After nearly 21 months, we finally did it. Anthony and I finally left Katie with a babysitter (my mom) and went out - after dark! We went to his friend's wedding reception in San Jose. The ceremony was in the morning, so Anthony went to that without me. We figured 15+ hours would be a lot to ask of any babysitter, even a relative.
I bought a new dress for the occasion, and I wore some heels I'd bought before Katie was born but never had a chance to wear*. My mom came over around 3:00 and played with Katie while I started getting ready. I actually had a chance to style my hair (well, to the best of my ability, which is severely limited), shave my legs (wow!), paint my fingernails AND toenails (huge wow!), and get dressed. Just this alone was a huge luxury, folks. And I must say, the ritual of getting ready lent a real sense of importance to the outing.
We came up with what we thought was a foolproof plan for our exit. We didn't want to make leaving a huge production, because we thought Katie would freak out. So, we planned for my mom to take her for a ride in her stroller just as we were leaving. We'd say goodbye and then Katie and my mom would leave us instead of us leaving Katie. That all sounded fine, but Katie knew something was up the moment she saw me in my dress. I picked her up, covered her with kisses, and put her in her stroller. We said goodbye, but the stroller didn't get 5 feet before Katie started to howl. My mom took off at almost a run, but I could still hear my little sweetheart crying "MAMA! MAMA! MAMA!" So heartbreaking! :(
However, we knew that Katie would be OK as soon as she was distracted, and there are about a million different things to distract her when she's in her stroller - doggies, geese, bicycles, birds, joggers, bees, bunnies, you name it. We have a bunch of trails that go all over our neighborhood, across bridges and along lagoons. My mom also likes to take Katie up to the wooden structures that overlook the bay. So we weren't too worried, but it's still so hard to hear her crying for Mama.
We got to the wedding reception, and met a bunch of friends of ours. We got drinks, and I looked around at everyone and said, "This is weird! I'm wearing high heels, I'm standing upright instead of with one hip out and a 25 pound toddler on it, I have a drink in my hand, and it's 6:00 and I'm not struggling to get dinner ready and feed Katie at the same time. Weird!" And it was weird. It was also fantastic. It did take about an hour and another cocktail, but I finally got over the strangeness and started to have fun.
It was great. We had dinner, we talked with friends, we danced. We found out that two of the couples at our table had toddlers within a month of Katie's age. We all talked about our kids a lot. I think it's going to take some practice before we're able to just forget all about Katie the second we walk out the door. I'm a little ashamed to admit that I showed pictures and even videos of Katie, but I promise it was to illustrate some point or other that I was making. Oh well, I guess I'm "that mom." This probably means I can no longer roll my eyes when I hear that my mom has been boring everyone silly, including the postman, the dentist, and the guy behind her in line at the movies, with pictures of her "grandbaby."
We got home at 11:45. That is more than two full hours past my usual bedtime! We sneaked in the house, as quiet as mice, and got the scoop from my mom. Katie was great, she said, and went to sleep without any problems. YES!!! Unfortunately, the screaming we heard as we were leaving lasted 30 minutes! OMG! My mom said she timed it. Wow, I had no idea that Katie could keep it up that long, with all the delightful sights to see. My mom strolled her for an hour and a half, because she thought that if she brought Katie back to the house, Katie would start looking for us and crying again. She didn't, though. She was pretty much fine after the 30 minutes were up. WHEW! So relieved.
I'm so glad we went! I can definitely see how a night out can help you reconnect with your spouse. YAY for date night! We're going to make it a regular thing!
*Those heels are going straight to charity. They are TORTURE! Other women seem to have some sort of immunity to high-heel pain, but I have exactly zero. Especially because I wear sneakers every day.