This past weekend we went out two nights in a row. It has been at least four years since that has happened.
On Thursday Christopher was like, “Can you get a babysitter for a surprise?” And because I don’t especially like surprises, and I wanted to know if it was worth the trouble getting a last-minute babysitter, I made him tell me what it was. When he said, Phantom of the Opera at the Fox Theater, I called my friend Carla and asked her to sit at my house if we’d put all the kids to bed first.
The Phantom was fabulous, of course. I hadn’t been to the Fox Theater since seeing the Osmonds (Alan’s sons) star in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and I didn’t remember much about it, other than trying to decide which Osmond I would marry. (Coincidentally, Scott was in the dorms with me, I hung out with Nathan at the Riv, and Jon was in our ward in Arlington. Random.)
It had been a good three years since I had been to a Broadway show, and I had never seen Phantom. During the first act, we were sitting in nosebleed seats with a tall guy in front of us. During intermission, we nonchalantly moved much closer to the stage, like we were at a baseball game. It was fun, the actors were brilliant, and the orchestra was wonderful.
The next night we did the same thing: put the kids to bed and left a babysitter (this time a teenage neighbor) on our couch. We went to a Bain dinner at French American Brasserie, which was delicious and classy. We had fun catching up with old friends and meeting new ones.
Of course all that hard partying wore me out and I caught the cold Christopher brought back from California. I left church early and spent most of the day in bed. By Monday morning, I was sick!
Christopher was able to stay home Monday morning, but had to fly out this morning. Luckily, Megan and Gavin don’t mind watching hours of Netflix movies, and Ben is a compliant napper. I’ve tried to take them to the pool once and day to get all their energy out.
The pool in our “backyard” is amazing. My mom was concerned we wouldn’t like having the pool outside our apartment, because of the noise. Oddly enough, I think we are the ONLY people in the building who actually use the pool. It really is like having a private pool, that someone else maintains.
Several times a week, I’ll take Megan and Gavin to the pool when Ben is napping, and listen to him on the monitor. I can prop my feet up in the lounge chair and play “lifeguard” for hours.
Speaking of Ben, this boy is a handful. He’s at that “climb on the kitchen table, throw my pacifier in the toilet, stick my wet finger in an uncovered electrical outlet, walk like a drunken sailor on land” phase.
It is probably the most physically exhausting stage of parenting. I know when I have three teenagers I’ll probably be more emotionally exhausted, but this chasing after a toddler is HARD WORK. Benjamin, unlike Megan and Gavin, who would sit for a story or a movie, is NEVER STILL. EVER. EVER. He climbs and runs and falls and explores. Pulls the books from the shelves and the toaster oven trays and salad spinner from the cabinets and unrolls all the toilet paper. And his absolute favorite items are a toothbrush (doesn’t matter whose) and a hairbrush. He likes to be a well-groomed boy.
Still, there are perks. He wears himself out, too. He has been sleeping like a champ. All I have to do is lay him down in his crib with the pacifier and blankie, and he’s good for 12 straight hours at night and 3 hours during the day. Right now, it’s 6:30 p.m.-a.m. at night. I hate waking up so early, but it will be a good schedule when school starts in FOUR WEEKS.
Finally, the biggest perk of having a toddler is the unconditional love. The endless hugs and sloppy kisses and “Mama!”s. You just don’t get this kind of love once they learn how to talk back. Benjamin is also, by some miracle, incredibly polite. He started saying “Thank you” every time you hand him something and it is probably the most adorable thing I’ve ever heard.
Here’s Gavin Saturday morning. Megan had made him into a construction paper knight.
Ben snuggling with Dad
At the pool
(Having trouble with the focus on my camera. Anyone have any suggestions?)