The Truth About Date Night, as Told in 25 Not-at-All-Frantic Texts to the Babysitter


Michael Stermer/CafeMom

Leaving your kid home alone for the first time is never easy. There are so many things to think about. Will the babysitter know which blanket your child likes, the exact angle at which she should hold the bottle, and at what tempo "Rockabye Baby" should be sung? You tell yourself everything will be fine -- you'll only be gone for a little while, and this is an experienced babysitter, after all. But parent panic makes fools of us all. Here's what really goes down the first time you leave your baby with a sitter.


4:45 p.m. Text test. Text test.

4:45 p.m. Great. I'm getting your texts too. Thanks again.

5:05 p.m. Still in the garage. I don't hear any screaming. Is everything alright? We don't have to leave if you aren't comfortable.

5:06 p.m. Hello?

5:07 p.m. Hello?

5:09 p.m. Okay. Great. We're putting on our seat belts. About to leave.

5:10 p.m. We're thinking about spending our date night in the driveway. Nearby if necessary.

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5:11 p.m. Alright. If you insist, we're leaving.

5:13 p.m. Passing the grocery store on 1st Avenue. Do we need to pick up anything I didn't leave for you?

5:24 p.m. Glad to hear you have everything. We bought some formula just in case. We dropped it off in the mailbox. I've also started pumping if you think that's preferable.

5:24 p.m. By the way, it looked like you were searching for something. Did you find it?

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5:31 p.m. Reading your texts aloud is reminding me that Baby Madison enjoys having a book read aloud to her. If she is trying to tell you something, maybe she wants you to read a book. Do you think she needs to go to a school for the gifted? We're leaning yes. Her reading habits make me wonder if she will be a doctor or a scientist. (Don't let her eat the books or tear the pages.)

5:37 p.m. Restaurant parking lot looks full. Thinking it will be a long wait. Going to a place where there won't be a wait.

5:38 p.m. We're concerned we didn't feed Baby Madison enough before we left. Is she getting hungry?

5:40 p.m. Hello?

5:41 p.m. Hello? Is your phone on vibrate? Does it have enough battery power? Maybe you should charge it.

5:42 p.m. Huge favor to ask! Can you rush to our house and check on our sitter? We're worried something is very wrong.

5:42 p.m. Sorry. That last text was intended for someone else.

5:43 p.m. If anyone stops by the house, don't open the door unless she can tell you our safe words -- "The Shire is green." (One of our neighbors might visit. If you let her stay for a few minutes, she will be eternally grateful. She's very lonely. So sad. Let her stay as long as she wants.)

5:46 p.m. Sorry it's taking so long. We are waiting on fries.

5:50 p.m. Finishing our meal in the van. Should be home soon.

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5:52 p.m. Tell Baby Madison we're sorry for leaving her. We'll bring her home something special to make up for it.

5:53 p.m. Actually, tell her we'll get it tomorrow. No need to drive out of the way tonight for something we can get tomorrow.

5:57 p.m. Pulling into the driveway. Please have Baby Madison waiting with you at the door, and let her know we are home. She is probably distressed by our absence and our return could be emotionally overwhelming.

6:04 p.m. Thanks again for sitting for us, Mom. Baby Madison appears unhurt and happy. See you at Christmas.

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