Sunday, October 12, 2008

Success (via low expectations)

Well, we took the leap.

Last night we had a babysitter come, and M and I left the house together, sans children, and shared a bottle of wine. Oh, and dinner, too.

E was thoroughly prepped and though she adores the young woman whom we had arranged to have come over, E did declare in advance that she was not going to listen to Danielle if Danielle told her it was bedtime.

I had mentioned to a friend that we figured that the worst case scenario was we'd get home and there would be two still-awake children zombie-watching Noggin on the couch. I said we had planned to go a restaurant just a mile from home, and if things got too terrible we could literally be home in five minutes. I told the friend that I'd tell Danielle that if she called I could even get in the car and drive directly home. The restaurant is so close that I could leave M to pay our bill and walk home, if necessary, if Danielle called. The friend said, "but you know she won't call." And "I know..." was my answer.

She called.

After over an hour of trying to get L to take her bottle and go to sleep, L was still awake. She wouldn't cry if Danielle held her, but she wouldn't go to sleep. We finished our entrees, called Danielle to see if it was urgent, left the restaurant, stopped by a different restaurant to pick up my favorite local dessert, a wood-fired chocolate pizza, and came home.

The good news was that E wasn't hysterical at all. She actually listened. We came home to fine L in Danielle's arms, and E smiling in her pajamas in her bed: a complete reversal of the roles we'd anticipated from the girls.

Lessons learned:

*Sometimes E isn't as challenging as we expect her to be, and sometimes L isn't as easygoing. Good to remember not to generalize their temperaments too much, or corner them into family roles to play.
*Might have been worthwhile to put L to bed ourselves, and go out later.
*Definitely should have gotten both girls into pajamas before we left.
*Good babysitters are worth their weight in gold, and are paid at nearly that rate.
*A shared bottle of wine, enjoyed in grown-up clothes and poured by a third party, is a lovely, lovely thing.
*But nothing trumps the crankiness of a teething baby except her Mama.

So we'll call Danielle again, but we're going to wait until these few swollen gums bring forth their promised bounty. For many, many reason, we hope that will be very soon. Pin It