Last night Husband and I went to a formal dinner party (no kids). Since we just moved there were only three people I felt comfortable leaving Little Miss with for the evening, but one was the party host and the other two weren’t available. The party hosts arranged for childcare at a church three minutes from the party location, but I had never met the girls they hired, so while my friends vouched whole-heartedly for them, it still wasn’t the same as me knowing and approving of them. I figured I wouldn’t enjoy the party, worrying about how Little Miss was doing with strange people in a strange place without Mommy and Daddy there.
I was close to scrapping the whole thing and just not going but decided to ask my best friend what she would do, given the circumstances. She gave me her two cents, and that, combined with the fact that I knew Husbandreally wanted to go to the party (his best friend was the host), I finally decided to go for it.
It was with great trepidation and anxiety that I walked Little Miss into the church where she would spend the next few hours. She didn’t know the sitters, knew only one of the other kids, and had only been to that church twice before (and not for a couple of months). We had woken her from a nap in order to leave (close to) on time, she hadn’t eaten dinner, and the party went until after 9 p.m. (her bedtime is 8-8:30 usually). I had even prepared a sheet of paper with her name, Husband’s and my names, and our cell phone numbers, with a note that we could get texts, too. I planned to keep my phone with me, next to my plate, at all times, just in case.
The party was a blast. Five couples, all in their late 20s/early 30s like us, all parents of young children, and all very friendly and fun. There were party games, and the dinner was a five-course meal (I’ve never been to anything so fancy in my life). The food was amazing and the company beyond outstanding. I’d say that party is something I’d like to turn into an annual event.
When we dropped her off I expected a meltdown. Nope. She took the sitter’s hand and walked with her over to play with the other kids. When we picked her up I expected stories of how she cried when we left and I half expected her to be crying out of exhaustion when we arrived. Nope. She ran over to us, all smiles, and insisted she’d had fun the entire time. As we turned to walk out the door she even went to one of the sitters, gave her a voluntary hug, and said goodbye.
“Did you have fun?” we asked her when we got in the car.
“Yeah!” she replied.
“What did you do?”
“PLAYED!!!!” she answered excitedly, telling us all about what she played with and who was there.
I need to remind myself that I don’t need to miss out on having fun just being an adult for a change, simply because I’m worried my child might miss me for a couple of hours. She can handle it. And so can I.