It happened. I don't know if the planets were aligned, or if global warming has turned hell into an ice-skating rink or what, but it happened. Ethan actually spent a tear-free evening with a baby sitter AND was asleep when we came home.
After the fiasco that was "Ethan's first overnight adventure without Mom & Dad", Husband & I had serious misgivings about Ethan's ability to tolerate another attempt at a mommy and daddy-less evening. We had gone out twice since then, leaving E with Grandma Judy and my best friend, "Aunt" Karen. He did tolerably well, but we were gone for 2 hours, tops. We have become masterful at scarfing down food, avoiding all talk about Ethan and then high-tailing it home, mostly so that our friends and family doing the babysitting will still speak to us and possibly offer to sit with Ethan again in the future.
We almost always return home to the sound of a crying child. An angry, tired, wherethefuckaremyparents child. We hear about how they had a good time initially, but as bedtime approached, Ethan's mood took off to Crankytown and hit a wall at CompleteMeldownville.
Last night Husband & I had a wedding to attend in the city. A wedding that didn't start until 7pm. When Ethan should be starting to think about bedtime. And all I could think was, "the child is going to cry for hours." So needless to say, when the babysitters showed up (a friend who is also a nanny, and her husband), I had knots in my stomach and thought about telling them to "nevermind, we're just going to stay home!" Not because I didn't think they'd do a wonderful job, but because, seriously, who wants to subject their friends to a screaming child for hours on end?
I did the uber-neurotic thing and wrote down lists and rough schedules, constantly giving the caveat that if things went differently that was fiiiiiiiine. I hate appearing to be type-A--it is such false advertising. I pushed everything back by 30-45 minutes so that his dinner was later, his bath was later and bedtime was off the table even. I told them not to even bother; if he played downstairs until 10:30 when we got home, that would be fine. It seems to be when a babysitter brings him into the bedroom to get him into bed that the storm hits. So we thought best to avoid that altogether.
Oh, and can I add one more thing to the mix? They had to take him OUT to dinner because we have no kitchen. Can you imagine? "Hi, can you babysit my child who may or may not scream until he appears to be headed for a stroke the entire time you are with him? Oh. And can you take him to a restaurant on a Saturday night? Thanks!" Yeah, we're ballsy like that.
So, we go to the wedding. We enjoy the wedding. Husband is packing his cell phone, my cell phone, his blackberry, homing pigeons, you name it, in case Kayla calls to tell us E's head is spinning and he's spitting up pea soup. No calls. I hound him to check for a signal. I have another glass of wine and stop hounding Husband. It is 10pm and we decide to go save Kayla and Jason. We hope for a cranky and awake, but non-sweating, non-screaming, non-shaking child.
I opened the front door to....silence. Our front door opens right into the living room; it was empty. We crept up the stairs, my stupid dressy-dress swishing the whole way. We turned the corner to our room. Sitting on our bed were Jason and Kayla, watching TV ever so quietly. In between them, Ethan, on his back, in his monkey jammies, arms on his tummy---ASLEEP.
What parallel universe Husband & I walked into, we do not know. She said that he never cried (except when he spilled milk at dinner) and that he looked at his books, then laid down and went to sleep.
I'm sorry, what? Did you by any chance happen to switch Ethan with his identical, happy to sleep for babysitters twin who was also dining at Bertucci's last night? Because this is not our son. Our son cries for babysitters, which I'm fairly certain is the exact opposite of sleeping for them.
We groveled our thanks to Kayla and Jason to what was, I am sure, an embarrassing extent for them and it must have made us look like the most insane parents ever. When they left, Husband & I stared at each other for a good minute, both of us speechless with glee. We then started planning how we were going to start going out to entire dinners AND a movie, now that the baby whisperers have magically turned Ethan into babysitter-friendly child.
If the universe is kind, this was a corner turned, not a fluke set to psyche us out the next time. Either way, coming home to a quiet, happy house, even if it was just this once, was such a nice change.