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
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:
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 break...you 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!