Not just our first evening away from her, but the first time both of us were not within ear- or eye-shot of her. Is eye-shot a thing? It sounds terrible, but conveys the idea.
My Lovely Wife's parents braved the weather to see RG and also us (we know where we stand in the pecking order). While they looked after our tiny, helpless infant daughter, our plan was to go to an event sponsored by the company that is currently paying for most of the things that keep us alive (AKA the place I work).
What do new parents do their first time out by themselves? Why, the same thing that new parents have been doing since time-immemorial. We find other new parents, huddle together for security, and trade stories and pictures.
Here's how the pecking order of new parents (without children present) works (as near as I can tell):
- Anyone with a new born automatically gets super priority. The newer the infant, the more attention you will receive.
- Parents of all other infants are then allowed to speak, in birth order youngest to oldest. If you should accidentally speak out of turn about your child when another parent of a younger child is present, you must not say anything new about your child until the parents of the younger child share a story or at least two pictures of their child. You are then permitted to speak of your child, but only in a way that compliments the other child. For example: "Little Jimmy has already found his thumb? I certainly wish our Darling Rebecca had found her thumb at that age!"
- Parents of the oldest child present must remain relatively silent until such time as all other parents have related at least one anecdote and/or picture. They are then allowed to speak up about their child and how much they miss the time that the parents of the younger infants are in right now.
- All parents of older children must, at some point, say to the parents of the younger children "they grow up so quickly, you have no idea." But only in a way that expresses fondness for days gone by and excitement for what they have to look forward to.
- You must look at the pictures and listen to all the stories of all the other parents. Furthermore, you must make the appropriate noises of respect for their amazing parenting abilities and awe at the wonder that is, without a doubt, sleeping soundly and has not given the babysitter any grief whatsoever all evening.
- Only once you are alone with your co-parent (preferably in the car on the drive home) are you allowed to let slip your true feelings about what insane and terrible parenting choices everyone else is making in raising their little hell spawns, who will undoubtedly grow up to be a burden on society, leaving the future of our planet in the hands of your genius baby.
Big thank you to Nanny and Grampy for giving us the time to get away so we can truly appreciate how incredible our baby is!
Please note, I am absolutely NOT talking negatively about your child or your parenting skills. I'm talking about those OTHER parents - I'm not naming names, but come on, really, you know who I'm talking about... Yeah, them.
Final note - We only called home the once to check that she hadn't accidentally swallowed all of the poisonous cleaners that we keep on the top shelf in the storage room in the basement.