Cold Beer & Conversation

If you are late to the Less on the Floor party, I might as well reiterate that Babyman is somewhat challenged in the falling asleep department.  This means, almost four years in, that Babyman’s parents (me being one of them) are somewhat challenged in the sanity department.  You know that internet-sensation book, Go the F— to Sleep, that everyone thought was SO FUNNY last year?  I own that book in hardcover.  I read it for solace.  I take it as a sign from above that my husband and I are not alone on the barren desert of bedtime.  Somewhere, not that long ago, someone else felt the way we do, and that person wrote a book about it, then got Samuel L. Jackson to lend his voice to our pain.  Amen.

Suffice to say that every once in a while, we need to step back and seek a bit of perspective.  Often in the form of a beer.

It occurs to me that I don’t give my husband proper credit on this blog.  My husband is amazing.  He is a model dad.  He is a great cook.  He is engaged.  And engaging!  To quote Jerry Maguire, “My whole life is this family, and it does not work without him.”

My husband and I met at 18, started dating at 19, got married at the ripe old age of 24, and tipped a few cows on two continents before getting serious about kids.  But then we did and, as my girlfriend said today, “No matter how you started, it’s a different marriage once you add kids into the picture.”

Earlier this year, we kind of realized we had lost our mojo.  There was work, and kids, and a haze of exhaustion, and really not much left for…wait, who are you again?

I work in a school and it’s usually spooky-quiet come Friday afternoon.  My husband works crazy hard all week and sometimes on weekends, so on Fridays I often point out that if he has to work on Saturday anyway, he might as well not destroy himself on Friday trying to tie up loose ends.  Backwards logic, perhaps, but it gets him away from the computer.

I guess it was around February, but we made a date.  Which, after two weeks, cemented itself as a standing date.  Every Friday at 4:30, we meet at a bar down the street from daycare and we have beers.  No more than two each, just enough to shake off the week and usher in a few days of relaxation (such as it is, when your “alarm clock” doesn’t know the difference between Tuesday and Sunday and blares to life at 5:45am declaring that “The happy news is, I didn’t pee in my bed!”).

There are other people in the bar, too: young, professional people, doing the happy hour thing and planning their weekends.  It’s lively, and outside our child-rearing cocoon and we actually look at other and talk without spelling things we don’t want the kids to understand (“Behavior a bit n-a-u-g-h-t-y today and I’m thinking maybe he’s t-i-r-e-d.  Perhaps e-a-r-l-y to b-e-d?”).  Every week, as we near the end of the second beer, we click our heels together and wish for our children to be beamed home, fed, and bathed so we can tuck their sweet-smelling selves straight into bed.  Every week, this fails to work, so we pay the bill and scurry down the street to retrieve them and begin the bedtime ritual.

When you have kids, everyone talks about how you have to have Date Night.  Date Night, as it turns out, is sometimes harder than it sounds to stick to: babysitters are expensive and hard to come by, work is demanding, the bedtime ritual is complex and demands consistency…But Date Afternoon, well, with a little finagling it wound up being doable.  And essential.

Here’s looking at you, babe.


  1. There is something to be said about day drinking. I think lawn parties were just preparing us for date afternoon 🙂

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