I already put up a blog post today, but I have huge news. Well, huge to me. I just left my baby with a babysitter for the first time ever (ok, it was just my mom), and went on a date night with my wife for the first time in almost 11 months.
If you recall, I have not been looking forward to leaving my baby with someone so my wife and I could go to dinner together. When my daughter was 6 months old my wife broached the subject and I spent the evening in tears just thinking about it. I didn’t think I’d be ready until she was 12 months at the earliest, and my wife and I had to make a hard compromise to aim for 9 months. Well, she’s 10.5 months, and we finally did it.
My mom has been working hard at her relationship with Avery. She lives 2 hours away and is busy up to her eyeballs running an understaffed veterinary practice, but she visits every other Wednesday, come rain or shine. She brings Avery toys and gives her space, building trust. Avery doesn’t give her love away to just anyone – you really have to earn it. And my mom earned it. Avery has started giving her hugs and kisses. We knew we had found our babysitter.
So tonight, after a day of visiting with my mom, as soon as my wife got home from work we left Avery alone with my mom and went out for dinner.
I was surprisingly calm. We kept a cell phone on the table in case we got called home, but I didn’t even look at it. I surprised myself by having adult conversation, and even debate (I thought I’d lost the ability). We had apps, entrés and drinks, and 2 hours had passed. It was now 6:30, and bedtime at the latest should be 7pm. I started to get a little ancey. Not too ancey to skip dessert, though. We were gone for 2 hours and I was pretty much FINE. I was eager to get home by 7 (we both were), but I wasn’t feeling anxiety and I was genuinely enjoying myself.
When we pulled into our driveway our neighbours greeted us outside their house. They said my mom and Avery were out on a stroller walk and both were very happy. We were relieved, but still jogged to try to catch up with the stroller. We missed her. We knew she was fine, but we wanted to see her, kiss her, and hug her so much that we didn’t walk, we ran.
A block and a half away we finally caught up to them and when Avery saw us her face lit up in a huge smile. But she had been perfectly content before we got there. She and my mom had been picking wildflowers and wild raspberries, and just enjoying a lazy evening outside.
Success. It couldn’t have gone any better. My mom even did the dishes. Now we’re talking about making it a once-a-month occurrence, and I think it will be really good for us. It’s easy to let a marriage slide when you have a baby, and I didn’t realize it until we tried it, but even just being ALONE together (without one ear on the baby monitor) was really needed. I’m actually kind of looking forward to our next baby-less date night…