Ghosts of Valentine’s Past

Another Valentine’s Day has come and gone. There have been years when I awaited with starry anticipation, only to have two sticky toddlers put a crimp in the romance. My husband and I have never bothered with sitters, learning long ago that the area restaurants jack up their prices and fancy up their menus and all we really want is something fresh and fun and jeans-appropriate.

When the kids were young, I tried cooking a nice meal after the kids went to bed. Those turned out to be the nights the kids would not go to sleep at 7:30, and they’d come out of their rooms a dozen times. Curly Bear fell on the floor. Water needed refilling. Someone suddenly needed a tissue instead of a sleeve. Plans for dinner went out the window with the screams of “Mom” from my daughter’s bedroom, and we’d end up scarfing down food in a manic hunger.

This candy didn't end up on the floor or in any drinks.

We’ve tried including the kids in a special dinner at home only to find our daughter had a trick napkin that just wouldn’t stay in her lap. Oh, it’s on the floor again. Better climb down to get it. She burned all the calories from her meal while she constantly retrieved that flyaway napkin. Meanwhile, the ploop! of each pea my son plunked in his milk attracted the other half of our attention. Boy, we couldn’t have asked for a more romantic evening.

I get a bit weepy about the kids growing up sometimes, but it has plenty of advantages. Like dates and Valentine’s Day. Last night, I made a meal we could all enjoy and everyone sat around the table like civilized people and ate it. No one crawled on the floor or stuck food in their milk, though I caught my son red-handed earlier in the week. We enjoyed our evening together. I gave the kids homemade candy that took more time than I care to admit to make. But including my children in Valentine’s Day is what having a family is about. I love them too, every cute, painful, annoying, sweet thing about them. And they put up with me.

And the husband and I can finally have our dates. We met for lunch while the kids were at school, and neither of us put peas in our drinks.



Filed under Everyday Life, I Love Those Darn Kids

8 responses to “Ghosts of Valentine’s Past

  1. Date? What’s a date? Do you mean like when we get up at two hours before the noise demons do and either talk, “parallel play,” or engage in otherwise fun stuff? Early morning hours have become our time together! We feel the same as you about sitters — we actually prefer to dine out as a family (it’s fun, if daunting, peas and all). We have an affordable drop-off place nearby whenever we don’t want to haul the kids.

    • Yeah, that kind of thing. “Parallel play.” Hilarious! We’re lucky because most nights our kids do go to bed early, but now that they’re getting older I’ve noticed they’re staying up later. 7:30 doesn’t cut it anymore. But we still make them stay in their rooms. We dine out alone when the grandparents come to town. Then everyone is happy!

  2. You and I both know the drinks taste just a little better with peas in them…

  3. Hilarious post-Valentine’s Day post! Well done!

  4. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    This was great 🙂 It definitely says it like it is! Loved the ending too, that neither of you put peas in your drinks!!! Oh dear…

  5. I agree. Valentine’s Day is all about the love. For everyone, especially those little cuties.

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