Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Baby-Free Zone

Witness, if you dare, a young husband and wife embarking on a weekend that is without baby. A rare, but sought-out moment in time, elusive to those desperately in need, could use just a few hours, or haven't cut the umbilical cord themselves yet. Even more rare, we meet this young, toddler-laden couple as they embark on their approximate 4th date since setting eyes on one another. Enter into the world of the barely-known, where dates are just as stressful and confusing as child-rearing; where deciding where to go and what to do can bring the world to its end. Enter, if you dare, The Baby-Free Zone.

(cue spooky music)

Our story opens with our semi-newlyweds in the living room....

"What should we do for dinner?"
"I don't know, what sounds good to you?"
"I don't know, whatever you want."
"What do you want?"
"I don't know, what do you want?"
"I don't know.....I'm feeling pretty lazy."
"Yeah."
"Lets just get a couple of tacos from Taco Bell."
"Sounds good to me."

Approximately 15 minutes have passed since our Husband's father-in-law collected the baby and took her back for a weekend of fun that can only be had at Grandma and Grandpa's house. In their first act of being baby-free parents, they drive to their destination in the newly-rebuilt, broken-seat belt-ed, bald-tired, car-seat-less vehicle.

They arrive safely back home after collecting their tacos to find they weren't fast enough......

The taco sauce - a combination of grease, taco seasoning and, presumably, saliva - has done its damage. The soft shell soaked clean through, leaving nothing more than a mess of "meat", cheese, lettuce, and tomato. But subconsciously knowing they don't have to make food or worry of feeding a third person, Husband and Wife devour their meal in under 5 minutes. No one can say for sure if the stomach ache that resulted later was because of the food or of Enemy Indigestion.

As they watch adult television with blatant profanity, sex, and drug use (and that was just on ABC), the thinkable, and entirely predictably happens: Husband and Wife doze off. And the couch is where they remain until later that night when they shuffle off to bed.

The next day, Saturday, is the unexpected, the unplanned, the not-like-them.....

We next find our Husband and Wife asleep in bed. Both of them. Not just the Husband with the Wife reading in the living room or surfing the internet. They're both sound asleep and it's 7:45am, removing all doubt that we have, indeed, entered another dimension. A dimension not of sight and sound, but of sleep.

(commercial break)

Saturday remains the ordinary, minus what makes it ordinary; no housework tended to, nor no meals cooked because there is no stringent food schedule to stick to, or belly to make sure full. But dinner time is a certainty and so we plunge deeper into the Baby-Free Zone.

Once again, we find our Husband and Wife in the living room.....

"What should we do for dinner?"
"I don't know, what sounds good to you?"
"I don't know, whatever you want."
"What do you want?"
"I don't know, what do you want?"
"I don't know.....I'm feeling pretty lazy."
"Yeah."
"Well, you know I'm up for anything, so you choose."
"Let's go to Jake's since we have a gift card, and they have good food."

Although these two are able to pick out suitable work attire under the stress of waking to an alarm and having to be on time, Husband and Wife find themselves in Closet Purgatory. Suddenly, as if planted in a strange and unusual world, neither has the slightest idea of what to wear, and nothing "looks right."

 A shirt Husband wore in his high school Senior pictures is his evening attire of choice. After a change to darker pants, the look quiets down a little.

 As her friend, Tara, had spookily guessed, Wife does, in fact, don leggings (or leggings painted to look like jeans) with a camisole.


 Life has made these two bypass things they enjoyed doing for the mere reason of not having enough space in their brains to store everything, one of which taking pictures. Husband and Wife used to take memory-cards full of pictures, such as this one, but stopped once they became too tired to think of it.

 We not only find Husband and Wife out and ensconced in social culture, we also find them enjoying some adult beverages.

 Wife has been altered by this Baby-Free Zone, as she never has an interest in drinking, especially wine. But it is sparkling, the cheapest on the menu, comes in a champagne flute, and comes with a little bottle she can have all to herself.

(cue spooky music) Both Husband and Wife have a very nice time at dinner, stuffing themselves on steak salad, and chicken covered with, fried, baked, and sitting in cheese. On a high and wanting the evening to continue, Husband and Wife drive for ice cream, something the Wife never has a taste for, a craving that can only be brought on by this Baby-Free Zone, a dimension not of sight or sound, but of things you can actually taste instead of shoving straight into your toddler's mouth.

(commercial break)

Sunday morning once again brings a new world, one in which Husband and Wife are, yet again, asleep in the same bed as the clock inches closer to 8am. As noon approaches they've read, played video games, surfed the internet, and watched entirely too loud of television programming before deciding to take a shower together, invoking a practice last used when Wife was too pregnant and almost knocked Husband out of the tub. Of course, whether in reality or the Baby-Free Zone, showering together only means getting clean in the same area and inevitably getting stray hairs all over each other.

As morning fades into afternoon, Husband and Wife decide some breakfast is in order. Once again altered by this mysterious Baby-Free Zone, Husband and Wife decide to buck the traditional IHOP breakfast for a Perkins one.

 Documenting this rate occurrence of going out in public twice in 24 hours. (cue spooky music)


As Sunday grows on, Husband and Wife move closer to reality, but not without napping on the couch first, for we remember the Baby-Free Zone is not one of sight and sound, but of continuous sleep.

Baby meets her newly-rejuvenated parents with grins, squeals, laughter, jumping up and down, and "MOMMY! DADDY!!" 

Perhaps we will meet again as Husband and Wife approach their wedding anniversary later this month......in the Baby-Free Zone.....

(cue spooky music)