Friday, August 22, 2008

Zoo Photos, and the Date Night Report

In front of the fancy old-school carousel at the Red River Zoo

Riding the carousel

In front of a sculpture of a bison, painted to look like a tiger. It's hard to explain.

Visiting the camels, with their depressing view of the interstate. Poor Virgil and Cecil!

The week at the grandparents' is drawing to a close, and we'll have some great memories when we drive away tomorrow. Yesterday we hit the small local zoo, which despite the sad photo above of the camels overlooking the freeway, was actually quite lovely and fun.

In the late afternoon, Christopher and I embarked on our grand date-night adventure, which turned out to be completely trauma-less for the girls, who didn't really care that we were leaving (OK, Genevieve whimpered a bit, but reportedly recovered within minutes of our goodbyes). Julia was focused only on what she assumed would be a night of extravagant fun with her grandma. Rumor had it that pizza, Jell-O, and Winnie-the-Pooh videos would be involved. Maybe some messy arts and crafts and Play-Doh projects. Possibly the chance to walk the puppy. Waffles for breakfast, and some kind of sweet treat for morning snack. You can see how all of that might outweigh any hesitancy about Mama and Daddy leaving the premises.

Word had it that in our absence, the girls fell asleep at bedtime earlier than they have all week, slept later in the morning than they normally do, and were little angels the whole time. Julia acted as interpreter for Genevieve, as we knew she would, translating to my mom when Genevieve unintelligibly asked for her blankie ("Ung!"), her PJ Bear ("Dubba-ya!"), her yellow gingham sheet ("Dewwo!"), and her lullaby ("Bye baby!"). Thank goodness for older siblings.

As for Christopher and me, we squeezed in dinner out, a movie, a late dessert, sleeping "late" (8:15 a.m. is late to us), and a couple iced coffees in the morning before returning to the house in mid-morning. My parents greeted us with surprise, reminding us that the hotel check-out wasn't until 11, so they didn't expect us home until noon or so, prompting me to think to myself that had I known that no one cared if we came back in the morning or the afternoon, I would certainly have stayed away until the last possible minute. The upside of waiting more than four years for your first night away from your babies is that by the time you finally have one, you're so desperate for a break from parenting that it doesn't really bother you to be gone from them. You're just focused on the INCREDIBLE FREEDOM. THE INCREDIBLE, INCREDIBLE FREEDOM.

Oh, for grandparents who lived nearby and could host overnight visits--or even just evening dates!--more often than once every four years. For now, though, thanks Mom and Dad. We are more grateful than you know!


Elise said...

Yay for date nights! I'm so glad you FINALLY got one. It is soooo nice to be able to leave the kids somewhere where you know they'll not only feel (and be) safe, but also have an incredibly good time. Hope you get to do it again before another 4 years are out.

Question said...

YAY date night!

Mnmom said...

Tonight we had a love supper in the Cities followed by a walk around Lake Harriet. Bliss.

donna said...

Glad you had a wonderful trip up north - complete with family, friends, fun and a date night!! (Grandparents are wonderful, aren't they?)

We've had a lot of parallels in our life lately... My in-laws also took the kids for a day so we could celebrate our anniversary.