Last weekend my in-laws came to town and said, "Get out of here! Scram!"
I am not sure if they were talking to me or the cat, but I raced into the bedroom and opened a random dresser drawer. Think fast, Jennie: where are the suitcases? Upstairs. Too far away. What do I need to wear? Hmm. Who cares? I tossed the first layer of clothes in the drawer into a little plastic shopping bag that was on the bed. I ran to the kitchen, yelled something about milk in the freezer, grabbed my purse, and sped away in the little red convertible.
As I got to the stop sign, I saw Brian in my sideview mirror. He was running behind the car, waving his wallet. Reluctantly, I pulled over and picked him up.
That night we had an adult dinner at a quiet restaurant, with wine and candles and excellent food that did not need ketchup. Or sippy cups. We checked in at the hotel, propped open our eyelids with scotch tape and headed to a bar for a beer. And then came back to the room to enjoy the deep, uninterrupted sleep of parents who refuse to call home and check on anyone.
The next day we had a wonderful lunch at a Mexican place with margaritas, where not a single grain of Spanish rice landed on the floor. Afterwards we strolled around the mall and sat in the massage chairs at Brookstone, where we enjoyed the entire 5-minute demo without hiding the massage chair remote control. We even played with the new iPhone at the overly crowded Apple store, where we didn't pull a screaming child away from banging on the laptop keyboards at the kids' table.
Later, we saw a newly released movie in a real theater - not a pay per view or Redbox rental ("Knight & Day" - go see it, it's hilarious and very well done). We didn't have to share concessions with someone who can eat her weight in popcorn, and we didn't need to take a bathroom break every 10 minutes.
That evening, our outdoor tourism plans were foiled by a sudden thunderstorm, but we did manage to pass several hours with a bartender who kept plying us with special concoctions involving a large array of homemade flavored vodkas. This was not as disappointing as it sounds, although Brian does not recommend the habanero vodka, unless you are attempting to win a very large bet. I vowed to return another day, when I would once again not be counted on to nurse a young infant.
We headed down the street and happened upon a dueling piano bar that looked promising, so we handed over the cover charge to enter a place that did not have a giant inflatable slide or a singing robotic rat. Turned out to be the best entertainment we'd seen in ages. And folks, we have 3 little girls who must be quite entertaining, since we haven't been on a date in 6 months, but two pianos, one drumset and a bass guitar later, we had seen an entire evening of sheer FUN. We got back to the hotel after 1 a.m. and crashed.
The next morning, we spent far too much on breakfast from the hotel buffet, and headed home. The girls were clearly excited to see us. Helen spent the morning dancing around in the $4 tourist shop cowboy hat we purchased for her. Alice promptly glued herself to my lap for the next two hours. Nana swore up and down that Jane was a good baby while we were gone.
I'm working on medals for the in-laws. Do you think it should mention "bravery in the line of fire" or "valor beyond the call of duty" - or both?