B and I went out to dinner last night. Without the kids. Crazy.
B is part of a social club at work and several times a year we all go to some fancy pants restaurant, order the most expensive thing on the menu and drink exclusively from the top shelf. Fun.
On the woefully rare occasions that we go somewhere without the boys, we leave them with my mum, Betty aka Granma. Apart from being the closest person to LD and Zee besides us, Betty is a pretty excellent babysitter. She doesn't frazzle easily. And two little boys under the age of four are all about the frazzle-making. They frazzle the fuck out of me. But Betty is great with them. She is the only person I trust not to lose her shit in the event that things don't go to plan.
Last night, B and I farewelled Mum, leaving her with both boys awake. Wide awake. As in, running around in crazy circles wide awake. Betty aka Granma is quite the draw-card. Neither boy wanted to miss a crazy minute by going to sleep. And also, we scrapped the bath for the evening because it's a shitfight when B and I tackle it together: we couldn't leave Betty to tackle it alone. Not even for shits and giggles.
We had strayed from the plan, were about as far from the routine as it's possible to be. Added to this, history shows that Zee doesn't settle well for anyone but me. And by me, I mean my knockers. Lately, we've been making progress with popping him into his cot awake but this always follows at least a quick boobing.
So despite all evidence to contrary, I thought 'It's all going to work out!' and left Betty with these comforting words:
"Just give Zee a quick cuddle and put him in his cot. He might protest initially but it'll be very short-lived. You'll be fine. Have fun!"
We offered no advice on how best to proceed with LD's bed time because it's not our style to give advice about things on which we have no authority.
And then B and I made our getaway like we were Bonnie and Clyde.
Dinner was lovely. I may have used the word cunnilingus too much or was it more a case of too soon? It's so hard to gauge the level of inebriation of ones dining companions when one is thinking of doing a nudey run after only half a glass of champagne.
B and I shook our heads and made appropriately empathetic faces when one couple kept getting phone calls from the babysitter who couldn't get their three-month-old to settle.
18 December 2010: our 11 year anniversary, the last time we went out to dinner
We returned home to the sound of Betty talking. "Don't jump to conclusions," I told B. She is talking on the phone. She is talking in her sleep.
Or she's talking to our three-year-old and sixteen-month-old: at fifteen minutes before midnight.
As is her way, Betty remained unfrazzled. Almost six hours with two very young and seriously over-tired boys and not so much as a phone call to alert us to a possible problem? Even after she had worked all day? The woman is a force.
Today, Betty called me to see if she was in trouble for perceived babysitting failures: I told her not to be so silly. A bad babysitter is the one who calls to tell you things aren't going so smoothly. A good babysitter puts recorded episodes of Play School on the television and hopes for the best.
A good babysitter is hard to find.
We found a great one.
Betty is the BEST babysitter. God love her and her unfrazzled ways xx
She is awesome.
Of course, after letting my children stay up until midnight, she got to go home, go to bed and sleep in until midday.
I can’t wait to be a grandmother. It’s a sweet gig.
Betty is awesome. Betty is also the reson Angel is so many kinds of awesome too. Bless both your cotton socks! x
Thank you, Ladybird.
It’s true. Even though I did not fall directly from her tree, I am most certainly the apple I am because of Betty.
How wonderful to have a lady of such unfrazzled class as Betty to babysit. To be able to go out and know your kids are in such good hands? You can’t put a price on that.
And yes, I am all about scrapping bath time on those rare date nights. Who needs that kind of shit?
Betty is a gem: there is no denying this.
And still, I insist on referring to her as Betty which is NOT her name and which she does NOT like.
Bath time before date night is tricky – there is never enough time to do it but if we don’t, it wreaks havoc on the winding down stage: as in, they don’t wind down AT ALL.
As the Little Mumma commented, Granmas get to have the fun, spoil ’em rotten and then walk out and leave the pandemonium behind and then sleep in the next morning (as long as it’s not a work day). Grandmotherhood is God’s gift for being a parent. Love it.