Tonight was date night. And it was a special date night because it was the first one in which we were completely independent - no relying on family for babysitting. But even that aside, we hadn't had a date night in a long time, and since we finally found a babysitter, we decided to go out tonight.
We drove to Cambridge on Jim's motorcycle. I hadn't been on the bike in at least 2 years. It was fun. It's one of those things that you just can't do with a baby in tow. Then we had dinner at Legal Seafoods, drove around Boston and Cambridge on the bike to see the sights, and then bowled three rounds at Olindy's. It was really nice to be out. We were gone about 3 1/2 hours.
Annika had a remarkably easy time with the whole situation. When the babysitter first arrived, she did her normal "Mama! Mama!" routine, and I was getting nervous. Additionally, about 30 seconds before the sitter arrived, she had fallen and bumped her head on the table in our porch - so she had the start of a goose-egg/black and blue mark above her eye and was obviously upset. (Why is it that Annie seems to be the only toddler I see with bruises on her head? Is she the only one who falls? Or do other parents use cover-up makeup on their children?) So I was really worried that we were in for it. But then I kissed her good-bye and sat her down with her crayons and our sitter, and she suddenly seemed OK with everything. She said, "Buh-bye! Buh-bye!" over and over again, and waved to us from the window when we drove off on the bike. Totally unexpected. The babysitter said that she was very happy the whole time, and went to sleep at bedtime right away, without a fuss. Wow.
And, in a sign of how cool our neighborhood is, our neighbor George saw us drive off on the bike as he was walking Buddy the dog. As we drove past him, he yelled, "Where is she?" (meaning Annika, of course). He loves Annika. So he actually stopped by the house shortly after to check in and make sure she was OK. We have really nice neighbors, and they all love Annika.
Tomorrow we are going to a birthday party for the little boy across the street who turned 1 last week. Should be a lot of fun for everyone.