Last week, I had a rare evening out while the hubs stayed home with the boys. Since they’re at a stage where they are quite rambunctious (to say the least!) I lingered at home until I had fed them their dinner and knew everything was ready to go for bedtime. With mummy-guilt running on overdrive, I wanted to make sure all the hubs had to do was play with them for an hour an a half until bedtime. When I could delay no longer, I hugged everyone goodbye and crossed my fingers!
Now I don’t mean to suggest that my hubby was “babysitting” — he is our sons’ parent just as much as I am and has always been a fully hands-on Dad. But because my work hours are more flexible (oh, the blessings and drawbacks of being a grad student and a parent) I do spend more time with the boys. This means I’m the one who insists they finish their meals before they are allowed dessert, that they say please and thank you (or in the case of the little one, grunts to that effect), that they brush their teeth and wash their faces with minimal complaint. So in the way that children do, they have picked up on the knowledge that because Daddy is not home with them so much, he might not know the rules.
What was I doing that could warrant all the extra worry? Well, a couple of years ago I’d promised to take my father to see the wonderful and inventive “Balletujah!”, the ballet set to the music of k.d. lang, one of his favourite artists. With the show back in town for just two days, and in the absence of a babysitter to help out, the hubs said he was sure he could manage on his own, so I could make good on that promise.
Nervously, I checked my phone before the curtain to see if there were any texts wondering about whether three changes of mind about pyjamas was acceptable, or if chocolate milk was permissible at bedtime (nope and nope, for the record).
I checked again at intermission–nothing. This was almost more worrying than a series of updates. The hubs is a prolific texter, apt to give a minute-by-minute account of goings on when we are apart, so the radio silence was unusual to say the least.
When the show ended — a stunning presentation that my dad said he really enjoyed — I saw the hubs’ cryptic little message: “all good. Boys asleep. House mostly in one piece”.
Mostly? I wondered? Mostly?
I waited until I had dropped my father at home before calling to inquire about the state of affairs.
Oh it’s fine, the hubs said, nothing really.
What is “it”? Just tell me.
Well…the little one broke a window…
How did a not-quite 18month old break a window? Did he throw something? (This has been a favourite trick and one we are working on discouraging)
No, he … um … threw a chair through it…
Well, the boys were chasing each other and the little one used the chair to try to take a tight corner but ended up pulling it over and knocking it through the window …
Is he ok!?! I asked, wondering how long it took for the boys to “forget” the rule about running in the house.
He’s fine. But our dining room is a bit drafty.
Total cost of mummy’s night out:
Tickets for show: $80
Window replacement : $563
Knowing the kids are ok: priceless!