Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I’m Going Out To Dinner…For the First Time in 2¾ Years

Yep, I’m one of THOSE parents.

The kind that think their children are too fragile and my parenting so utterly flawless that leaving them for even a few hours with a trained professional might leave all of us scarred and malformed for eternity. David’s high school friend, Mark Wilde and his family are coming in from Australia and we are going out. We’re going to eat good food at Babbo. Just the adults.

Here’s what that means for me – No one at the table will fling a fingerling potato across the room, or bean the bald guy at the next table with a bread stick. I won’t have to over tip the wait staff or run out of the restaurant in shame because there is a thick sludge of crumbs, half-chewed prawns and pasta bits covering the floor just under our table. No one will spill a chocolate milkshake into my lap or need to breastfeed just as they bring my entree.

We will not talk about the Wiggles or Dora or how humungous Lucy’s poops are and how something that large could possibly come out of her tiny little colon. We will enjoy the Wildes. The four of us adults will tell witty jokes, discuss some books we’ve read, rehash career developments, maybe delve into some light political discussion and talk just a little about our lovely, genius children and how cute they look in tap shoes. If the mood strikes us, we'll pull out a photo or two, but only if we are very drunk.

I’m exhilarated by the thought of this…And petrified.

The truth is, I’m a “checker”. You know, I have to call home every 15 minutes or so just to “check”. This is no reflection on the incredibly competent sexy Finnish babysitter (CSFB). But if I don’t call, I imagine Edie choking on a marble or sticking a fork in a light socket. I imagine Lucy falling out the window or cracking her head open on the table. I have to keep calling to keep these images at bay.

The only other night we went out without the kids was the night of the Tony’s Awards (I only went because David was nominated and even then, I actually toyed with the idea of staying home) We hired two babysitters and asked two sets of neighbors to come over with their kids as a way to distract the children and I still called every time we went to commercial break. You know you are hitting rock bottom when your 25 year old CSFB refuses to take your phone calls.

Here is what these phone calls sound like:

Announcer at Radio City Music Hall: “We will have a two minute break before returning to air”

Dial Dial Dial …ring ring ring

Kim: Hi, it’s me.

CSFB: It's Kim! What a surprise! (This is the fifth time I’ve called. She’s not surprised.)

Kim: How are the kids?”

CSFB: They’re busy making cookies.

Kim: That’s great…Wait! You left them alone at the stove?

CSFB: Oh yeah…They are taking turns sticking their heads in the oven. (The Finns are a laugh a minute)

Kim: Have they asked for me?


Kim: Has Edie cried or anything?


Kim: Wanted breastmilk?


Kim: Do you think Lucy is warm enough because she was just wearing a t-shirt when I left…

CSFB: Look, I think you’re coming back from commercial should go.

Kim: Did I leave a fork lying next to the outlet in the kitchen?

CSFB: Okay, that’s it. I’m cutting you off.

Kim: You’re what?

CSFB: Don’t call back. The girls are fine. If there’s a problem, I’ll call you.

Kim: But what if you’re un-concious or having a seizure or something?

CSFB: I think the other six babysitters here can handle it. (Holding the phone in the air towards the kitchen) Girls, tell your mother you are fine.

Kids: We’re fine!

Lucy: (In the background to Bubba our other babysitter) I think Mommy is loony, too.

Kim: Wait! Can I talk to Lucy…?

CSFB: Goodbye! (God, the Finns are cold.)

Click. Dial tone.

I’m going to try to not "check" anymore. I'm going to try to let CSFB call me if there’s a problem.

Okay, so I’ll have to check every other minute to make sure the ringer on my phone is turned on, but I'm still gonna be happy as hell to be out for the night, eating great food prepared by better cooks than me and wearing a blouse that isn't stained with peanut butter and pee. Yippeeee!

xxxooo Kim



Kate said...

Doooooooooo iiiiiiiiiitttt! Let the competent but sexy sitter do her job! Do it!

Better yet, if you can, buy a new shirt for the occasion that has NEVER had pee or a food stain on it.

Enjoy the evening. You never know; you may realize that it's so fun you start a regular 'adults night out' each month.

Kim Foster said...

I know, Kate. You are so right!

And frankly, I do need a new shirt...or two. This morning Lucy sneezed and had snot hanging out of her nose and I didn't have a tissue handy and I was breastfeeding Edie, so I just sopped it all up with my shirt.

Sad thing is...I'm still wearing that shirt.

Okay Kate, I'm going shopping...


b said...

Hey Kim!

I started checking out your site about 2 weeks ago. Like you, I am intentional about cooking healthy, tasty food for our family. Living overseas for over 8 years really changed my view on our American way of dining. (YUCK!)

Anyways, after gleefully discovering your blog, I mentioned you on my own blog and have had several friends email me about it--FYI.

But I must say, for all of my fondness and admiration for you my new friend, I am very, very disappointed in that it has taken you THIS LONG to get out for an evening alone with your man! Come on--regular dinner's out is food for the SOUL. (Even if it's a roasted chicken & a bottle of wine in the park!)

I hope you have a great time and, definitely, that it becomes a Yummy Mummy must.

Lara Jean Goodman said...

What? You are going out to dinner? Call all you want--Your children will be scarred and malformed for eternity. Hee-hee. Actually sounds like a dream. Dinner in a restaurant without having paper napkins sliming up your glass of water? I forgot that dinners like that existed!! Report back and tell us how you acclimate to your return-encounter with the grown-up-dinner-situation.

AnnieKNodes said...

Can't wait to hear about Babbo. And the 82 messages you left for CSFB.

I get to go out on Monday for my birthday with Fred while my mom babysits. The last time she sat for us while we went to brunch she laughed at my nervousness, unplugged our phone and turned off her cell phone so I wouldn't check in. This is the woman who raised me. No wonder my breast milk is low!

Izzy's Mama said...

And here I was thinking I was the only who waited so long (for me it was when Izzy was 22 months old). Most people called me crazy but I just couldn't leave him and we didn't have a CSFB. You will have a great time and Babbo is the perfect choice.

Kim Foster said...

Hi B -

I know. I know. You are so right!

I never set out to stop eating out alone with my husband - it just kind of happened. We ate well at home and their wasn't any anxiety about having them asleep in the other room while we it just happened. Still, it's time and I appreciate your no nonsense message.

Thanks for reading and for that great post about this site on your blog! That really means a lot to me and you know, I have to up-date my blog roll soon, so I'll add you in!

Lara - I will be posting about how the dinner goes and then, I expect you and Shadrup to be next!

Anne - So great seeing you this weekend! What a rockin' gal you are! Your mom's tough love approach is the way to go, otherwise we would never get out of the house! Have a great birthday, sweetie!

Izzy's Mama - I totally get how it happens. One minute you are a fully functional adult who goes out to dinner and the next you are in your jammies by 9pm.

I'll let you know how this goes...Thanks for reading and posting! It feels great to know someone else gets my craziness!

b said...

Thanks Kim.

P.S. I cannot claim that our adult dinners out are late-night affairs. Try as we may, try as we might, most of our dates start at 3 in the afternoon and end by 9pm--in bed with pj's.