A Mommy Time-Out

by | Mar. 23, 2004

Parenting

Like what, you ask? Oh, nothing so bad as yelling and swearing, but things a professional Mommy would never say, like “I’m done with you today!” and “Do you want to spend the entire day in a time-out?” and of course as soon as my work-tired, hungry husband walks in the door, “Please! Just give me five minutes alone without kids!”

The other night I got exactly that – and then some. I went on a date with my husband, without kids! Can you imagine my girlish delight and anxious anticipation? No toddlers screaming to waiters to assist in an escape from the high chair. No preschoolers making ferocious faces at other restaurant patrons or chucking crayons into hanging-light fixtures. No diaper bag dragging my shoulder at an awkward angle with the load of juice boxes, Teddy Grahams, favorite blankies, spare blankies, a library of durable books, and a warehouse supply of diapers and wipes. I was free!

I dared to dress in a dry-clean-only shirt and slipped on shoes meant merely for looks, with no regard for comfort or chase-enhancing abilities. I let my ponytail down and carefully applied my “I’m-to-hip-to-be-a-Mommy” lipstick. I was ready.

Arriving at our favorite restaurant, I wanted to announce in the form of a cheer: “Party of two! Whoo-hoo!” Once seated, I perused my menu, never once thinking, “I better order a meal with french-fries for the kids.” I could order a complicated salad with any salad dressing I wanted. I could sip my drink in peace, well knowing that no out-of-control toddler would fling it onto my lap. I could focus solely on my husband, without strategically determining seating arrangements for the booster and the high chair. Ahh…the taste of freedom.

But then the unexpected happened – conversation with my beloved spouse. All I could find myself saying were things like, “Isn’t it so funny the way Kathryn says ‘movie’ – ‘moo-ee’?” and “Guess what Connor did today – he sent an email to Australia! Isn’t he a trouble-making-genius?” and “Should we purchase the kids Wiggles concert tickets?”

I couldn’t stop talking about out kids –their deeds, misdeeds, and every adorable trick they could perform. I thought I was free, and still they pervaded my thoughts. I tried to steer the conversation in other directions, but inadvertently I U-turned back to the kids. Why couldn’t I escape them?

But then I realized that I didn’t want to escape them. I wanted to talk about them, think about them, wonder what antics they were pulling on the baby-sitter. It dawned on me that my children are my life, my heart, my soul. They give me light and laughter. They are the best combination of me and my husband and henceforth practically perfect in every way.

At the end of our date, I was refreshed, renewed, ready to by the perfect Mommy (of course until the next time I needed five minutes alone without the kids)! And after accidentally dipping my hair in my exotic soup, with no baby wipes handy for quick clean-up, I realized why ponytails and diaper bags are all the rage.

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