I used to babysit, therefore I know the going-rate for babysitters 8 years ago. And I cannot afford the going-rate for babysitters 8 years ago, so I do not inquire as to the going-rate of babysitters this year.
Last week, we were determined, babysitter or no, to go on a date. A real date, not the buy a frozen lasagna, put the one year old to bed early, and eat it by candlelight in front of a movie kind. Those dates have their place, but last week was not their place.
A long time ago, in a distant tropical land, in a Mexican restaurant called Bandito's Cantina, the Farmers dropped a jewel of wisdom before me. At the time, I did not perceive the immense value of that jewel, but in my hour of need, their sage advice came to mind, "We always come to this restaurant because the waiter gives each of our boys a balloon." Sheer genius.
"We are not living on a shoestring budget," thought I, "we are living on a balloonstring budget."
As husband and I played cards and savored brick oven baked calzones, one year old sat in a wooden highchair, tugging joyfully on the string of his gravity-defying red balloon.