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Date Night: Does Your Kid Get Mad When You Head out?

By Christine.Coppa |

I dropped JD off at camp at 7:30 AM on Wednesday and picked him up at 5:45 PM. I knew all along I was going out that evening, but didn’t tell him. Lately he’s been extremely attached to me— and I know why. My dating revolution is new to him and to me. For nearly five years I’ve been in single mom and work mode. I had no desire to date. I barely had a desire to hang with friends outside of hanging with friends and JD. I can’t blame him for not getting it, but I know I have to do what is right for me, because that is what’s right for us. I am finally in a place where I want to date. I want to go dancing with girlfriends. I want to hang out with adults and at the same time be JD’s everything and prevail at my career. I am a firm believer in having it all. I shall. Just out of order.

So, on the way home from camp, I broke the news. “Maria is coming over to play ninjas and watch Mike the Knight with you, tonight!” I said this with great enthusiasm. “Are you staying too,” he asked.


“Mommy has to go out for a little, but I am going to give you dinner and a shower and read and play with you before I leave, OK?” I said.



“Buuuuuuuuuut, maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-om!”

He was upset. I’ve admittedly been going out once a week these days. He does better when Poppa Coppa gets him from camp and takes him to dinner and does the nighttime routine. But I don’t like to rely on fam all the time, and I need JD to be comfortable with his sitters and for the most part he is; I think I’m just rocking his world. But he rocked mine in 2007 so I think we’re even.

I fed JD leftover homemade mac and cheese (amaze), steamed broccoli, and dinosaur nuggets. He showered. I read and played, as promised. Maria arrived and I darted into the shower. When I got out they were on the floor playing with Legos and watching cartoons. I quickly dressed in jeans, a cute halter and Converse, because my date told me not to wear heels (wtf). Makeup. Perfume. Kissed JD … JD got weepy. JD held my leg. JD ran to the door. I escaped, closing the door behind me. I held my ear to the door. There was no crying. I heard Maria say, “Come over here and let’s make more ninjas!” I walked to the elevator feeling guilty as sh*t, but excited to get out for a bit. And excited because my date, who lives on the second floor of my building and who I have known for 12 years wouldn’t tell me where we were going. He just knew I’ve been under a lot of stress lately, has been an amazing support to me and is an all around great guy, friend, decent human.

In the car, Mike said, “Have you ever shot a gun?”

My stomach dropped.

I’ve never shot a gun. I don’t like guns. When Uncle Bri tried to attack me with a Nerf gun, JD threw his body over me and said, “Don’t you hurt MY mommy!”

GF Carlo has several guns, re: his job. I am psycho about his guns and my kid being in his condo even though they are in a lock box with a code only GF Carlo knows.

“Um, no,” I said.

“It’s an amazing way to relieve stress,” Mike said.

I didn’t want to rain on his parade.

“OK,” I said.

We proceeded to drive to the wilderness in north NJ. We were on a road that belonged in a horror film. We got lost. It was fun. We finally got to the shooting range. I heard shots. I got nervous. I was scared. Mike held my hand and led me inside.

We got signed up and two rounds of shots. An instructor took us outside. The rifles were big and heavy and scary. I watched Mike hold it. He said, “Pull.” A clay disk shot in the air. Mike got it! Boom! Four rounds later it was MY turn. Oh god.

The gun was heavy. “Lean your cheek into it. Stand like this,” said the instructor, moving my body forward.

Typical Christine ensued:

“This is going to break my collarbone. This is going to dislocate my shoulder. I’m 115 pounds,” spilled from my mouth. The instructor found this amusing.

“You’re fine,” he said. “It’s OK,” I heard Mike’s voice.

Fine. Fine. Fine. I had a freakin c-section. I can shoot a gun!


I shot.














I missed the target (obv).

My entire body moved. It was intense. I liked it.


Eventually I hit 4 out of 25 targets.

It was so much fun! Then we got beer and food.

My shoulder still hurts!

And it did relieve stress.













I came home to a sleeping child.

All was right in the world of Christine. Still is. Shooting a gun is better than Xanax.


Does your kid get sad when you go out? Have you ever shot a gun? Have a fun weekend!!

*I am very sorry I wrote about my date today after the NYC shooting. I am aware and praying for everyone involved. I contacted all of my NYC ppl immediately following the breaking news.*

Please friend me on Facebook (so you can read my 9000 status updates a day) and follow me @JDSMOM2007 on twitter. Visit For more info on where to buy Rattled! click here.

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More from me: 

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do: The Single Mom Edition 
Who Watches Your Kids When You Go Out?
Single Mom Life: I Danced Till 4 AM and My Kid Got up at 6 AM


25 horrifying photos of stuff kids have ruined
10 things you should never say to a mom
20 totally outrageous kids rooms
14 ridiculous birthday cake fails
20 simple ways to show your kids you love them


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About Christine.Coppa



Christine Coppa is the author of Rattled! (Broadway Books, 2009), the creator of's Storked blog and a freelance fashion market editor. Her son, Jack, is 5 and they hail from North NJ. Her work has appeared in Glamour, First for Women, Redbook and Parenting among other publications.

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9 thoughts on “Date Night: Does Your Kid Get Mad When You Head out?

  1. Colleen says:

    Thanks for the disclaimer, as I was starting to get really worried about you! I have made it my mission in life NEVER to shoot a gun. There are too many weapons on the streets, violent, unpleasant, dangerous, etc. We live in Hunting Country though, and the day someone wants to take my now 2 year old son out is the day I will be dying inside all day. Glad you had a night out though, have a pleasant weekend and don’t worry, JD will be OK with stuff in the future.

  2. Christine.Coppa says:

    @ Colleen, yep I never thought I’d shoot a gun either – but this turned out to be more sportsy. It was fun!

  3. Uncle Carlo says:

    Those would be shotguns and two rounds would equate to two shots so I’m assuming you got two boxes of ammunition.

  4. Christine.Coppa says:

    Ah Uncle Carlo – I don’t understand. I am a magazine writer. Yes, there were 2 boxes involved. Ah.

  5. Erin. says:

    What a fun date night!! Love all the technical terms in Carlos comment. This teacher has no clue about guns – other then shooting them. I tried it out with my police officer brother in law & some creepy shooter guy was trying to pick me up @ the range. Love reading all your adventures!! Enjoy your weekend!! :)

  6. Christine.Coppa says:

    Thanks all!! Have a great weekend!! <3

  7. Terri says:

    I agree sportsy shooting is fun! & great stress relief:) glad u had fun, does this neighbor have long term potential? & on a side note, I just finally paid attention to a mike the knight episode & find him to be sort of whiny. Anyone else feel the same?

  8. Sarah says:

    Were you at Cherry Ridge?! I always joke when we drive home on Canistear that I wonder what that road is like for people who don’t know it. It’s my only way “in” from the outside world so I can drive that road with my eyes closed, but every single time I’m on it at night I wonder about how scary it must seem to people who don’t know it. I guess I wasn’t crazy after all lol! I drive by that place all the time and think about going because I’ve never shot a gun but think it would be really cool to do it. I think I might have to, now! Good for you for being so willing to try something new!

  9. nsfw redhead says:

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