours sometimes all night. It's nice to go see movies, but my daughter is too young to take to them so maybe that is why! And I always wondered if Wicked was worth the hype...

Redneck Mommy said...

We have a date night once a month or more...but it's easier because the kids are older.

And because we don't see each other for weeks at a time.

But tonight, when we go out on our date night I'm going to have him call me Sunshine Sparkles.

I like the ring of it.

Maureen said...

Now that daughter is nearly 17, I have to admit we NEVER had a babysitter for her. A few times we left her with Grandma and Grandpa while we went to office Christmas parties and the like, but we never did have official date nights out on our own.... I guess we were just happy to be at home all together... now that she is a teen, she's the one out nearly every night; so now hubby and I are home alone again once more.

To each their own!

painted maypole said...

we go out occasionally, but not on a regular basis.

and the book ends very differently than the musical.

L.A. Daddy said...

Date night? Ha! The last time we saw a movie together was "Love Actually."

We've done a few parties (which you won't come to...) but no dates. We probably should before Dr. "Feel" comes over. He's Dr. Phil's scary muppet. And he scares me.

dennis said...

Capt. Hippo seems like such a bad influence!

Paco Argenti said...

It is nice to get mail from the kids.

William Wren said...

we should reall stop making children

Tiff said...

Our last date was the night that the movie Wild Hogs came out! We go maybe once a year. LOL! We just can't afford sitters. And are either too busy or just plain too tired to go out!!

carrie said...

Oh, poor baby.

Don't worry about the song - wait until your daughter is old enough to see The Simpson's Movie and then she'll be chanting "spider pig, spider pig - does whatever a spider pig does" all over the house.

For real.

Above Average Joe said...

Get out and enjoy each other.

Beverly said...

No, no date nights. Our marriage is child-centered and we have no time to ourselves. I spend our money on ballet lessons, classes at the zoo and memberships to the art institute and nature center. But the kids are growing up so fast, we don't want to miss it.
Take THAT, Dr. Phil!

Bananas said...

Forget Dr. Phil, if you don't start regular date nights RIGHT THIS MINUTE, *I* am going to sit outside your house with a bullhorn!

Seriously essential.

No matter what!

creative-type dad said...

carrie -- With all this talk of Spider Pig, I actually had to buy the a capella version off iTunes.

dennis -- Yes, Capt. Hippo is a very bad influence on my daughter. And he also watches too much "Full House." I think that's where he learns all of these bad habits.

painted maypole -- I've wondered about the book. I'll have to check it out. Maybe I'll just skip to the end.

L.A. Daddy -- Yeah, I know. I'll get to one of your parties one of these days. Maybe when you don't have them on my wife's birthday.

Rick Andreoli said...

Wicked was brilliant. You're off our list as best friends. Gillian can stay. She's an innocent.

creative-type dad said...

Rick Andreoli -- You're not going to burn my house down now are you?
Because that would be pretty wicked.

(still didn't like the show that much :)

I heard the book was good though. I'm planning on reading it.