I’ve literally lived it up the last 2 nights.
I don’t go out for months, weeks (feels like years) on end and then 2 events end up falling on the same weekend. That means I was out Friday and (shock horror gasp!) Saturday night as well!!!
Simply outrageous behaviour.
However, gone are the days of carefree, frivolous behaviour where you could go out on a whim. You now have to plan a night out with military precision and one hiccup in the plan can make the difference between a great night out and disaster central.
Friday night was spent going to see a rock band called, Sons of Icarus (look them up if you’re into your rock music, they’re seriously destined for greatness) – the guitarist is my sons Guitar teacher so we always make an effort to go and support them (and if truth be told, it’s an excuse to go out, let my hair down and feel like a grown up for a little while…)
We are super lucky to have fit and healthy grandparents that live near to us and they were very kindly on hand to babysit for us for the evening. Nanny is the brains, Grandad is pure mischief. They are the perfect team and the boys love them to bits so there’s no issue with me leaving them and it’s fairly hassle free (for me anyway…sorry Mum and Dad!)
Rather miraculously, I managed to get out on time, without event or having to cancel on anyone due to a random sickness bug, act of God or forgetting about the fact I should have been going out altogether, which can often happen. My brain certainly isn’t what it used to be, mind you, that same phrase could be said about a lot of things these days… #thingsaintwhattheyusedtobe
Saturday night however, everything became a logistical pickle and Daddy would be left in charge of the Tasmanian Toddler by himself.
Whole. Different. Ball. Game.
Middle child had a party that went on until late (7ish) and he will not stay at parties on his own. Ever. This made things a logistical nightmare as we had the other 2 boys to contain, one of whom is normally a raging banshee by 7pm and ready for solitary confinement in his bed, and I was out with my mum so that ruled us out for being able to help with the party situation, the older one or the little one.
The logistics of 3….
Luckily for us, my brother had volunteered for uncle duty to take ‘the one who can’t be left at parties’ to his party and supervise him. A last minute ‘Funtime Uncle’ decision (stupidly but very kindly) meant that he said he would also take my eldest with him and they could bowl whilst waiting for the middle one to have his fun. What a godsend.
That left Grandad (pure mischief and can’t say no) and Daddy (pure tiredness and can’t say yes) to look after the Tasmanian Toddler.
I had told my husband what to do the toddler for tea, I had put nappies, wipes and pjs out ready for bedtime, I had given him options for his/my dads dinner and the location of these items in the fridge (foolproof…) and the house was relatively tidy.
Myself and my mum went out for dinner together and to the theatre (something we haven’t done, just the two of us, for about 2 years….I’m not even exaggerating). It was lovely, we saw Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty which was utterly amazing and made me sob at the end due to a mixture of being in awe, appreciation for the choreography and stunning ability of the dancers, but also tinged with a bit of sadness by reminding me of a life I led before kids where I danced almost every day from the age of 3 to 22, but sadly now I don’t have time to do it at all.
Upon being picked up after the theatre by my brother, after a lovely time, he offloads to me how horrendous it was looking after the two older boys and how much money he had hemorrhaged in the space of just 2 hours. Bowling, arcade machines, food, slush puppies, more bowling, more food, more arcade machines, car parking…
Welcome to my world. That’s why, as a parent, you become ‘boring’ and learn the word “no!” very quickly. He’s a great uncle though and the boys are very lucky to have him and they had a lovely time even if he, and his bank balance, didn’t! 😂🙈
I then walk through the door at home about 10:10pm to see the two older ones on the sofa, looking exhausted with brightly coloured slush puppy lips, waiting up to see me whilst watching an episode of Top Gear with Grandad and Daddy. There are takeaway pizza bags and boxes over most of the living room and dining table, a multitude of bottles, cups, plates and rubbish strewn around, toddlers dinner bits on the floor and it looks like toys r us has had a case of explosive diarrhea in the whole of the downstairs.
“What has Ben got on in bed? His pjs are still here…?” I ask.
“Well, he fell asleep on the sofa in his clothes so he’s asleep in them, but he did have a clean nappy on” comes the reply.
(I try to stifle my rage, but not sure I do a very good job of it, as i grab said pjs and go upstairs to try and wiggle the sleeping toddler into them without waking him up. By some miracle I manage it).
I then make a start on tidying up the house because I can’t face the thought of having to spend my Sunday morning doing it all. Then I remember my other half is out on a bike ride Sunday morning and his kit is still in the machine wet from earlier so i go and fish that out of the machine and lob the rest in the tumble dryer. Then I shout at the boys to remind them to brush their teeth before bed so the sugar consumed during the evenings shinnanigans don’t rot their teeth overnight to which Daddy says condescendingly, “boys, did you not do that earlier when I asked you to get your pjs on…?” Erm, no. No they wouldn’t have. They’re boys! You have to remind them to wipe their bums and flush the toilet after they’ve been for a poo let alone them brushing their teeth without a reminder or barked order.
My point is that, even on a ‘night off’ a mum is never ‘off duty’. However, it very much doesn’t feel like that if Daddy is out. If Daddy is out, or has been out, he comes home to order. I go out and I return to relative chaos. It’s a given, and I guess I shouldn’t moan as the house was still standing and all the children were alive and had all limbs in tact. A success in the Daddy Daycare stakes I suppose.
This morning I’ve got up early with the toddler, done the dishwasher, made all he kids breakfast and juice, done French homework, done spelling homework, done 2 X reading with each of the older ones, got them all dressed, put some washing on, tidied breakfast stuff away, got myself washed and dressed, changed 2 nappies and done the online food shop.
My husband got up and hour later than me, had a long sit uninterrupted in the toilet, got ready in his nice clean and dry bike kit, had a leisurely coffee and breakfast and went off on his 3 hour bike ride.
I saw a blog article this week reprimanding women/people for belittling the role dads play and for treating them like idiots when actually they’re more than capable. I didn’t agree with most of the article from a personal point of view, but i understood the essence of it and I know a lot of Dads out there are super helpful or are doing a great job on their own as single dads.
I really appreciate that, and my husband does work very hard during the week, but when you’re in possession of a husband with, quote, ‘a different tolerance to tidiness’, to yourself and who can’t even put their kid in some pjs at bedtime…you may understand my predicament with agreeing with that blog post wholeheartedly.
Anyhow, it’s Sunday, the sun is out and we have another party later on so its Daddy Daycare take 2 today (because he ‘doesn’t do parties’) – I’ll try to get the toddler in his pjs before I go out today, just so he has one less job to do… 😉