I had my first night out, sans child, the other night. Let's have a moment of silence while we contemplate that.
This is not something I feel comfortable advertising, because after all, Finn is almost 3. Three years without a night off seems.....a bit extreme. And that was just me taking the night off. Mr. F. stayed home and put Finn to bed. I can't, at the moment, really concieve of a time when we might both take off and leave Finn to a babysitter. That sort of boggles my mind, so I tuck that idea away until it actually seems plausible. Let's just say that there were reasons and impediments to this happening earlier. Perhpas, I could have forced the issue, but I didn't.
Three years is a long time for one to be stuck permanently at home by 6 o'clock in the evening.
So, my night off. I went to a holiday lab party where I was aquainted with all of four people (out of 15-20). So, you know, it wasn't the ultimate night out experience for an introvert like myself. That being said, I was shocked by how much I enjoyed myself. For the most part, I talked about topics completely unrelated to parenting and life with kids. I got to regale current graduate students with crazy advisor stories and bring up book titles of recent reads. The most amazing thing was: the conversations were completely uninterrupted.
How glorious to have conversations begining to end without someone tugging, whining, screaming, and schememing for attention! This just does not happen with a toddler. (Or perhaps I should say with my toddler). The high I felt was completely addictive, and I drove home after my brief reprieve thinking about how I could arrange a repeat experience. A dinner out with friends, perhaps? The possibilities seemed endless. And there was a sense of urgency to replicate the experience before the birth of number two, when who knows what will be an option.
Of course, even as I was glowing with my new found freedom, I felt a twinge of regret. I had missed bedtime! I wasn't absolutely neccessary, and a suitable replacement could be found! I found I missed that snuggle time as Finn falls asleep. It seemed completely crazy to feel that way though. Three years without a night off! Who knows how many nights before I miss another bedtime?! I don't need to feel all sad and regretful, but I did. Motherhood. It makes you insane. (And you know, Finn found me at 4:30. Then 5:30. Then we shared some really not so awesome time together from 5:30-6:30 where it became apparent that he really wasn't going to fall back asleep. So, you know, we made up for that lost time the evening before).
So now I just need to plan or be invited to another event before baby two comes along, and I forget what it is like to think and to have a coherent conversation.