Ah, date night.
That supposedly all-important, ever-elusive ritual that couples practice in an elaborate mating ritual, one bent on proving their worth, fun quality, and beauty to the other.
Except when those strategies pay off and said-couple gets together and practices another elaborate mating ritual, the result of which turn out to be…
Screaming, tantruming, sometimes irrational, always wonderful, children. And those children can put date night in a whole new light, which for us, has meant getting creative in how we see date nights. Not creative in the sense that we do Iron Chef at home or recreate Dancing with the Stars in our living room, but creative in the sense that sometimes, date night doesn’t always look like it used to…
7 Ridiculous Things That Count as Dates for Parents:
#1: Gas station thrills
Pulling into the gas station to get gas? A suggestive eyebrow waggle at my husband and he knows exactly what I want — a cool and refreshing raspberry iced tea, that’s what. For whatever reason, we see gas station trips as a chance to pick up some guilty foods and kick back a little. In the car, with suckers for the kids, of course.
#2: Getting the taxes done
Nothing says it’s time to get your sexy on like spreadsheets and mileage logs. I had our tax “date” on the calendar for weeks and forgive me for saying it, but I was actually looking forward to it. Not only did I not have to feel guilty about paying a babysitter, but we would get to drive in the car, alone (please see #1) and there was a good chance we could sneak in a dinner out afterwards. Oh. Yeah.
#3: Craigslist trips
I’m not talking anything weird here. But my husband and I both have a slight Craigslist addiction. He’s constantly perusing for new tools and lawn equipment, while I’m on the prowl for a new patio set. Buying new furniture or sprucing up our yard is a nice little excuse to spend some quality alone time together.
#4: Skipping bath night
Any night without having to wrangle three kids into the bath and ill-fitting pajamas is a night off in our books. Heck, if I wasn’t pregnant, we’d probably celebrate with some champagne for this one.
#5: Late night ice cream runs
And by “late” I mean, squeezed in between after-dinner cleanup and the kids’ bedtime. (If we’re lucky, we might throw a #4 in there, too.) But like the responsible parents we are, when we’re feeling like having a little fun, it’s off to the ice cream store we go. It’s an easy way to keep the kids strapped in the car, happily occupied with ice cream cones, while we can sit and talk in the front seat. It’s *almost* like we’re alone.
#6: Grocery shopping
Unfortunately, this isn’t even something we can do as a date alone, but it counts as a trip out of the house nonetheless. Even though we have three young kids, we insist on shopping all together as a family, making a spectacle of ourselves and almost always coming home too exhausted to cook any of the food we just spent way too much money on. But neither of us wants to be the one to 1) brave the store alone or 2) brave the hungry children alone. So off we go, and once in a while, I pinch my husband’s butt in the cereal aisle, just for fun.
#7: Reading in bed together
This makes me sound about a thousand years old, but it’s the truth: I love when my husband and I spend time in bed together, doing you know, other stuff than just practicing our child-making abilities. We rarely go to bed at the same time, so when we are snuggled up together, reading or watching Netflix with shared headphones, I am as happy as that 17-year-old girl who boldly put my head on his shoulder on our first date. #truelove