I recently read a great post from The Mom in Black regarding “the parent mealympics.”  For those of you not in the know, this is the tendency (born of necessity) of parents of young children to scarf their food, often without chewing (much) in order to beat the “toddler time-bomb”  (i.e. get a small amount of daily sustenance before your child demands that you starve yourself in order to provide for his/her needs.)  It’s a real thing, ladies and gentlemen, and if you’ve not experienced it, you will just have to trust me.

Anyway, this got me thinking about how much I miss eating out.  Pre-little man, the wife and I used to eat out all the time.  At least once a week we’d go to our favorite local spot with a bunch of other educator friends to have some beers and tasty food and hash out the problems of the world (mostly related to how to get middle schoolers to do their homework.)  Now, we eat dinner on the couch, in front of the TV, nightly, trying to be as quiet as possible so we don’t wake the adorable little time bomb we just got to sleep upstairs.

I miss eating out.  Granted, we do get to do it once in a great while.  We made a point this year of getting ourselves some theater tickets, and investing in a babysitter (or importing the grandparents from a couple hours away) and going out.  It’s important to us to have that connection–to remind ourselves we are still people, apart from the small human we have given life to.

But here’s the thing–we had to plan it.  Like way in advance.  This never used to be a thing.  Before Little Man, we’d text each other mid-day:  “Hey, the girls want to go out tonight!” “Oh, boy!  Where to?  Can’t wait!”  Now, we scheme for weeks ahead of time, ensuring we’ve got reservations, and a sitter lined up, and a back-up in case something falls through.

We used to be spontaneous.  Little Man made us into planners.

In more ways than one, I suppose.  And you know what?  That’s okay.