It is seriously hard for us to get a babysitter. The biggest obstacle is ourselves. First we have to convince ourselves that asking someone to do what we do for a few hours isn't taking advantage of some poor unsuspecting, unqualified greenie. Next obstacle: the wallet. How much is our childrens' care worth? Yikes, maybe we'll just bring them along. But how much is some time alone worth on our anniversary? Hmm. Maybe just this once. Obstacle 3: Finding someone who can a. keep all the kids safe, clean, fed, and happy; b. keep quiet when they are sleeping; c. love us in spite of our overabundance of carpet-covering toys and weird ghost-smells of diapers and dinners past.
We finally found a sitter for our anniversary. Our lovely new friends have offered to do sitting trades despite the fact that there is a hugely unfair kid ratio of three to one. I had no idea what Zach was planning, but I knew it was non-refundable, and I knew it cost too much in the first place by the way he freaked out when our new babysitting friends got sick. Insert horrified scream here. When I finally exhausted all my bright ideas of people I hadn't tried calling in the first place, Zach pulled out the bug guns and moved to PLAN B. Mass e-mail everyone in his med school class.
During his first year, every student and teacher who saw the girls' picture told him they seriously wanted to babysit. So we thought there might be some takers. There was one. A girl named Amy. Poor, poor Amy.
She came fifteen minutes before we had to leave, and we let the girls see her before we put them down for their nap so they wouldn't be scared when they woke up. The twins went down fine as usual. Mia decided there was no way she was sleeping now that her new friend had come to play. It was a little soon for her to be going down, so we told her she could try again in a half hour or so. When we got home Amy was kneeling in front of the twins, who were covered in sweet potatoes. Mia had refused to nap.
Off we went. Ten minutes later I saw the marquee and my eyes popped open, "Are you serious?!" We found our seats and quickly found my legs were too long to fit straight behind the seats in front of us. The theater was built in the twenties, back when "tall" people were 5'5". So I sat at an angle dreading the arrival of the occupant of the seat my knees were jutting into. A family arrived with two little boys and I almost jumped for joy. I asked the mom if she would mind putting someone small by me, since I was obviously having trouble fitting into the square foot of space our X amount of dollars had rented for the next few hours. She laughed and said that would be fine, and motioned to one of her boys to come to the other side of her.
Then we met the man with the smallest mind in the universe. The lady's husband. He said, "No, why don't you sit there," to his wife. And then he thought again. "No- you sit here, I'll sit there," he said, motioning to the empty seat behind the space-theiving knees trying unsuccessfully to hook over the ears of their owner. I was trapped in a position closely resembling an emergency toilet situation, and Zach and I looked at each other dumbfounded. Then he got a bright idea, and we asked the dad if we could sit on the other end of his family. Extremely reluctantly, he agreed to let his family act like normal people and a couple minutes later my knees were halfway into the aisle instead. Get this. After intermission, he came up and said the kids were having a hard time seeing, so they wanted their seats back. They weren't letting kids sit in the aisle, and we all knew trading seats would be absoultely no benefit to them. But his tone of voice wasn't asking, it was saying "I paid #$%^&*! bucks for these @*$*@! seats, so move it." I tried to feel sympathetic as I headed toward our original seats, but his surprised wife shushed him, and told us that they were fine. Yikes! Fun to be her...
It was actually kind of a nice reminder of what a truly, uniquely awesome husband I ended up with.
And not only awesome, but on the same brainwave.
The cards we surprised each other with:
PS. Zach wants me to say "The Lion King was incredibly awesome." It was incredible! Zach cried. Hee hee. Okay- so I did, too. Brainwaves...