Last weekend we went out for dinner with friends. Once upon a time, this would have been commonplace. Now, it’s a rare occurrence. Of the two other couples we went out with, one has a son a couple of months older than the twins, the other is expecting their first baby in a couple of weeks. So, not surprisingly, evenings out together have been on the decline over the past couple of years.
From our point of view, the evening out was a bit of an experiment. We’d taken the kids out for dinner twice before, and the first time had been an unqualified and unmitigated disaster. So, although the second time with my sister for added support was a success, we still approached the idea with some trepidation.
We waited until the kids were asleep after dinner, then scooped them up and transferred them to the car, thereby waking them up. They remained awake for a long time after that; Tara eventually fell asleep lying on the sofa in the restaurant, but Mrini remained awake till we returned home well after 11 p.m. Still, both of them were very low key and, though a little grumpy, did not trouble us half as much as we were troubling them.
Yesterday evening, we tried it again. We were feeling brave, so it was just the four of us, without any moral or logistical support, the way it was the first time. We went out straight after the kids’ dinner at 7.30, while they were wide awake, which was really very brave. We selected our target carefully: avoiding formal restaurants we headed for the club.
If you’re thinking nightclub, or country club type of resort, or something fancy like that, forget it. This is a small, modest neighborhood club that offers tennis, badminton, squash, a gym, a small-ish swimming pool with a clubhouse that doubles up as a guesthouse, and some arrangements for food and drink.
The one factor that makes this place somewhat suitable for small children is that there’s a bit of a lawn with chairs and tables where they’ll serve drinks, snacks, and dinner.
It turned out to be quite a pleasant evening. Of course we had to run after the kids a bit, and they were a bit restless and cranky; but we also did manage to eat and drink sufficiently and even had some conversation that wasn’t addressed to the girls. We got home about 90 minutes past their bed-time and Mrini went straight to her room and flopped down on her pillow with complete determination, at which I felt a bit guilty for keeping her out so late. But they slept till 8 a.m. to make up for it, which was a blessing, because so did we!
So, with four dinners, innumerable lunches and general outings, a long trip to calcutta, and a short trip to CFC, I think we’ve earned quite a few notches on the family belt already.
And there’s another big one coming up – our tenth wedding anniversary. We have some ambitious plans for that one, let’s see how that works out.