Wanna know what the best training is for having a date with your three-year-old? Look no further than your own dating past. Because a date with a slightly incontinent three-year-old child reminded me of some of the more memorable dates from my long dating history.
Sadie and I slid into a booth at a diner-ish place after seeing a concert. I looked at her across the table and realized we haven’t eaten alone in a restaurant ever. Just like a date, I looked forward to stimulating conversation — she’d talk a little, and I would talk
nonstop a little. We would feel so much closer after sharing a meal, which is the cornerstone of any strong relationship.
As I opened the conversation, I was reminded of what a great date I am. I know how to talk, and I don’t mind going first. And, I am the master of asking probing questions that really let my companions know that I care, I really care.
“Sadie, what did you like about the concert we just saw? Do you prefer the sonorous notes of the penny whistle or the lyricism of the fiddle?”
She stood up in the booth, engrossed in shaking salt all over the table, and I saw the telltale giant wet spot on her pink leggings. Hmmm, I guess that’s why she was holding her hands over her private parts and jumping around a minute ago. My bad.
I remained upbeat. Plenty of my dates lost bladder control at one time or another. This time, at least I was ready with a pair of her panties in my purse.
I decided to stop asking her about the concert. When the waitress came over, I felt proud that she ordered all by herself. My big girl! That she asked for bacon tacos with a side of bacon was endearing, if not exactly heart healthy. Like a good date, I was able to negotiate a more reasonable lunch of chicken tacos.
Honestly, she didn’t seem that interested in asking me questions about me or my life. She just wanted to know if she could take my salad dressing and stick her tongue in it. Go ahead, I muttered having a flashback of a college date who thought nothing of taking the food off my plate and then spending the night with one of my sorority sisters. At least I knew Sadie was leaving with me. I have her Dora backpack in the car, after all.
Of course, she didn’t pay, which was reminiscent of most of the dates I had when I was in my 20s. And just like that one fraternity party back in 1994, I had to carry her to the car because her legs were tired. Luckily, she weighs less than a college guy dressed in a toga who’s had one too many Jagermeister shots.
I never knew I would end up grateful for those awkward dates I had through the years. But they were good training for the dates with my kids. To end up eating chicken tacos slathered in cheap mustard is more than I ever thought I’d get.
So thank you to every embarrassing young lad who helped me cut my teeth and prepare for the dates that really matter now. I am finally grateful.