By: Heather Somaini
I wrote a Top 10 list awhile back of the things I thought important to know when having a baby. One of those things (#8) was to get out often with your baby…which I hope you did. #9 on that list was “Date Night” which was one of our early mistakes. We just didn’t do enough of them. I guess we kept thinking that we wouldn’t be as vulnerable to “relationship collapse” as other people we knew. And anyway, when you’re working too many hours, sleep deprived and exhausted, “date night” sounds like pure torture. Our bed and the remote control were perfect.
Early on, our friends Julie and Amy offered to come babysit so we would go out on our own. We turned them down a million times but they were insistent. They lived near by so that was nice and the babies were about six months old when we finally took them up on their offer. Tere met them at the house for the “hand-off” and everything went swimmingly. Julie and Amy have lots of nieces and nephews so we weren’t worried about their ability to manage the babies and felt confident they would have a fairly peaceful evening.
We had every intention of an early dinner and then back to the house but work got the better of me. I’m sure it was some emergency that had to be handled right then. I arrived to dinner late but we still enjoyed our time alone and expensive sushi. By the way, why is sushi always expensive? I suppose it’s because cheap sushi scares me. Doesn’t it scare you?
Well what happened next was sort of funny. We arrived home to a dark house. We were a little confused about what was going on and where everyone was. It was kind of like The Hangover . We were in the dark, wandering around, wondering what happened to our friends and our children. I heard a small voice coming from the living room. It was Amy. She had one of the babies and was walking around in the dark desperately trying to soothe him into sleeping. Amy seemed to be in pretty good spirits and was handling her charge well although we were very confused about why the baby was still awake since he would have normally been down by that point. Tere happily took the baby and moved towards the nursery to put him in his crib.
I quizzically asked Amy where Julie and the other baby might be. She motioned towards our bedroom. I walked the dark halls wondering what I would find. It was pitch black. “Julie?” I said. “Over here.” As my eyes adjusted to the light, I saw her. Julie was splayed out in a comfy chair in our room with the other baby lying on her. She was in a precarious position that looked incredibly uncomfortable. As I came closer to see what was going on, I could tell that she wasn’t moving for fear of waking the baby. “What are you doing?” I asked. “I can’t move. The baby will only sleep if I’m like this” she said. I giggled and began to extract the baby from her. Tere and I put both of the babies down in their crib and they continued to sleep.
We came back to our friends who were clearly suffering from some sort of post-traumatic stress disorder. Things were strewn about the house. It looked like there had been a bit of a struggle to tell you the truth. As Amy and Julie watched the babies sleep, they looked at us and asked “How did you do that? HOW DO YOU DO THIS EVERY NIGHT?”
Apparently, the babies just weren’t ready for babysitting yet or maybe they knew they had a couple of novices on their hands that they could torture endlessly.
We haven’t seen Julie and Amy since. I think they’re scarred for life.