Too Bad Barnes & Noble Doesn’t Serve Dinner
OK, I didn’t actually win the lottery, but it certainly felt like it when I discovered that Fred’s teenage cousin was old enough to babysit our brood.
No more wrangling family and friends to watch our three kids while we got away for an hour or two. Now I had guilt-free childcare. The possibilities seemed endless: we could catch a movie, dine out with friends, or enjoy a night of bowling or even ice skating.
While all of those things sound great to me, they don’t always sound fun to Fred, and therein lies our problem with date night. We finally found someone to watch the kiddos, but now we can’t figure out something we both want to do.
Apparently we’re not alone.
One of my girlfriends recently confessed that she actually dreads date night because she and her husband never know what to do. One time they just aimlessly drove around their neighborhood before giving up and returning home.
Fred and I have never been quite that bad, but we have gotten into a bit of a rut. Our last couple of date nights we’ve wound up at Barnes & Noble perusing magazines, which was relaxing but hardly the nights of adventure that we dreamed of in the days when a babysitter was scarce.
Part of the problem is energy. Our daily lives keep us so drained that when we finally get a break, all we want to do is veg on the couch – at home or in the bookstore.
Still we both realize that to keep that spark going we’ve got to do better, so we recently made a list of outings that we’d like to take sans kids. So far the bookstore isn’t on it, but maybe I should add it in small print.
Planning Dates is More Difficult Than Solving the Goldbach Conjecture
I never realized how hard dating was until I got married. Planning a date when you’re married with kids is more difficult than solving the Goldbach conjecture.
First we must overcome the babysitting issue. We don’t want to ask my parents to babysit because they have to take care of my 4-year old niece everyday. It’s not fair to ask them to watch three more children. Our siblings are out because they are busy working or running around with their own kids. Our closest friends live too far away, and we don’t know our neighbors well enough to trust them with our children.
Sometimes our church will offer babysitting so parents can go out on dates and we often take advantage of the “Kid’s Night Out” at our son’s preschool. Mostly we rely on my cousin’s daughter, Kate. She is a responsible young woman who the kids love. The only problem with Kate is that she is a college student whose weekend plans often conflict with ours.
When we finally secure babysitting, we move to our next challenge: deciding what to do. Kim enjoys simplicity. A dinner and a movie would suffice. I like to experience new things such as bungee jumping, an origami class, or salsa dancing. She’s a planner. I’m more of an off-the-cuff kind of guy. It takes us nearly a week just to agree on an activity.
After we agree, we often change our plans at the last minute. We live in the suburbs and it takes at least 30 minutes to travel anywhere. Since we only have a few hours to spend alone, we don’t want to waste over an hour commuting.
We usually settle for having dinner and spending a couple of hours in the bookstore. I think that we chose this as our fallback date night activity because it reminds us of our first date. Whatever the reason, it’s nice just to spend some uninterrupted time with the woman I love.
Question: What do you and your spouse do on date night?