This past Valentine's Day marked our 11th since my husband and I have been together. While we don't typically go all out, we have done the flowers, chocolates, and dinner thing with fair regularity. Even after our first child arrived, we still marked the day with some accepted form of acknowledgement. However, I think things started to go south last year, when my husband, who can't tell a lie to save his life (or marriage), admitted to me that the chocolates he gave me were actually from a friend in the office who bought extra boxes for his wife and daughters. And since my husband forgot entirely, his friend took pity on him and gave him a box.
So, fearing my husband's friend was going to have to bail him out again this year, I jumped in a few days before the big day and said, "No chocolates or flowers this year, okay? Let's just go out to dinner or see a movie." No surprise, my husband agreed.
We were all ready to get a babysitter and grab a movie, but unfortunately we couldn't find anything we were remotely interested in seeing. So, we planned for just a nice dinner. But after thinking about it, I said, "You have the day off because of President's Day, so let's go out to lunch instead." And then I added, "And what I really want to do... is have lunch, and then take an hour to do whatever we want." My husband's eyebrows did a crazy move, so I quickly added, "... like I can write without kids screaming all around me and you can read the news." You might think my husband would have been disappointed, but he practically whooped with excitement. Yup, we're a wild bunch.
The big day arrived and my first Valentine's Day gift was my husband offering to take Bean to nursery school so I could take a shower. But before that, he said, "Can you help me remove the babies' car seats, so I can get the car vacuumed after I drop Bean off?" (Ooooh, vacuuming the car! Two gifts and it's barely 8:45!) Despite my glee at the prospect of getting the car de-crackered, I gave him the face that said, "I'm in a t-shirt, Tigger pajama pants, and pink crocs... And you want me to go outside?!?" Knowing that face well, his response was, "You look awesome, you smell awesome." Yeah, romance abounds. So I threw on a sweatshirt, grabbed my sunglasses and helped him unload the car.
With a nice big pile or car seats, double stroller and misc bits on our front lawn, hubby and Bean headed off to school while I headed for the shower. Following my lather-rinse-repeat routine, I emerged to find a text from my husband, "They're charging me 4JD for vacuuming. You must get the 'look awesome, smell awesome' 2JD price." Awww, a love note, too? Such a sweetie.
While I was waiting for him to return from being gouged at the gas station, the nanny and I took the babies out for their daily "walkies" around the block. Just as we were returning to the garden, hubby arrived. While the babies played in the garden, we re-installed all the car seats and piled all the crap back in the trunk.
Now it was finally time for our date! To add to the excitement, we opted to walk the mile to the restaurant since it was such a gorgeous day. So we packed up our iPads, Kindles, phones, reading glasses, and whatever else you need for a sexy Valentine's Day date, and headed out.
At the restaurant, hubby asked, "Are we eating first, or playing first?" I suggested we eat first. After finishing our meal, and once there was a lull in the conversation, my husband said haltingly, "So, when does the gadget part of the date begin?" To which, I replied, "As soon as we can get them to clean the table." Amazing how the lure of electronic do-dads can make him find a helpful waiter.
Table cleaned, bill paid, iPad out and ready for kid-free writing time, and husband already muttering Spanish verbs to himself as he read "Master Spanish Through Reading" on his Kindle. At the end of our Valentine's-Day-gadget hour, we packed up our gear and walked home in the sunshine, making sure to take the long way.
Yeah, maybe it falls slightly short of being a bodice-ripper tale, but it was one of the best Valentine's Days we've ever had. And besides, I look awesome and smell awesome, and I get a discount on car vacuuming, what else could a girl want?