Now, Husband and I do go out. Without the children. Sometimes, even with each other, which of course requires use of a babysitter. And since it's now 5 years from Boy #1's arrival, we have 2 or 3 trusted faces who we use, and on the odd occassion they can't do it, we put out a 'calling all cars' alert and usually manage to draft in a grannie or one of our friends' trusted sitters. So it's not as if the Boys aren't used to this sort of thing.
However, given the performance Boy #1 was putting in, you would think that we were planning a 6 month trip away and leaving him and his brother in an orphanage. There were tears, whispered pleas into the babyphone, and heartbreaking weeping.
I was prepared to be understanding about this; he was in a strange house, with an unknown face in charge, after all. But he was with his brother, his friend E, we wouldn't be far away, and dammit, we were going out.
As we were due to leave, I went upstairs for the 4th time since bedtime to try and sort the situation out.
Boy #1: "Pleaaaaase don't go out Mama! I'm scared... " (bear in mind, before you start to worry about his state of mind, he says exactly the same thing when The Numberjacks are on C-Beebies...)
Me: "Boy #1, you'll be fine. We won't be gone long, and before you know it we'll be back and I'll come upstairs and give you a big kiss, which you probably won't even notice as you'll be asleep by then."
Boy #1: "But, But, But..."
Boy #2: "I'm alright mama! I'm a big boy!"
Me: (suddenly having an idea): "Yes, yes you are. And you can have a big kiss to prove it. You can both have a big kiss, in fact."
I kiss Boy #2. He rolls over and closes his eyes. Then I turn to Boy #1, give him a big kiss, and whisper in his ear...
"Guess what? I just gave Boy #2 a magic kiss - and turned him into a princess! But he doesn't know, so don't tell him..."
Boy #1 stopped whimpering. He looked at me, and then at his brother, and giggled.
The babysitter didn't hear another peep out of him.