A few Saturdays ago (January 28, 2012) Tary and I got to spend the majority of the day together without the kids and go on our first date since Matthew’s birth. I dropped Daniel off with my parents at around 10 AM so they could bring him to UMass Lowell for Tet (Vietnamese New Year). We left Matthew with Tary’s parents and gave some last minute instructions for them because this was the first time we left him with anyone for an extended period of time.
Even on a date night we still had to take advantage of our time away from our kids to get some errands done quickly. We went to the mall to buy some hand soap on sale. We also looked for some toddler books at Target for Daniel but could not find the books we had in mind for him.
We went to Toys R Us next but did not find many books there either. While standing in an aisle an older lady approached us and asked if we knew each other. It turned out to be the grandmother-in-law of my childhood best friend. She was with his son Eric who is now 6-years-old. We shared a brief conversation and caught up a little bit.
Tary and I then went to Barnes & Noble and spent quite a bit of time in their children’s book area. I tried to find a book that the kids read at daycare titled The Way I Feel by Janan Cain but it was not in stock. Tary found a specific section with classic toddler books and picked out at least a half-dozen of them for Daniel.
We then went grocery shopping at Stop N Shop to use the remaining balance of a gift card we received earlier in the year. The store is so ridiculously overpriced that I wonder how people can regularly shop here when the much more reasonably priced Market Basket is sitting on the opposite side of the street. We bought some items for a few dishes planned for the week. We put away the groceries at home before finally heading out on our date.
We went to Longhorn Steakhouse at around 5 PM. We were hoping to beat the dinner crowd but the restaurant was packed. There was a 45 to 50 minute wait. We grabbed our buzzer and waited in lobby with everyone else but it was pretty much standing room only. I asked the maître d’ if our buzzer would work from the parking lot and she said yes. After waiting in our car for about a half hour, we went inside the restaurant and were seated about 15 minutes later.
Tary and I started our dinner with our customary order of western battered shrimp. We also wanted to try something new so we ordered the shrimp and lobster chowder. The chowder was good but not as savory as I was hoping for and was a bit too sweet for my taste. For our entrees Tary ordered a rack of ribs with a side of mashed potatoes. I ordered the rib eye with vegetables. Our meals were delicious as always. Most importantly, our conversations were great and often centered around our kids.
By now we missed our boys dearly and once dinner was over we raced to go get them. We went to get Daniel first and he was wearing clothes other than what he came there with (which happens frequently when he is with my parents for any length of time). I changed him back into his original clothes while briefly getting a recap of how his day went with my parents. I’m glad that they reported that he had a good time running around Cumnock Hall and that he ate a lot. My poor dad looked exhausted.
The three of us went to Tary’s parents’ house next. We hung out there for a while instead of returning the following day during our weekly visits. Tary’s cousins Katherine and Peter volunteered at Tet so they got to see Daniel with my parents there. It was funny hearing Katherine explain why my dad looked so tired. My mom was watching some performances there while my dad got the enviable job of chasing Daniel around the hall. Katherine also shared that she got to show off Daniel to some of her friends. Of course I’m a little biased but I always swell up with pride when others comment on how cute he is.
It was a great date night. I love my wife so much. It was great just being able to talk with her and having a conversation when we’re not both deliriously tired. Matthew has now outgrown the “OMG, he’s so small/fragile” stage and we’re more comfortable with someone other than ourselves watching him. I’m looking forward to more dates like this night where we can remind ourselves that we’re very much a husband and wife as well as being Daddy and Mommy.