Tuesday night is date night around here. As soon as Mr. T leaves, we change our clothes, do our hair, and make sure we’ve gone potty before heading out the door.
I’m talking about me and Nora, of course.
It’s worked out that most weeks, I take Nora into the Brotherhood once for dinner. Since we’ve started going to library Toddler Time on Tuesday mornings, we’ve been having our date night that same evening in hopes of a few extra moments with Dada (to make up for the lost morning). If we get there not too long after five, we can usually spend at least ten minutes with him in the kitchen before things get too crazy. Then we head out to “our” table in the back corner of the upstairs dining room and get a little energy out before the food comes. At that time of evening, we’re generally the only ones upstairs, so Nora can be a little bit rambunctious without bothering anyone.
When our food comes, we “ooh” and “aww” at the deliciousness of Chris’ specials.
Nora, too, gets a special meal, along with her favorite once per week treat:
ketchup! She loves it. I’m not the biggest fan, but I figure eating it once a week at Chris’ restaurant isn’t the worst thing. I did decide this Tuesday, though, that I am going to start BYOK, because they have Heinz ketchup at the Brotherhood which has high fructose corn syrup in it (the organic variety I found at Stop & Shop does not).
I go back and forth on feeding Nora fish. It’s a good different protein source for her. There are tons and tons of studies about the importance of omega-3’s from fish in brain development and other areas of health, but mercury, PCBs, and dioxons are commonly found in fish, which is troublesome. There’s worry about the environmental impact of over-fishing/bottom-trawl fishing, which has to be weighed against the fact that here on Nantucket, this is one of the ways that we can eat local and support our neighbors.
For now, she’s on a once-weekly fish diet (I consume less). I think there is enough research that shows the benefits of fish consumption outweighs the risk, so long as weekly consumption is limited and certain fish are avoided. (There’s great regional seafood guides on the Monteray Bay Aquarium website.) She only eats fish at the Brotherhood, because Chris buys it and I know it’s quality product sourced locally and that the type of fish on the plate is the type of fish on the menu. I do worry about cod, which is one of the “eco-worst” fish choices, yet is so prevalentat every restaurant on-island, and does sometimes end up on her plate (see above). I guess this is one area in which I am not perfect. We don’t avoid it completely, but we do strictly manage consumption to a degree which could serve as a model to others…or so I tell myself to feel better when she does eat it.
After dinner (and really long tangents), we cleanse our palate with lemons.
Unnaturally blue ice cream colored with blueberry juice, not artificial colors. Even if there’s nothing factory-made in this it still unnerves me. But it does appeal to kids…including mine. Though, given the choice, she would choose the berry trifle or Chris’ to-die-for mousse over blue ice cream any day. Good girl.
We meander slowly down Center and Main, checking out the sights, and enjoying a rare night out past 6:00.Once we hit Orange Street, I load her into the stroller or carrier of the day so we can make tracks for home, bath, and bed.Date night has become such a wonderful ritual. It’s my one night break from the routine of dinner and dishes, which is nice, but it’s really wonderful because of the time with Nora. As she grows, she’s becoming quite the talker and she makes for a very lovely dinner companion. Nora’s already able to tell stories and talk about her day. And, despite her shyness while there, I know she really enjoys visiting Chris at work.
It’s funny, but I never would have thought that I couldn’t care less about not having a “date night” with my husband. But here we are. Chris and I love time with our little girl so much that we aren’t willing to sacrifice time with her during his one night off, and I get my night out fix with just the company of a (nearly) two year old.