I’ve been quiet recently, I haven’t even had time to look at a computer let alone blog. What happened to the good old days where the baby would lie in his moses basket for 20 hours of the day whilst I caught up on Game of Thrones. Now as soon as he goes to bed I lock myself in the bathroom and scroll for miles up and down through Facebook and glare at the timelines of those who have been travelling or going out for a nice meal or are watching Game of Thrones. I remember someone (everyone) saying as soon as he started walking “oh the fun starts now” and it is fun but it’s also really hard work. I go to work for a break. Honestly.
We had help two weeks ago. The Grandparents were drafted in on babysitting duty whilst we went out to see a comedy show and unwind. I couldn’t wait, I had originally planned to drive in but fortuitously the local annual firework competition was on and I managed to pry Emmerdale’s number one fan away from the golden hour of soaps to taxi us in to town so we could enjoy some adult drinks without fear of finding a parking spot in the zoo of out-of-towners looking for a free place to watch the fireworks.
River has been pretty golden with his sleeping finally, but of all days for him to decide that he was going to resist his day nap is was the day we were banking on him sleeping at 7. It was quarter to seven, he was looking between us like a spectator at Wimbledon trying to work out why our faces looked different and why we weren’t in our decade old jogging bottoms and over-sized t-shirts. The way he was looking at us you’d think we never made an effort. Luckily, T-minus one minute to bed time I saw him rubbing his eyes. GO GO GO! Kiss, zipped up and put down. I’m surprised the speed of it all didn’t kick his adrenaline in but by the time we looked on the monitor downstairs he was still lying in the same position (probably in shock.) We left a terrified looking Granny sat on the couch with a yellowpages-esque volume of instructions in case he woke.
We made it. We got out, we bought (and we spilled) drinks. We laughed. We chatted. We remembered who we were as people and not just parents. The show was so good and we were having so much fun we decided to go to the Casino and have some grown-up chat with our friends. I tried REALLY hard not to talk about being a mum and I think managed 80 percent of the time to suppress the urge. Our friends left but we didn’t want to go home so we had a wander around the casino floor and observed people who didn’t have a two ft tall alarm clock at home. It got to 02:00 and I counted on my fingers that if we left now we could be in bed by )3:00 and River would sleep until 07:00 so we would have *counts* well some sleep.
When we finally made it home, I checked on everyone and saw all bodies were accounted so got straight in bed ready for my boot camp wake up from my tiny Drill Sergeant. I closed my eyes and fell straight asleep.
For. ONE. Hour.
The little melt could sense we’d had fun and woke up at four o’bloodyclock. FOUR! Luckily Grandad was downstairs watching Wheeler Dealers so I bundled River up and took him downstairs. My eyes weren’t even open properly and I was being hit with rapid fire questions.
“What time were you out until? Where did you go? How did you get home? Were you out past midnight?”
I had to remind him (and myself for that matter) that I’m nearly 30! In that moment I felt like I was 17 again and had sneaked back in hours past curfew. Interrogation over, I just wanted to go back to bed but River wasn’t having any of it, he wriggled in a way that said “Nah Mum, you’re not putting me down” as he gripped the backs of my arms. Then he saw the television was on something colourful and shiny even if it was fixing up old cars. He slid out of my arms in one fluid motion without taking his eyes off the screen and before Grandad could say “He won’t settle with me” I was half way up the stairs, one foot practically under the covers.
I enjoyed getting out and finding Steph and not MumSteph but it was a stark reminder that children are no safe bets and if you’re counting on a lie in then they can sense it and abort mission immediately.