Have you heard the story about the married couple with kids? Recently, the wife was doing the dishes in the kitchen when her husband stepped up behind her and said, "hey, girl. You want to go out?" Without even turning around, the wife quickly replied "Oh God, Yes!!! We never do that anymore. I'd love to." Anyway, the couple went out and had a wonderful evening. But it wasn't until the end of the night that the husband confessed that his question had been directed at the family dog, who had been lying at the wife's feet on the kitchen floor!
BossLady and I are generally pretty good at making sure that we get time for ourselves away from the baby. As anyone with kids will attest, this is no easy task. But we find that if we don't get some time alone together or with some friends for a long dinner, we start going crazy. Usually, the threshold is about three weeks. If we don't get an evening out together in three weeks, we'll start picking fights with each other over who left the dirty dishes in the sink (her), whose turn it is to walk the dog (me), or which American idol needs to go (I say Gedeon. She says Kinnik.)
Anyway...this past Friday, BossLady and I decided that it was time for another much-needed date night.
Now, I don't know whether I've ever told you that, in addition to her many
great attributes, the BossLady is a fucking rock star. Seriously! She's got an awesome voice and, during her grad school days, she
even played bass guitar in an all-female alternative rock band. Back when
we were a childless couple, the two of us would often go to these
private karaoke rooms (noraebang)
that are prevalent throughout New York City. Sometimes, we'd make it an entire evening. Other times, we'd be hanging out with friends and,
on the way home, the two of us would decide to make a pit stop to
belt out some tunes together. More than once, we emerged from those
rooms just as the sun was starting to come up.
Recently, we'd been lamenting the fact that we hadn't done this since the Peanut was born. So, on Friday night, we got a babysitter, went out for some Korean barbecue, headed over to our favorite karaoke joint, got our our own private room and started belting out tunes. Needless to say, it was just like old times. I did my usual repertoire of songs by Bush, Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Bruce Springsteen. BossLady covered everything under the sun...The Killers, Madonna, Dido, Beastie Boys, Cheap Trick and even a few Korean songs. (However, in my honest opinion, you haven't lived until you've heard her versions of Lauryn Hill's "Doo Wop," Night Rangers' "Sister Christian," or Radiohead's "Creep.")
We had an awesome time. For five hours, we remembered what it was like to be young and childless. Never in a million years would we ever regret deciding to have a child. But for one night? It was great visiting our younger selves, rocking out and having fun in the moment.
The only downside is the cost of getting someone to watch the Peanut. Like everything else in NYC, babysitters are expensive. We generally pay our sitters between $12-15/hour. We give them another $15 to order some dinner. And if we stay out past 11:00 pm, we usually hand them another $20 to take a taxi home. So, needless to say, sometimes even going out for a quick burger and a movie ends up costing us $120! It's insane, right? Thankfully, MetroBro is an excellent babysitter and loves spending time with his niece so we usually only end up having to pay for a sitter once a month. But generally, we chalk up the expense of a babysitter as an essential cost of living.
After all, you can't really put a price on one's sanity, can you?
But, as usual, I'm curious about other parents in the blogosphere. Do you have date nights with your spouse? How often? Who watches the kids? What's the market rate for a babysitter where you live? What do you do on date night?