Having just had a pretty intense weekend, filled with either amusing the kids or trying to coerce them into doing something we actually want to do, I started thinking about the GIANT chasm between weekends before and after kids. Things are different. Very, very different.
- Saturday: Wake naturally. Probably to the sound of birds chirruping, or angels softly singing (not that you notice, or care). Lazily turn to check the time – 9.45am. “Agh! Why am I awake so early on a Saturday?” you think. Sigh heavily. Turn over and sleep for another 45 minutes. Feel vaguely refreshed, get out of bed.
- Down two paracetemol (last night was filled with cheap wine and sticky dancefloors, as per).
- Loll around in pyjamas planning what to do with the day. Gallery? Shopping? Meet friends for brunch? “Agh! Don’t know what to do, too much choice” you think.
- Decide on meeting friends for brunch. Get ready at leisurely pace. Maybe even moisturise after shower.
- Meet in a chic/hip/cool venue and have full, complete and satisfying conversations with friends. Everyone gets to finish their sentences and YOU DON’T EVEN APPRECIATE HOW AMAZING THIS IS.
- You open your tiny little handbag to split the bill when there’s talk of heading somewhere for a drink in the sunshine.
- Finish up at 4pm, pleasantly sunkissed and merry. Head home for a little nap.
- Wake at 7pm, order a takeaway and watch X Factor. Or go to the cinema. Or just do whatever the hell you like.
- Retire to bed around 1am. The lateness of the hour is unimportant, there is nothing to really do tomorrow.
- Sunday: Sit in pants, eat and watch TV. Because YOU CAN.
- Wake with a start. 6.50am and not a sound. OHMIGOD a lie in! Attempt to go back to sleep but now worried something is wrong with children. Lay in bed imagining various horrors until you can bear it no more and go to check on them. Creep as quietly as possible into kids’ rooms. Both are breathing. Relief! Creep back, ready to wallow in this delightful yet unknowable borrowed time. Creak a floorboard at 6.57am and whole house is immediately awake.
- Shower in the presence of two small wailing beings. Wash hair as fast as possible, keeping one shampoo-filled eye on kids whilst singing Grand Old Duke of York to distract toddler from pushing/hitting/”cuddling” baby.
- In effort to remain part of the wider world, a buggy friendly cafe is booked for lunch with friends who have similar aged children. Every adult member of the party is slightly dreading it, understanding that they are at the mercy of their children’s moods.
- Neither food nor sentences are finished.
- Goodbyes are rushed because the kids need to nap. You walk past a pub filled with carefree afternoon drinkers and pine/silently curse the bastards.
- Because you read somewhere how important family dinners are in helping your kids develop excellent table manners, you sit down to eat together at 5pm. Approximately 2-3 hours early than all other normal people.
- Muddle through the hell of bath/bed/story by divvying up tasks (usually employing some kind of guilt-trip/barter tactic: “YOU should do bath-time tonight because I got up and did breakfast”).
- Stare at TV in semi-induced coma. Fall asleep halfway through a film, at 8.36pm. Might as well go to bed soon as baby has been waking several times in the night.
- Sunday: Repeat.