My kids encompass my entire life. They move me every day to do great things. They can bring me to tears and laughter with only a look. I don’t know what I would be without my kids? I wouldn’t trade being a father for anything in this world. I would however trade my kids for a few hours so they can have a sleep over with their grandparents and their mom and I can have some time alone.
And so that is what my wife and I did. Three weeks ago, my mother-in-law offered to have the girls overnight, an offer we gladly (and possibly too enthusiastically) took. This past weekend, the kids had their sleepover with their grandparents and my wife and I had the night just to us. To do whatever it was we wanted.
There was just one issue, even with three week to plan out our Saturday night, as late as the very Saturday night our kids were gone, my wife and I were still trying to figure out what it was we wanted to do. Being no strangers to conversations of all kinds, my wife and I struck up our latest when I got home from work that Saturday night to try an figure it out.
Saturday 7:34 PM
“Ok, we really need to formulate a plan for tonight. The kids are going to be back in only 14 hours.” I stressed the ‘only’ because I find it is always best to instill a sense of urgency with my wife.
“That’s a lot of time to do something.” My wife deadpanned her response because she was too busy staring in to the computer. Apparently I was going to have to compete with the urgency of her finishing the next level on Mah Jong.
“I’m not sure you heard me. Fourteen hours. This isn’t football where 30 seconds can last a half an hour.” I was willing to hyperventilate if I had to in order to drive home my point.
“So what do you want to do with all of this precious time?” She picked up her head from the computer. I had maybe 3 seconds before she would turn her attention away from me.
“I mean, 14 hours, I’ll have to pick up some Gatorade and some snacks but I was thinking we could…you know.” Time to turn on the charm.
“What the hell are you talking about?” My ‘On’ switch must be broken.
“I thought I would take a shower, turn on some music, and see what happens?” I made sure my voice got increasingly deeper and slower by the time I finished my sentence until I was doing the closest thing I could to a Barry White impression.
“In case you hadn’t noticed Romeo, I have a low grade fever and a sinus infection. My head is full of snot.” To emphasize her illness, my wife inhaled as hard as she could through her nose. It sounded like mayonnaise being pushed through a garden hose.
“What? No headache too?” I wasn’t buying it…ok, I was in denial.
“As a matter of fact, my head does hurt. Do we have any Advil?” She was really trying to lay it on thick.
“No.” I didn’t really know about our Advil supply in the house nor was I going to check (of course I didn’t know where she kept the Advil anyway but wasn’t the point).
“Great, now we have something to do tonight.” She was really ramping up her sarcasm.
(Editor’s note: My wife was indeed sick. In fact, her sinus infection spread to her ear. It got so bad; she was at the doctor’s office on Monday getting a prescription for enough antibiotics to cure the zombie virus and Vicodin for the pain she was in)
“Well, I guess I don’t need to take a shower.” If I was going to suffer, she might as well feel my pain too.
“Are you trying to make me sicker than I am now?” She was definitely on top of her sarcasm game.
“Are you sure you’re that sick?” My grandfather always told me there was no such thing as a stupid question.
“What do you think?” Another snort from my wife that this time sounded like she was sawing through a piece of wood covered in strawberry jelly.
“You’re sick. Now what are we going to do?” Pouting really does not become me but I was all out of options at this point.
“Well, I have a mound of snot filled tissues building up in the bathroom or there is the basement we still need to finish painting?” That’s it? No option to kick me in the groin?
“That’s it? No option to kick me in the groin?” From my brain directly to my mouth.
“Spread your legs.” Another point for my wife.
“Ok, I’d rather not tackle the tissues. Besides, if the mound gets big enough, maybe an alien mother ship will show up and take me away. Somehow alien abduction doesn’t seem like a bad option at this point.”
“If it will get you to stop complaining, I’m all for that.” I was complaining wasn’t I?
“Fine, let’s paint. Can we at least eat dinner first?” Sometimes you just have to accept your plight.
“Do you want to get something or make it here?” I don’t know why she is asking me, I would be willing to bet she has the answer to this already.
“Since our night alone will be spent painting Mother, I’m thinking we could have cream corn and sugar free Jell-O.”
“We’re old aren’t we?” These are the moments that you could begin your sentence with, ‘If this was 15 years ago…’
“Yup and sick. Now let’s eat so I can start painting.” There is always the chance the kids will have another sleepover and besides, at least we figured out what we were going to do.