Friday, May 14, 2010

Goodbye kiddos, hello margarita!

My in-laws live about 30 feet away from us. 

At first I hesitated at the close proximity.  I mean, what if we were doing a little something in the living room, accidentally leave the blinds open...

Or even worse, what if they're doing a little something in the kitchen, we happen to glance over (wondering what's on the stove and whether it is worth fishing for an invitation) and...

You get the point.

But we couldn't beat the rent and we are pretty tight with the landlords (also my in-laws), so we moved in straight from the honeymoon. 

Now I love my in-laws.  I really do.  They respect our privacy and, unlike the many comments I receive regarding Everybody Loves Raymond, they completely control their nosiness, refraining from any unannounced pop-overs. 

That being said, we certainly experience both highs and lows.

But in the end, what really matters is...

The free babysitting!

We try our hardest not to take advantage, but the people love their grandkids.  It's like they can't get enough.  And really, who am I to deny them that simple pleasure?  Right?

Evenings out, however, remain rare for my husband and I. 

I feel too guilty imagining my mother-in-law flipping through the four channels on our big box of a television when their 50" (right?) HDTV sits a mere 30 feet away, taunting her with its Food Network and Lifetime movies.

And also, my kids cannot do without me at bedtime.

Oh crap, I forgot my husband's reading again... what with  this post about my partial nudity and all.

Fine, so maybe they don't exactly need me.  But they certainly want me.  Prefer me?  Tolerate me?

Okay, okay.  Those boys could care less whether I am there or not.

I mean, at first The Tine chants, "Mommy doe?  Mommy doe?  Mommy doe?"

But then cookies and bubbles and the undivided attention of Grammy and Pap abound and when I rush in early the next morning he tears around the house, demanding, "Brammy Pap doe?  Brammy Pap doe?"  (translation:  Where did Grammy and Pap go?).

And that baby really does adore me, but when it comes to bedtime he cares very little about anything apart from his fuzzy pajamas and snuggly, warm crib sheets.

So when date night rolls around every couple of months or so, I spend approximately 30 minutes pre-departure strangling the control freak mom inside.  You know, the one that wants to dictate minute by minute the itinerary of events for the evening.

I hold back, but it must come out somehow.

So here it is. 

10 Things You Need to Know about Dinner, Bath, Bed, and My Sweet Little Babies

1. When feeding The Tine, name the meal according to its most appealing ingredient.  For example, a chicken wrap involving a whole wheat tortilla, baked chicken, sprouts, parsley, and a tiny sprinkling of cheese, must be referred to as a "cheesy wrap" for consumption purposes.

2.  Stick what you will in Bady's mouth, bottle, spoon, pizza (you know I'm kidding on that one, right?  Because it is a choking hazard and I will probably explode with worry if I don't clear that up)... unless it is milk-producing flesh, he will clamp those little lips and no amount of airplanes or "boop boop" noises will open him up.  Don't worry about it, he will just wake up 16 times tonight to make up for it.  And in an attempt to ease my guilt for leaving him in the first place, I will quickly oblige.

3.  Do not touch The Tine's clothing.  He recently watched Head to Toe with Elmo and insists on undressing himself.  Blood may appear when he wrenches his diaper to his knees without undoing the tabs, but please remain silent while he proves his manhood.  Afterwards profuse clapping and the singing of high praises is required.

4. The Tine adores his bath.  He loves duckies and bubbles and drinking the warm, urine-filled water.  But he considers the actual bathing process a complete injustice.  For full cooperation please place Elmo in a seated position on the pot, making sure he retains an unobstructed view of the bath.  Use the phrase, "Elmo is watching" at the first sign of tantrum.  Do not worry about scarring the child.  We already have that covered.

5.  Just so you are well informed... that boy will do anything to stall the bedtime process.  He will want to eat a vitamin on the potty immediately after bath.  He will ask for multiple stories and, right when you are ready to remove him from the toilet, he will start yelling, "Peepee come down!  Peepee come down!"  Do not be fooled.  Nothing is coming down.  Except perhaps that thread of sanity that is currently hanging by a wee little string.

6.  Just go ahead and pick a book for bedtime.  I used to let him choose any book he wanted.  Big mistake.  Then I narrowed it down to two.  And while watching him put his finger to his lips and mull over his choices with a long, drawn out, "hmmmmmmmmmm" was super cute at first, it got annoying fast.  He can veto the choice, however, which he indicates with a long, whiny, "Nooooooooo."  In this case give him a choice or two.  I mean, I'm not a freaking dictator, I just want to sit down already.  Is that really so wrong?

7.  After you read the book, he will want to read it to you.  It is another stall, but go ahead and let him.  I mean, we're not going to beat those other preschoolers with a couple extra minutes of sleep, but if I can get him reading by three... (evil laugh)

8.  After tearing the book from his surprisingly strong little hands he will want you to ask what he did today (which he will remind you about by saying, over and over again, "Do today?  Do today?  Do today?").  He will rarely ever tell you what he actually did that day.  He will always tell you he went Pap's house, whether he did or not, because we laughed at that once.  Then he will want to know what you did today.  And he actually listens.  I don't really care if this one's a stall because it is so stinking sweet.

9.  He will not kiss you goodnight, but pour on your kisses lavishly.  Hug his tiny toddler body until he pushes you away and blow kisses as you leave the room.  Don't bother going far.  A curtain call awaits very shortly.  More kisses and hugs and away he goes to dream land.

10.  Oh crap, the baby!  Yeah, you can just put him in his crib.  He will be slumbering shortly!  (But don't rest too easy, the toddler years are not far off.)


  1. Oh so funny! Enjoy your date night :-)

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  3. That is adorable! I love that Elmo watches him while he takes a bath to make sure that it goes smoothly! And it is adorable that he wants you to ask him what he did today and asks you what you did today... SO sweet!

  4. That's a useful list for anyone going in to the experience without absolute disclosure.

    My kids love to avoid bed time, by any means necessary. Usually it's running up and down the hallway shrieking in their undies. Bed time turns them all in to nutjobs.

    OMG. Elmo is always watching! I don't know why I never thought of that. Although, he doesn't command the same amount of authority as say...Cookie Monster. ;)

  5. It took me a long time to learn 6. It is so much easier for them to have the options narrowed. good job Mama.

    This grandparent loves to babysit and if it didn't work for me I would say so.

    Thanks for your comment on my garden post. XD

  6. Holy cow!! I am so stinking jealous!!!!!! How many exclamation points can I put in this comment form? I want in-laws - good ones like yours - right next door.

    Happy night out! -Karen


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