It's a universal milestone among mothers: getting out the door for a proper grownup dinner without the kids. It was my first night out without baby (aside from my weekly sommelier class). And it was fantastic. I squeezed into my pre-pregnancy jeans (which may or may not have involved a lot of creative dance moves), wore a new shirt that buttoned up the back rendering it completely impossible to breastfeed anyone/thing, and even managed some makeup. This wasn't a seamless departure, however. Long gone are the days of taking an hour or more to leisurely get ready to go out... allow me to break it down:
Departure in T-minus 3 hours:
Plan dinner and hand it off to my partner to execute.
Do laundry. Again. Didn't I just do laundry this morning?
Pack preschool bag for 3 year old. Don't forget to pack her bitsy, which is her word for blanket.
Prep kids' beds and pjs to make bedtime that much simpler. Laugh about how I think I could possibly make bedtime simpler.
Eat dinner (includes deploying top level negotiation tactics with preschooler and donning a wetsuit for baby-related feeding)...and yes, I ate dinner before going out for dinner...because our dinner reservation was for 8:30pm and although in my head I live in fancytown where I frequently eat dinner at 10pm, in reality I shove cold food down my throat at 5pm so I couldn't wait. Don't judge.
Smell 3 year old to decide if I can wait yet another day to bathe her.
Decide child services might be called in if I don't do it tonight.
Engage in a game of "who gets to go up the stairs first" where only a 3 year old knows the rules and I don't know how to win. I'm not sure I can.
Participate in verbal game of ping pong over whether or not she can pee in my bathroom sink.
Agree that she can pee in the tub, feeling like I won the battle, but not the war.
Attempt makeup application.
Baby starts to cry.
Bring baby into bathroom so he can stand at the tub to watch his big sister.
Try my best not to helicopter hover over him when all I can see is sharp corners and unforgiving tiles waiting to smack his head.
Give in and yell for backup from my parenting partner in chaos.
Put on my new pretty top (rookie mistake...never attempt clean clothing until you're in the car, preferably out of your own 'hood).
Try on jeans, too tight to breathe...next pair, too big...next pair, not a chance are these fitting...next pair, did these ever belong to me...next pair, are these mom jeans?...back into first pair and take note to just restrain from big breaths for the next four hours. There's enough here for a whole other post about the trials and tribulations of post-baby changing bodies and associated wardrobe cost implications.
Read to toddler.
Get barfed on by said baby.
Decide it's not bad enough to bother changing again.
Get momentarily overexcited about pending departure.
Instantly feel tired.
I did it!
Dinner at Supply and Demand was amazing, and it was so much fun to connect with two new mom friends who I met at a baby song class earlier this year. And while we may have spent the whole time talking about our kids, this time we did it while nursing bubbly and not babies, and it was a beautiful thing.
Mama's recommended wine pairing:
Occasion: OMG you made it out the door looking like a functional human being and there's a 90% chance you won't get barfed on at a great restaurant while connecting with interesting people!
Wine Pairing: Any event that involves clean clothes and staying up past the kids' bedtime would be well celebrated with a crisp glass of bubbles. A cold, dry Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava sparkling wine will be a perfect match for your elevated spirits. Cheers!