Monday, February 16, 2009

Romance Chez Mary

Valentine's Day has come and gone. One of the difficulties one faces while raising children in a semi-impoverished state (such as my own), is that finding the means to go out for a special evening with one's spouse is a rarity. Babysitters after all, charge money. And the last time when I tried to pay with a combination of monopoly money, a private Hannah Montana-style concert starring yours yours truly, as well as private tutoring in the dance moves made famous on High School Musical, I was thoroughly rebuffed (yes I can perform the dance to "We're All in This Together." Furthermore, I have performed it on stage in front of an auditorium of parents and peers. Just one of the perks of being a dance teacher to young kids). Teenagers these days are so picky. Come to think of it, I probably wouldn't have taken that deal as a teenager either. So this weekend Bert and I found ourselves babysitter-less for Valentine's Day.
The ever-resourceful person that I am, however tried to make up for this by lining up a babysitting exchange with a neighbor. By the way, a babysitting exchange is exactly what it sounds like. I agreed to babysit my neighbor's kids one night while she and her husband went out, and she in turn agreed to watch my kids while Bert and I went out. Unfortunately when we ro-sham-bo'd for the date night, I lost (no, we didn't actually play paper, rock, scissors to determine who would go out on Valentine's Day. How juvenile do you think I am? On second thought, don't answer that question. I did, after all just confess to knowing the choreography from High School Musical). It was determined that Bert and I would go out on the unlucky Friday the 13th and we would join the ranks of unpopular high school girls by babysitting on the most romantic day of the year. Except, unlike high school girls, I am popular and I would be performing this service for free. Lucky me.
Last week my sweet Duet caught a slight cold and was snoring at night. Poor Duet. Poor Mary. One of the difficulties one faces while raising children in a semi-impoverished state (such as my own), is that you end up sharing a bedroom with your husband and your nearly 2 year old daughter because you cannot afford to live in a place that has 3 bedrooms. And before I go any further, let me preemptively answer the question that is on your mind: yes, we tried having Una and Duet share a room but Duet awakens well before dawn, and in doing so wakes up Una. In this scenario I find myself with 2 cranky children and a cranky personality of my own. By sharing a room with Duet, I subtract one cranky child from the mix (since Una isn't in close enough proximity to hear her wake up) and this makes life more tolerable for all.
Where were we?
Ah, yes. The snoring child.
So last week Duet's snoring was keeping me up at night. That would have been acceptable if she'd chosen to sleep in until a reasonable hour. But she was instead waking up at 5:00 every morning. So I was averaging 4-5 hours of sleep each night for 5 nights and not handling the sleep depravation very well. By Friday night there was one thing that I craved more than anything else. That thing didn't involve Bert in the slightest. More than a pseudo-Valentine's Day date on Friday the 13th, I wanted to sleep. So I called my neighbor and cancelled her services for the evening, took a unisom, bade Bert good-night, and climbed into bed at 8:00pm. You'd better believe I slept in until 8:00am the next day. Happy Valentine's Day, indeed. Who needs dinner, chocolate, flowers, heart-shaped jewelry, or teddy bears when they can have sleep? OK, so I maintain that no grown woman should ever receive a teddy bear from her beloved. Especially not on Valentine's Day. And heart-shaped jewelry? Really? I'm sure I would have thought it was pretty when I was 5 and my favorite colors were pink and purple. But now that I'm all grown up, I prefer Tiffany, and instead of pink and purple, I choose blue. Tiffany blue. For the record, I'll take dinner, chocolate, and flowers nearly anytime. Just not when I'm sleep deprived.
On Valentine's night a rested Mary headed over to the neighbor's house where she raided the refrigerator, texted her BFF's, spent hours on Facebook, channel surfed, and put off studying for her algebra midterm. Just like all of the other Valentine's Day babysitters.