last night we finally got to have our first "dinner at 8." I've had a date dinner slot on my weekly schedule since I first started using it at the end of the summer, but this is the first Saturday night (Deputy Handsome's current Friday) that we have been home without any plans and with enough notice for me to make an effort to do something for us. We just put in a new bar off our kitchen and I was anxious to enjoy it for something more than just standing to write a grocery list. I also wanted to use some of the produce from our CSA delivery this week so I decided to just do a simple dinner of pasta (to use up the fennel) and salad (to use some radishes) and suggested we play a game after dinner. I also wanted to meal to be completely made-ahead so that we wouldn't have to worry about dishes - my plan was to have the kitchen cleaned up completely before he even came home from work.
To let Deputy Handsome know what was on my mind, I typed up a simple invitation letting him know the menu, attire and activity for the evening. I folded it up and snuck it into his truck after he went to bed the night before so that he would find it when he left for work. Then in the morning, I walked the kids to the library (even Mister Man can walk almost the whole way himself now!) to tire them out so I could cook and set up the dinner during naptime. The plan worked in that I got everything done - pasta prepared and put away in the fridge, cake baked and fruit topping chopped, bar cleared off and set for dinner with candles and I even did my hair (a monumental task) and yes, I did all the dishes. But the kids were so tired out from their busy morning that they slept late and were not tired at bed time even though we went to the park after their dinner. I had prepped so well at naptime that there was very little for me to do while Deputy Handsome handled bedtime, so I found myself becoming a little frustrated with Little Miss because she is the queen of stall tactics and her daddy is her most loyal subject.
By the time she was finally down, I had reheated the plates of pasta a couple times and they were a little dried out. The bread in the oven was also really hard and I was quiet as we sat down to eat (at 8:23), not because I was mad but because I was disappointed. The past few months have been hard on our marriage (nothing major, just day-to-day business with not enough time for each other) and I was so excited to finally be putting into practice something that I had put so much thought and effort into. Though it is impractical to expect anything to be perfect (especially with kids involved), I had high hopes for the evening to begin at precisely 8pm with no interruptions. I tried not to be upset but then I only got down on myself for letting myself get disappointed in the first place. But, after a few bites of the yummy dinner, a sip of wine and an intriguing story about Deputy Handsome's day at work, I felt more like myself and was a much better companion for the rest of the evening.