We had a home-date last night. It takes a little preparation, but it is cheaper and easier to pull off than getting a babysitter and going out. So, if you find yourself in a situation where money is tight or time is an issue (for us, HotNerd found himself working late nights last week and throughout the entire weekend), this might offer a little time to connect.
First, buy something at the grocery store that you would not normally feed the entire family, whether due to cost or because you know the little punks will poo-poo it. We bought a fancy, pre-made, gourmet ravioli. No joke. Here it is in the container.
Next, the night before your date, keep the kids up really late. Or, otherwise find a great way to exhaust them the day of your date. Swimming is good for this. We let them watch a really long movie last night.
The day of the date, make them a meal they love. We made spaghetti, making sure there was enough sauce left-over to dress our ravioli, and chocolate cake. The chocolate cake might have been the clincher.
Get the kids all ready for bed. Our youngest falls fast to sleep and sleeps hard so she is not a problem. You might have to let older kids know that, should they decide to come out of their rooms for the umpteenth glass of water or to check the weather report or to get another book, they might catch mom and dad fornicating.
You could also do what we did. We reminded them that we hadn't had a date in a while and HotNerd's schedule of late has made it tough for us to get out, so we were going to having a home-date. We set them up with all kinds of activities in their rooms and requested that they respect our need for one-on-one time.
They got it -- well, not at first. Eggplant was intrigued by our colorful food. We told him we'd bring him a doggie bag. Then we explained what that means because we don't have a dog. Then we threatened to use his college savings to take a cruise together if he doesn't leave us alone.
But, other than that, it was easy.
Finally, turn off cell phones. Turn off anything that might go "beep" or "click" or "brrring" when an e-mail or text shows up, put on a little music (we went old school and played a CD to avoid having the computer on -- a little James Taylor, because who better than JT to set the mood?), figure out where you put those candles you owned pre-kids, and set your table.
The rest is up to you.
I do recommend you try this if, like us, money or time or babysitter woes have kept your from dating your spouse.
P.S. Save the dishes for tomorrow. They'll still be there.