“Date Day,” the cure for the (un)common date night?

(Most of this short throw-off was written back in late August, but I just noticed that I hadn’t published it, so I inserted a brief addendum, and here it is.)

Joe gave me a great anniversary gift this year: he arranged for a day off for both of us to spend together; and I’m thinking that this may be a new, bi-monthly solution to our date night difficulties.

As everyone with a child knows, pretty much nothing is as much of a rare, precious, desperately yearned-for resource as time for yourselves. So for my gift, Joe planned to take a Friday off from work during my maternity leave and paid for Neve to spend the day (in the baby room) at the same place where Lily would be in pre-school. Plus, as a bonus, he arranged for his parents to come over and feed Lily dinner, and take care of Neve, while we ate dinner at a restaurant.

So after dropping off the girls, Joe made a lovely, Cheerios-free brunch while we read the newspapers; then we went for a bike ride and attended a matinee screening of the last Harry Potter movie. (We’d hoped to do more outdoors, like canoeing, or going biking at Kensington, but that Friday turned out to be kind of overcast and crummy.) After picking up the girls and spending some time with them, Grandma and Grandpa arrived, so we left for a quiet dinner at Sweet Lorraine’s.

You know. A dinner where we weren’t begging/ordering Lily to focus on dinner and eat, with Joe trying to fork food into his mouth while cradling Neve, who suddenly wants to be held.

We did another “date day” for Joe’s birthday in December, and I plan to ask for another in February, when my birthday comes up. It’s a lovely, occasional respite that we can look forward to.