Sunday, 17 February 2013

Here comes the Sun

Yesterday I felt the sun on my back and had that feeling that we all experience when we sense its warmth for the first time. Whatever you're doing, whether rushing to get somewhere, taking the bins out or strolling round the park, it makes you pause for just a second and go "oh!" in pleasure.

If you're on our own you'll just smile and turn your face up to the sun. If you're with someone you'll probably say something like "ooooh, Spring's just around the corner now!" You might even get a bit carried away and take off your coat before putting it straight back on again as soon as you're in the shade. It's not that warm after all!!!

But for parents with toddlers this moment carries extra significance on one major level that impacts our day to day lives in the most fundamental way: leaving the house with your child stops being the most giant ball-ache ever!!!

Because the simple act of weather proofing your child is one of the most difficult, stressful and frankly exhausting aspects of parenting. And here's why:

Just before you are about to put your child's wet weather onesie on he grows at least three more pairs of limbs. He also chooses to keep these limbs in perpetual motion, moving them as if he's doing head shoulders knees and toes while dancing to Gangnam Style all after eating the bag of Haribo you thought you'd hidden really well. You'll then play the really fun game of "I put your hat on, you take it off again" for at least five minutes before trying to get both mittens on simultaneously so that he can't pull the first one off before you get the second one on.

By this time you'll be so hot and sweaty that you'll need a glass of water, which you'll drink while he stands by the front door screaming to be let out. You'll rush round grabbing snacks and drinks and then look frantically for your door keys (which are always in your pocket aren't they?). You'll put on your own coat, hat, scarf and gloves and then you're finally ready to go... at which point your child looks at you innocently while he fills his nappy with a giant poo.

And so yesterday I felt the sun on my back, and I said "oh!" And then I said, "thank fuck for that!"

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Soul Food

I am a little hungover!  In ordinary circumstances this would be an utterly horrific prospect, as we all know that hangovers and toddlers should never ever mix!  (They're a bit like matter and antimatter in that respect.)  Which is why I'm pleased to tell you that Brendan and I are currently 34 miles apart!  He's at home playing with Brio and his dad, and I'm sat around a fabulous kitchen island somewhere in Ascot nursing an effervescent multivitamin drink!

This weekend has been in the diary for some time, with the words "do not double book" underlined in red.  It's a sort of pre-hen weekend, which sounds rather indulgent, but why the hell not?  For one reason or another my school friends can't make the official weekend of gallivanting and so what better excuse to have a warm up can there be?

We all headed to my friend's place, after she'd packed off the hubby and kids to the inlaws for the night.  We popped some bubbly and so began and evening of catching up, laughing and reminiscing.  Oh and somersaults, but we'll gloss over that...

At 10pm I succumbed to a terrific yawn that seemed to originate from my very soul.  My friend looked up with concern and I waited for her to insist I go to bed immediately and make the most of a night away.

"Laura", she said instead, "we are NOT going to bed at ten!"  She looked around the flagging group. "Right, that's it.  We're going out!!!"

"Out???" I exclaimed. "You mean outside out?"

We all looked at her with barely concealed fear.

"Yes, outside out.  There's a club by the station.  Get your shoes on girls, let's see what it's like!"

"Oooh," we started warming to the idea, "yes let's go out.  Remember when we used to do that? But I haven't been out for ages, and I'm wearing snow boots with pom poms. Will they let us in? Are we too old? Surely we're too old to go out?"

And so we went out, to a somewhat ropey club by a station (you can just imagine, right?)  The bouncer let us in free of charge, we downed a shot (classy) and launched ourselves at the empty dance floor.

We did the best we could with what we were given.  The DJ had a penchant for "garage" (or were we just in someone's garage?) which doesn't lend itself well to a bunch of vodka fuelled women in their late thirties who'd probably do better with a bit of Madge or Duran Duran.  But we regressed quickly to the good old days, and danced for a solid three hours.  And while as each hour passed I rued the loss of a good night's sleep, the belly laughs, the retro-chic moves and the drunken walk home holding hands and giggling more than made up for it.

Old friends, music and dancing... Maybe not restful but food for the soul nonetheless...