Though I confess to "borrowing" the title of a VH1 television show, which by way of disclaimer I will say I don't watch but know the basic premise, I feel that living with a toddler creates a surreal life.
Prior to being parents, the hubby and I used to enjoy the occasional steak dinner. He would marinate the steaks overnight and fire up real charcoal to grill them. I would make a salad, baked potatoes, and some sauteed mushrooms to complete the meal. We had this down to a science after twenty plus years of marriage (not that we could afford steaks in the early, lean "tube steak" years), and enjoyed the teamwork of bringing this meal together.
Now, with the spiked prices on gas and groceries, and another mouth to feed (actually she doesn't eat much it's covering the other end of her digestive tract that costs the real money these days), plus our essentially one-income budget, the occasional steak dinner is now a rarity (pun intended).
Recently on a splurge when steaks were on sale, we attempted to have our bbp (before becoming parents) steak dinner. But the meal was decidedly different. For one, as most moms can relate to, your own meal grows cold as you feed the toddler and assist her in feeding herself. Then as she eats less and more quickly than we do, she was ready to get down from the high chair long before we were done eating. To preserve some semblance of a meal together, our daughter was lovingly placed in the pack and play (new fangled term for playpen of olde) with toys and her sippy cup, positioned where she could see the television and we could see her. To keep her mollified, I put on the cable channel Noggin.
While we were trying to enjoy our bbp steak dinner, she was "watching" Max and Ruby (for the unenlightened -- a show about a brother and sister bunny). My husband's dining seat faces the TV, so he began watching it and I listened. At one point I even asked him if his older sisters had treated him the way Ruby was treating her younger brother Max. As the meal continued, I abruptly laughed out loud at the absurdity of it all. My husband shot me a look and defensively explained why he was watching the show ---- he was not amused by my laughter and didn't get what was so funny. But here sat two forty-something first-time parents becoming absorbed by a preschooler's cartoon while trying to recapture our bbp days.
I guess you had to be there -- but for me this new life is certainly surreal at times.