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A Night Out

“It was really sweet of your parents to offer to sleep over our house and babysit the boys, wasn’t it? We haven’t had a night away together in two years. Do you want to go downtown for dinner and a movie, and then stay at that special hotel on Public Square like your dad suggested?”

“That was a nice idea, but I don’t know. That place is really pricey and we’ve been watching so many movies at home for the past couple years, I’d really like to do something different.”

“What did you have in mind?”

“Well since my parents are at our place that means their house is empty. I know where they stash the key, and we could stay there for free and use the money we’d have spent for a night out to throw a party instead. When was the last time we had a party?”

“Was that when Sam turned six and crashed his sled into a rock? And one of the Johnson boys poured fruit punch into everyone’s boots in the hallway?”

“I’m talking about a grown-up party. Let’s text some friends and have a party without any kids! Some of the friends we never see because they’re allergic to cats and two-year olds.”

“Great idea! Oh wait, your mom is calling. Hi Sue, what’s happening? Everything OK?”

“Well, I suppose. Caleb keeps saying he’s done with his bath, but when I get him out and dry him off he climbs back in. And we haven’t been able to get Benny to take his bath. As soon as we said it was bath-time he disappeared. Ray has looked for him everywhere and we can’t find him. We’re not sure what to do.”

“Check inside the kids’ toy chest. He likes to hide there, or under the kitchen sink, or sometimes out in the backyard in their playhouse. But you’d better take a flashlight to check. There are a lot of things the boys leave out there to trip over.”

“OK, I’ve gotta go. Sam just poured a bucket of water onto my lap.”

“There’s a spare robe in my closet if you need it. Bye!”

“Is she panicking yet?”

“No, but I think we’d better hurry up and get this party going before they change their minds about staying overnight.”

“I’m already on it. I sent a text to ten different people from my old ‘Parents Out of Town’ party list. Two of them already texted back that they’re coming and bringing friends.”

“Should we stop at the store and pick up some wine?”

“No, don’t worry, my dad’s got plenty in his wine cellar. He won’t miss a few bottles. Let’s just stop at the Quickie Mart for some chips and dips and order a few pizzas from Mama Santas. Uh-oh, now my dad is calling. Hi Dad, what’s up?”

“Well, I’ve found Benny out in the playhouse, but he’s barricaded the door somehow and he won’t come out.”

“Just tell him he can stay out there if he wants, but that he’ll miss out on the bedtime snack of peanut butter cookies that his mom left if he doesn’t come in five minutes to take his bath. He’ll be in before you know it.”

“OK, I’ll try that. Oops, I’d better go. I hear Mom screaming.”

“Well, I texted three of my old friends who aren’t moms and they all said they could come, too. It’s almost like they were waiting around for a last-minute invitation.”

“You just forget what it’s like to be able to do whatever you want on the spur of the moment. Not everyone plans their lives around bath and story time.”

“Oh, my friend Adrien just texted that she’d like to come, but they don’t have a babysitter for Cassie, their ten-year-old, and they don’t want to leave her home alone.”

“Why don’t you tell her to drop Cassie at our house? She knows the boys and can help my parents figure out how to use the TV remote. I’ll call my dad and tell him we’re sending over a mother’s helper who’s going to sleep over, too.”

“I’m sure they’ll love that idea.”

“I don’t think they’ll have time to think about it. Anyway, if you’re already dealing with three, what’s one more?”

“You can try that argument with your parents, but it sure isn’t going to work with me. C’mon, we’d better hurry up or our guests are going to arrive before we do. Uh-oh, here’s another call from your mom. You take it.”

“Hi Mom, what’s up?”

“I managed to get Caleb out of the bath and in his PJs. But then he got hold of a marker and started drawing all over his bedroom wall.”

“Don’t worry, those are erasable markers. We can clean them up tomorrow when we come home.”

“And where do you keep your toilet plunger? I’m afraid somebody threw something in there and it overflowed.”

“Check the downstairs bathroom. If it’s not there maybe it’s in the boys’ closet. Sam likes to use it as part of a superhero costume. The Roto-rooter Man. Sorry, Mom, I gotta go. The show is starting. Just text me if you have any other problems and I’ll try to get back to you as soon as I can. And thanks again for doing this. You have no idea how much it means to us.”

“Oh, yes, I think I do.”

“By the way, if you need some, the scotch is in the cabinet above the refrigerator. There might still be a couple of shots left. Good night and good luck!”

2 thoughts on “A Night Out”

  1. I’m wondering if Bill Spencer’s “Our Cat Midas Welby” in your 2021 Special Edition is copyrighted, either by the author or by you. I’d like to post it–with credit to author and source–in a Facebook chat group, Jibber Jabber and Such, which is 96% Brits, most of whom are fanatically cat-indentured.


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