Monday, April 4, 2011

26:40 -- King and Queen of Improv

It's a gimme that your life changes when you become a parent. I don't think I ever underestimated that fact at all. I know that I can't spontaneously go get a drink on Friday after work without some carefully calculated planning such as leaving work early enough so that I can still leave her at daycare till 5:30. I feel as though T and I have become pretty masterful at improvising our social lives so we can still enjoy being out and about while making our daughter happy, too.
For example, yesterday was a beautiful sunny day. Rather than waste it in front of the TV (there are no decent sports on anyway) we decided to go downtown and just walk around for a bit. L.E. is still battling pinkeye so her eyes are super-sensitive. She was not happy to wear a hat so she pouted pretty much the whole time. We stopped at the park and let her play on the grass. She was fascinated by all the "woof-woofs" down there and kept crawling away from us to go play with them. We put her back in her stroller with the hopes that she would doze off so we could stop for a beer. Of course, she was having none of that. So we did the more wholesome option which was give L.E. her first taste of ice cream. She was totally in love with it!
She was still in a so-so mood after that and squawked loudly any time we stopped walking. We knew a meltdown was inevitable so we cut our outing short and headed home. Of course, she fell asleep in the car.
Sometimes you have to be quick on your feet. When she starts freaking out in a restaurant, walk around. If she doesn't calm down, order your food to-go. Other times you have to do a parking lot hand-off so you can split the parenting responsibility while still reminding your friends that you're not always covered in spit-up and cheerios.
I'm not saying we go out every single night; we're just not very good at being homebodies and we like to eat in restaurants once a week or so. If L.E. doesn't cooperate, we always have a backup plan. We are lucky that she is very well-behaved for the most part. But you always have those what-ifs come up and you need to be prepared. Fortunately, we've become really good at improvising.

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