• Dreading Date Night

    A toddler’s perspective on staying home while Mom and Dad hit the town.

    By Elle Belle

    Dream: I am ready to hit the town and check out the new sweet shop that opened down the street. Mommy and Daddy really don’t want to be left alone and have a lunch date all by themselves, but I insist that they deserve it. While they get ready I slip into my favorite high heels (they used to be Mommy’s) and beckon for puppy and together we head out for a candy-filled adventure. Mommy reminds me that she installed the Elle Belle Tracker App on her iPhone so she can watch over me and puppy from afar. We all hug and kiss and I go on my merry way!

    Reality: After a fun day asserting my toddler independence, the doorman rings up at 6 p.m., which only means one thing: a babysitter. See, I have it all figured out. It’s too late for a play date, but too early for an evening food order, so it must be what I fear most…Mommy and Daddy going out without me. Or so they think! This time I got it covered because I installed the Elle Belle Parent Tracker App on my pretend champagne-colored iPhone 6. It tells me where Mommy and Daddy are so I can find them. Surely they don’t want to be gone too long from their prized child?

    Yet they do. I can tell Mommy is going out because she is wearing my favorite high heels. Upon seeing this, I immediately put on my cutest pouty face and cry Mommy and Daddy a river. But in return, they just hug me and tell me they love me. I already knew that–I just don’t want them to go! So this time I wrap myself around Mommy’s leg. She takes off her shoes, bends down to console me, and hugs me tight. Now I am in business! I keep crying to make sure I get the effect I want. I know Mommy feels icky leaving me because she gives Daddy a confused look that I have learned to love.

    Mommy hugs me tighter while reminding me that wherever she is, her love is with me. Then (you won’t believe this) she goes on to tell me how much fun I am going to have with the babysitter and that she will see me in the morning. Daddy pulls Mommy away from me and tells me he loves me and to have sweet dreams. Sweet dreams my bum bum! My favorite people in the world are abandoning me at bedtime and I am expected to have sweet dreams? I don’t think so.

    I continue to fuss until I am sure I have sufficiently sabotaged Mommy and Daddy’s plans and they will stay home for bedtime. But tonight Mommy and Daddy mean business. After a few (well, maybe several) more tears, kisses, and hugs for reassurance, they leave. Couldn’t they have just waited for me to fall asleep and sneak out like they used to? At least then we would read and sing lullabies together before they “abandoned” me.

    I hear the elevator door close and have my confirmation: they really are gone. Even though I feel sad, I run to greet the babysitter with a smile. I ask for a tissue to clean my nose and then sit and play with my new iPhone app, secretly tracking my parents’ every move. I think of all the fun Mommy and Daddy must be having without me. Maybe they went to my favorite toy store. Or my favorite restaurant. Or maybe they are not having fun? Maybe they are crying because they miss me? That must be it!

    At least puppy chose to stay home with me. Before I know it, I hear the babysitter saying something about bedtime. I decide to ignore that reference to dreamland and keep playing. Luckily, the babysitter goes along for a while; after months of playing with me, she still doesn’t know all of Mommy’s silly rules. We have a grand old time–we even pause to have cookies and milk! Yum! And before I know it, I ask to go to read books, puppy gives me kisses, and I willingly go nighty night.

    And Mommy and Daddy were right about me having sweet dreams. My dreams were so happy that I woke up in the middle of the night to dish all about them and realized I had a really wet diaper. And guess who was there when I beckoned? Mommy and Daddy! I bet they were so glad they didn’t have to wait until morning to see me again!

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