Friday Night: Parent-style
Friday Night: Going Out
From sixth-form though to my mid-twenties, Friday night would mean only one thing: Going Out.
Oooh, how I loved it!
It wasn’t just the going out part. It was the Getting Ready. Sometimes on your own, but mostly with a whole group of girls, outfits would be chosen, shoes tried on, make-up painstakingly put on and hair done. Then out we’d go, looking and feeling great. FULL of energy. To a pub, bar, club or all three. We’d chat, laugh, drink and dance the night away, until at least 2am. If not much later. And then we’d do it all again on Saturday. So. Much. Fun.
It slightly eased off a little from mid-twenties to thirties. But still, Friday nights and weekends were ‘time off’ meant to be seized and met head on, with gusto.
Cue: kids. Energy tank = generally running on empty. Ability to drink alcohol = greatly reduced, tends to induce sleep.
Friday Night: Staying In
Time for a different style of Friday Night.
It is in this vane that I decided this Friday to ‘treat myself’ to a bath. (Oh how my former self would have mocked and pitied my current Friday night plans.) Living in California too, baths are extra luxurious. This was going to be super-relaxing. The kids were in bed after the required water/wee/can’t sleep protests. Friday night, let’s have you.
As you can imagine, this is along the lines of how I imagined this bath to be:
As you can imagine, the reality was rather less idyllic. Now, seven years in, I know the score. I know that parent life is not particularly glamorous. And I’ve had my fair share of “poo-st traumatic stress“. So my expectations of my Friday night weren’t high. I was just looking for half an hour to switch off from the world, to stop being a mummy and re-energise. This was not to be so.
Friday Night: the reality
Let me paint you a picture:
No candles, no soft lights. ‘Oh well‘, I thought, ‘stark over-head bathroom light it is‘, as I sank into the bath and felt the relaxing start to creep in. I didn’t have a magazine, so half-considered reading something on my phone, but decided just to enjoy the peace, so lay back and closed my eyes – phone on the floor.
Pad, pad, pad of 4YO’s footsteps. Bang! The door bursts open. “Mum-meeeey….” “Yes darling?” I try to answer in the most understanding voice I can muster. “I’m going to be sick!” Gaaahhh….!
7YO appears too. Immediately I become (a naked, wet and still in the bath) commander in chief. I tell 7YO to go downstairs and Get Daddy and tell him 4YO is going to be sick. I try to lean out of the bath, around the really annoying sliding glass screens we have, to hold back 4YO’s hair as she wretches over the toilet bowl. Hubby appears and takes over hair-holding duties. 7YO is sent back to their room. I had thought about getting out, but decided me dripping over everything would make this even more chaotic. So I stayed sitting in the bath, muttering supporting words to both 4YO and Hubby.
And you know what kids are like don’t you? Once 4YO had chundered up her guts, she felt as right as rain! Of course she did. After washing out her mouth and washing her hands with Daddy, she skips over to the bath, picks up the phone and giggles as she threatens to take pictures of me naked in the bath! Hubby wrangles the phone off her and back to bed she goes.
I did continue my bath, and it was nice and semi-relaxing. Just somehow I didn’t feel quite as clean, or zen as I had hoped.
We were granted a couple of hours respite from the vom-fest. But 4YO continued to be unwell throughout the night, so I ended up sharing our bed with her and taking my turn at the hair-holding while she got whatever it was out of her system.
Saturday morning saw us sleep-deprived and recovering from Friday night, just like those pre-child days. Only this time, it was not through excessive alcohol and hours of dancing. Still, like yesteryear, it did involve vomit. Friday night – some things never change.