These last couple of weeks have been...well, um..."difficult*."
The kids have been, for lack of a better word, "challenging**."
Everyone has been "under the weather***." (again)
And the weather has been... "hot****."
* pushing the limits of all my patience and goodwill
** trying to drive me insane, one sleepless night and screaming tantrum at a time
*** coughing like their next breathe will be their last, as their sinuses relieve themselves all over my new shirt
**** like living in the depths of hell (except not Dante's version, because at this point I might welcome anyone fanning me with their wings, no matter how evil)
So, you know, it's been a little rough.
The perfect cure for these kinds of days, weeks, months... is "date night!" (I hate the term "date night." Why do we have to have a cutesy word for a married couple going out together without kids? I also don't like "play date." But this is the accepted nomenclature of our times....)
Of course the first obstacle to "date night" is finding a babysitter. Martin and I are lucky to live in the same city as both our sets of parents. This means, potentially, 4 other adults who are capable of caring for our children. Grandmothers are great at babysitting, especially if one of the kids wakes up because then the kid immediately thinks it has died and gone to heaven. Grandma has replaced mommy and daddy? Score! Where's the chocolate? But around these parts, Grandmas are not always available on short notice. I know, I know, they should be at home, ready to jump at our every beck and call but alas, neither of our mother's got this all important memo in their grandmother packet. So, what do we do?
Well, there's always a stranger. Martin has an aversion to this option for all of the obvious reasons, you know, strangers, in our house, with our kids. At the same time, we both see it as a waste of time to meet and interview any local teens who have email addresses that begin with toocute4you or localhottie13 (which I really hope is just an arbitrary number and not her age, God help us). These girls leave fliers on our door occasionally...we never quite "connect."
I bet now you're wondering how it is that we get out of the house? How do we find the time for Martin to teach me to drive his car, or drink beer, or play darts? Well, wonder no longer my friend. We have another option. An option that is fail proof, an option that is trustworthy, an option that leaves us with such peace of mind that we don't even have to call home to "check up on things." That's how *awesome* this option is. This option's name: Uncle Freddie.
Uncle Freddie. Our children's beloved uncle. Felek's godfather. My younger, and much wiser, brother. On a weeknight, I can call him at the last minute and he'll "be right over." On the weekend, if I call in advance a couple days, he's "more than happy to come over for a bit." He doesn't require payment aside from the occasional home-cooked meal (and a 20 dollar bill I slip in his pocket), and He loves my kids, doesn't drink *all* our beer, and his email address begins with "fpdanze"... that's it! Don't you wish *you* had an uncle Freddie?
On the night in question, Uncle Freddie was indeed babysitting our children. He came promptly at 7:30. We left by 8, drove around, played some darts, and came home. Now, before we left we gave Fred some instructions, as we always do with babysitters. We told him about Hejjo's possible nosebleeds and what to do about it. We told him that Kacio might wake up but that he'll go right back to sleep after a couple minutes of fussing, and that Lina might want a sip of water and she has a cup by her bed. ( "little surprises around every corner... but nothing dangerous...don't be alarmed")
Well, 11pm rolled by, we walk in the door, and it. was. a. madhouse. Hejjo is standing over the sink with blood pouring out his nose, Lina is yelling for Taggie (the tag on her blanket which is in her lap but Fred didn't know that and had spent the last 20 min. looking for something he thought she was saying in Polish and had no idea what it was), and Kacio is screaming in his crib. I think Felek was still sleeping. And there, in the middle of it all, stood Uncle Fred, with a big smile on his face, and a little laugh in his voice. "What happened Fred?," I asked. Fred responds, "nothing really, Lina woke up asking about Tah-gee, or something like that. It woke Hejjo up and he tried to tell me what it was, but couldn't quite tell me clearly, then his nose started to bleed, and Lina's screaming woke up Kacio. I haven't gone to him yet, he's still crying. No big deal."
LOVE. IT. Awesome. Best babysitter EVER. I only wish he would take me up on my offer to have him accompany us to Poland. I have a feeling we are going to need A LOT of "date night's" and I could certainly use an Uncle Freddie. ;)
We love you Fred!