Help, We Had A Date Night And Now We Fear Our Children’s Imminent Return!

Dear Abby,

Help! We had a date night that involved the kids going to sleep over at their grandma’s house, and now we’re here lying in bed at a LUXURIOUS 8AM on a Saturday with nothing but the tinkling mews of the cats to gently awaken us from our reverie. You see, normally, our eldest (5) will bounce into our room around, oh, 5AM, ready for (as she bellows) MY LITTLE PONY!! And since we know from way too much experience that she will 100% not simply go back to sleep, but will instead wake her little brother (2) to play with if the ponies are not used as a delaying tactic for slightly more snoozing on our part, we relent. One of us crawls out of bed, beleaguered, perhaps even hating those rainbow ponies (“What pony are YOU, mama? I’m Twilight Sparkle!” the five year old merrily asks as I pick my way over DUPLO in the dark to the TV. “What pony likes sleep?” I ask. “I don’t know. Applejack likes apples, you can be Applejack.”  “Okay, sweetie,” I yawn.)

So anyway.

The kids had a sleepover with their grandma last night, and now we’re making coffee, and thinking about what we’ll do with the leisurely morning we have left.  Ride our bikes? Take a walk that doesn’t involve someone refusing to walk halfway through the walk (an activity literally called A Walk, children)? Write some novels? The possibilities seem both endless and fruitless, because Abby — we’re afraid.

They’re going to return any minute.

How do we use the time we have wisely without being overcome with longing for the good sleep we attained, for the Saturday morning without a single door creaking open at 5AM, the little pad of feet on the stairs, the giggling in the dark over rainbow ponies, the request for snuggles under our covers when the ponies are over, the giggling as they transform from children to blanket ghosts, who are so ticklish! The requests for Mama’s Waffles because Mama’s Waffles are the Best Waffles. The tea party invitations delivered in crayon. The “I can be a helper!” announcements followed by trying Very Hard to set the table correctly (we all get sippy cups, and the stuffies get their own place settings, naturally).  The nose nuzzles. The two year old patting us on the back when we hug him, because that’s what he knows from his own hugs: a gentle hand patting a back, now reversed, the tiniest hand, the tiniest gentle pat pat pat…


Maybe them coming home won’t be so bad after all.

Thanks Abby.


Date Night Fever

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