Thanks for showing me some love with the comments–free for you, yet priceless to me! Anyway. . .
I was walking through Target yesterday, and I stopped to look at the Valentine’s Day cards. We generally craft something up at our house, but I know that the girls appreciate the finery of store-bought. There were a couple of particularly beautiful cards–one in particular said “Butterfly Kisses”, and that’s sort of a thing between J & W, so I was excited. And then it occurred to me to turn the cards over to check the price. $6!! For each card!! Ummmm. . . no. More expensive than the cheap boxes of chocolate that they will actually get. I walked away harrumphing to myself about crappy commercialism and manufactured desires. And then, driving home, I was listening to NPR–did you hear this? They finished the segment with this poem by Norah Pollard called St. Valentine’s Day. And by the end I had to restrain myself from turning around and getting the cards. And I had to give myself a pep talk that I express my love to my children plenty, even if they sometimes appear to want even more (like poor J, still exiled to the princess sofa).
On the brighter side of cheap, let me share my relatively new concept: The Internal Date. I started this because we happened to have a special occasion when we’d already had several nights out in succession, but it’s also good if you’re too cheap or uptight for a babysitter. The first night I did this, I was treating W, so I made a delicious dinner (if I do say so myself) of things we’d be likely to eat if we were ordering from a restaurant (mussels, fresh-baked bread, pork with blue cheese & dried cherries), plus W’s favorite cookies for dessert. Tonight we’re getting take out from a restaurant that we actually have a gift card for–from whom? I’ll give you one guess.
Either way, the girls help me set up the “restaurant”–I move the dining room table over so we feel like we’re in a little nook, we pull out a tablecloth and china and candles, and the girls sometimes make menus. This creates buy-in. No–I’m serious. They become invested in the charade, so they know that when it’s time for them to disappear, they really do. So it will be like a real restaurant. We set them up with a movie on our bed–a big deal since we don’t usually have a tv in there–and they’re cuddled in their pjs, so that that-which-shall-not-be-typed-for-fear-that-I’ll-jinx-it-for-tonight usually happens. Yes, we still have to clean up after ourselves, but it does shift us into that have-another-glass-of-wine-while-we-talk-some-more frame of mind, which, for me, is the most important part of the date.
Anyway, if you don’t have a babysitter this weekend, it’s worth a try, right?