Date night circa 2008 used to be my favourite night.
Rory and I would meet after work, head for a few drinks and maybe watch a film or have a meal.
Oh those carefree days!
Now that we are parents, date night is centred around a 4KTV Panasonic in our living room rather than two for one cocktails in town.
It’s a very different ball game so I’ve created a five point guide to Date Night as parents.
1 – Put the children to bed
This is the easy bit right? The children are usually in their pyjamas, stories read and in their rooms by 7.15pm.
Unfortunately, lately they’ve not been going to sleep but at least they can entertain themselves for a while…
We head downstairs where I remove all the small trucks boobytrapping the place and Rory gets the ironing board out.
Let’s get this Date Night started!
2 – Choose and order food
We have an unwritten rule in our house that whoever is ironing wins control of the TV so Rory puts some football on for a while – coincidence?
We get the abundance of takeaway menus out to see what fare is on offer.
Rory’s attention is largely focussed on the football.
I keep ruining it by commenting on things like the colours of the football outfits and how much greener the grass looks on TV – in moments like this he appreciates that technology allows him to rewind live TV.
I pour a drink while we decide.
By about 8.30 we have made a choice and called the relevant establishment to place an order.
It has taken us THAT long.
3 – Choose a film
This is where we start to fall apart.
Rory will put away the ironing and start doing exercises. God forbid he just sit or something.
I pour another drink.
We decide to see what our subscribed service provider has to offer.
When it comes to films we have rather different tastes.
Rory likes those mindless action films with Vin Diesel, car chases and big explosions which look super impressive in HD on a larger screen.
I much prefer something a little more ‘highbrow’, something with a storyline and subtitles.
Or something completely trashy with beautiful people.
Combine this lack of agreement, with constantly running up and downstairs to see what the current child emergency is (not a lost limb as often indicated by the screaming) and the complete lack of usability of the aforementioned service provider it takes an age to trawl through categories including
Actors with shoes
Too artsy for it’s own good
4 – Collect food and choose a film some more
30 minutes has passed, we’re no closer to finding a film so Rory goes to collect the food leaving me with strict instruction to find a film and have it ready to go upon his return.
After a quick check of Facebook and Twitter, to see what’s occurring in the world, I reply to some messages.
I tell the children that everything in the world will be cancelled if they don’t sleep.
Rory returns, food in hand and I tell him I just couldn’t find anything to watch.
5 – Admit defeat
It’s gone 9pm, far too late to put a film on – it’s almost bedtime for crying out loud!
The children are still shouting us for emergencies including, but not limited to,
I need my covers putting on
Someone is making a noise outside.
We eat and decide we’ll watch a TV series we recorded about 6 months ago and maybe try again tomorrow…
And THAT’S how we keep the romance alive in this house!
There MAY be better advice out there…highly unlikely but maybe.
This is a collaborative post.