Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Back to School Date Night

It’s that time of year again! Tomorrow is Back to School Date Night.

Many of you might know it simply as Back to School Night, or BTSN if you’re a hip elementary school insider, but not around our house. BTSN is the biggest date night of the year. Last year we went to Home Depot. It was amazing!

Those of you without kids are probably thinking, “Home Depot? What is he talking about? That’s not a date, that’s an errand. What about going out to a club and staying up until three in the morning?”

No, no, no. Don’t be silly, you crazy youths. Once you have children, “date night” takes on a whole new meaning. When you have kids, a date is anything you can do together without the kids.

You see, the thing you don’t fully comprehend before you have kids is the amount of time you are required to spend with them. Someone has to actually be with them for all of the minutes of all of the days, or else they will pour Comet in the fish bowl, eat a poisonous snail, and then burn the house down. And that’s just the teenagers. Little kids are much worse.

So all of a sudden the ability to go anywhere without kids becomes the most precious commodity in the world. If you ever see an adult just wandering around in a grocery store without a cart or a basket, chances are they are an escaped parent. They have come to the store just to marvel at all the products they actually could notice and buy if they weren’t constantly yelling at someone to drop the box of Froot Loops and climb down off of the banana display.

Now, the reason that BTSN is a big date night at our house is because it’s one of the only nights of the year when we are forced to get a babysitter. Babysitters cost money, therefore we don’t hire one very often.

Children are not allowed to attend BTSN, and since we have three kids, we have three classes to visit. One parent cannot attend while the other stays home with the kids. Two parents aren’t even enough to cover it, really.

Since there are only two of us, every year before BTSN we are forced to choose which child we will ignore. Fortunately for Son Number One’s education, he is never left out. Being the oldest, he is always entering a grade that is new to all of us, so we must visit his classroom and get the important information from his new teacher, like if math will be taught with actual numbers this year, or if we’re sticking with the “new math” from last year that involved a lot of stories about Simone and Raul and grouping their colored balloons into different columns.

So the decision is always between Son Number Two and Three. Which one’s classroom will we visit, and which one will be summarily ignored for the entire school year? All three of them are very smart (which has led me to question their mother extensively, but she insists that they really are my children), so needing to have our finger on the pulse of their education is not super-critical. Usually we just flip a coin.

Whichever way that coin lands, I’m excited about date night tomorrow night. I know we’ll go to the grocery store and wander around holding hands, but if we have time, we might even get to go to Kohl’s and look at shirts. Who knows?

The BTSN activities are always fun as well. I can’t wait to see what Simone and Raul are up to this year. Our babysitter had better be on time, though, or I might not be able to help the boys with their homework. I mean, I can figure out 354 x 98 the old-fashioned way, but with the new math, I need to be retrained every year on which column to put the goldfish in.

See you soon,


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  1. Excellent post again! I swear you rip these columns from my life.
    New math aside, going to the grocery store by myself is my own type of spa day. Just to be able to go down the cereal isle without hearing every name brand sugar cereal shouted,only to be followed by awwwww! I don't have to sprint the cart by the cookies when I want to get some crackers. To be honest though, I love the kids reaction to the thunder and the rain on the produce.

  2. Ha! I feel you, brother. Winco without the boys is like a vacation day. To be honest, though, I love the Safeway produce thunder and lightning more than the kids do now. They're already over it. Kids today... so desensitized by video games and television.