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Kids and how they conspire against us. A lot.

Date nights are those moments when couples get to [re] connect…what’s that? You need a reminder? Back of the line. We all need a reminder.

Last night D and I had a date. It was the first time that we left our kids alone. With each other. Maybe now you’re thinking, “Oh non, this isn’t going to end well.” But it’s okay. When we returned the house was still where we had left it, the kids hadn’t dyed their hair blue, and the dog had all her limbs. That’s good, right?

Our son is 12 ½ and has taken a babysitting course so a few hours alone with his 7-year-old sister should be manageable. Sadly that would be stretching the bounds of feasibility in our home.

We had high hopes. And a destination. Dinner out at a restaurant we enjoy in the next town over. Not far and besides, my family lives close by so if there were a true emergency – not necessitating 911 – the kids could make a quick call and someone would come to the rescue within 5 minutes.

Our timeline ran like this:

6:45 – Leave the house and lock the doors. Don’t open the door and only answer calls from people we know. In bed by 10:00 pm sharp. Don’t kill each other. Feed the dog.

7:15 – Arrive at the restaurant and take a little walk before our reservation.

7:30 – We’re seated. The restaurant is animated and we are at a lovely, intimate table.

7:49 – D’s phone rings, but he doesn’t hear it. The phone is in his jacket hung on the coat rack across the room.

7:58 – D’s phone rings again. See above. The patrons sitting next to the coat rack are thrilled by the constant playing of D’s ringtone.

8:02 – My phone rings. I don’t hear it because we’re actually having a conversation.

8:04 – My phone rings again. Still talking.

8:05 – A supernatural mom sense takes over and I check if I’ve missed any calls. TWO!! Holy crap! What’s happening? Has the dog run away? Is the house surrounded by zombie racoons?

8:06 – I call home. Our son answers and I say, “Salut chéri, ça va?” S – “Oui maman. It’s N, she’s crying and misses you and wants you.”  I just left 75 minutes ago. Also our daughter is in the running for the Miss Independent 2012 award, so, huh?

I speak with her, assure her that we’ll be home later and that the first thing I’ll do is come upstairs and kiss her goodnight. Assuming she’ll be asleep.

8:12 – My phone rings. Again. This time I have it within earshot. Stupid on my part? “Allo. Hi maman – N now – I love you. I love you too now go play with your brother and behave.”

We make it through our sparkling water and bread with aioli and our waitress is just delivering the crab cakes when…dun dun dun…my phone rings. Maybe I should change my number.

8:27 – S this time, “Maman, N is still crying and wants to know where her iPod is.” Backstory – the kids had their iPods confiscated this week. I can’t remember why because it happens so often. Me, “They’re in my bookcase behind the Tolkien books.” – Him, “Okay thanks, bye.”

8:29 – D to me, “I think we just got played.” Crotte! And after that the phone didn’t ring at all.

We finished our meal without rushing, and then took a walk because that’s what you do in February in Canada. By the time we pulled into our driveway at 10:55 D and I assumed – that word again – that N would be asleep and S would be awake, but in bed reading.

What we found was this:

  1. Every light on in the house.
  2. Kids definitely not in bed or in pjs.
  3. The TV, my laptop, both iPods and the Wii going. We only have 2 kids remember?
  4. The family room converted into an obstacle course. They’re in training. For something apparently.
  5. And the dog outside barking at the world. Sorry neighbours.

And that’s why our house smells like a coffee cooperative today. We’ve had 2 bowls each so far and we’re brewing more. Also we need another date night.

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