Dad’s night out. When I was single and in college, we just called this Tuesday. There was no reason to schedule anything at anytime. Get this, we would just decide that hey, I need a beer. And then we would go and have a beer. I know, sounds impossible and yet, that is what we did.
However, with kids and a wife that can’t get enough of watching her husband do yard work in sandals and socks, I find it tough to get out of the house. Every time I attempt to leave the house without the appropriate diaper bag or chore list, a thousand hands pull me back in. It’s kind of like being in the mob although the only racket I run is shooting odds on what Swiper will Swipe next. Seriously, Dora should just contact a hunter and shoot that freaking fox. How many second chances should he get? Send him a fish in a newspaper, that should get the message across.
So when Dad’s night comes once a month, I usually look forward to it. I look forward to having a drink without someone’s hands reaching into my glass in order to snatch an ice cube. I look forward to conversation that focuses on sports and not next week’s schedule and important things I have to do. I look forward to not having to explain why we can’t throw pudding on the floor although I do admit it looks pretty cool. And I enjoy just sitting back and not talking at all if I want to. Just sitting there and people watching.
An hour into Dad’s Night Out my phone rings. It’s my wife.
“Yes dear?” I say.
“We have a problem.” She tells me. We are not allowed to have a problem on Dad’s Night Out, that’s the rule.
“Um, ok?” I reply. Usually when I get these phone calls my mind goes to one of two areas: 1. Is everyone ok 2: Did I do something that made her mad enough to call me.
“What’s the problem honey?” I tell her. The bar is getting kind of loud so I almost have to scream it. Already the other guys are giving me looks and making hand motions because they all know that it’s my wife who’s on the phone. It’s a guy ritual, like high fiving. If your significant other calls you must rip on the guy. I don’t know why this is but I don’t know the meaning of life either. It’s just one of those things.
“You need to come home” She says. “There’s a spider.”
She is completely serious.
This is yet another reason of why I know my wife will never leave me. She is terrified of bugs. Of all shapes and sizes, of all distinctions, of all makes and models. She hates them and she’s afraid of them. And when I’m not there, she is equally terrified that the bug will get some bug buddies and rob her at knife point.
“Come home now” she demands.
But this is Dad’s night out. This is my night. This is my night of sitting there and not getting pawed at for just one more cookie, please daddy can we have just one more cookie.
But I’m also a stay at home dad. I am a dad that is the primary caregiver of my two children. And even though neither of my children look like me particularly, they both act like me. I have taught them, for they are my minions. And my minions kill bugs.
“Wake up Little Hoss” I tell her. “Tell her that Daddy told her to kill the bug.” I am also completely serious. I have taught my 4 year old to kill bugs. To act in my place for when I am not there. It’s time for her to earn her keep.
“I’m not waking the kids” my wife tells me.
“But you must. Little Hoss will kill the bug. Get her a broom or a big shoe. Give her a power drill. Put her in the same room as the bug and just shut the door. Give her 10 minutes and don’t ask her any questions.”
We hang up the phone and I enjoy the rest of my Dad’s night out.
I come home late at night and find a rolled up magazine stuffed in the cushions of the couch. It appears that my wife did not wake the children and tried to kill the bug herself. I lift up the magazine and find no bug. I don’t tell my wife that the bug is possibly alive. Because tomorrow, when Little Hoss wakes up, the hunt begins. And we love the hunt.