Thursday, May 17, 2007

All in One Piece

I actually went out last night. Goodness. That's two weeks on the trot. Any more of this gadding about and I might lay claim to having such a thing as a social life.

The reason I don't get out much is because of course I am the mother of four children. Apart from the fact that I am often too knackered to even think about it, just the effort of getting out even now makes it sometimes seem not worth the candle.

The only way we managed to get out last week was because our Lovely Friend came to babysit, and she is so lovely I don't feel too guilty about dropping everything and running, which is pretty much what we did. (Though in order for us to go out at all, the kids had to miss tennis and no 1 didn't go to Guides). It was the first time in nearly five years Spouse and I have been out in London together - our last attempt ended disastrously as I was called home to deal with no 4's first asthma attack, and ended up taking her to hospital at 1am, the thought of which still fills me with Big Guilt...

If you like me, are a fan of Jill Murphy, you may know a story about the Large family called All in One Piece. The Large Family are elephants and they have four children so not unnaturally I have rather a feeling of kinship with Mrs Large. In All in One Piece poor Mrs L tries to get out for the evening while the children cause merry mayhem around her. I know just how she feels....

As it was Lovely Friend's birthday, it was one of those occasions when being a lazy arse who can't be fagged to have a social life simply won't do. Lovely Friend not only babysits for us, she is the kind of friend who will drop everything for us in a crisis. I lost count of the times she's helped out when we've really needed it. I would go over hot coals to be at her birthday party if I had to.

And I nearly did....

Everything conspired against me from the off.

Spouse begged leave to go for a quick early pint, which I gave on the strict understanding he'd be back by 8pm.

Nos 2&3 were brought back from Brownies around 7.15, by which time no 4 was heavily ensconced watching The Lion King. When I became evil mum extraordinaire and turned it off, No 3 burst into paroxysms of IT's NOT FAIR type weeping.

I chased the littlies up to bed, and tried to get changed while no 1 fired rapid questions at me about downloading music from a cd onto the computer, so she can save it on her new MP3 player. It is a truth universally acknowledged by all parents that sooner or later your tweenie will start understanding new technology much much better then you do.

Nos 3&4 then launched into world war three, which I had to calm down while still half dressed.

Then no 2 decided she HAD to practise for her gym competition on Sunday. As this involved doing cartwheels in our rather small family room, and she has history of injuring herself, I thought it wholly advisable to watch her...

Cartwheels completed it was back upstairs to finish getting changed and sort out the latest barney between the little ones.

No 3 then announced she was hungry, and I told her she just had to wait.

By 7.50 there was no sign of Spouse, no 1 was still shouting at me, nos 3&4were stilll shouting at each other, no 2 had moved onto handstands and I hadn't even started wrapping the present. I also couldn't find my handbag, and when I went to switch on the dishwasher realised we'd run out of dishwasher tabs.

By the time Spouse arrived at 8.10 (he had got sidetracked watering our friends' allotment) I was screaming that No 3 was going to have to go hungry and wondering how on earth I was ever going to get out of the house. Thankfully Spouse dealt with the hunger pangs, while I wrapped the present and remembered that my handbag was still in the car.

I eventually left the house at nearly 8.30. As I passed the Co Op en route, I not unnaturally went to buy dishwasher powder... always thinking domestically me, even on a night out.

Lovely friend was there with very Drunk Work Colleague. VDWC is highly entertaining, so it was enjoyable sparring with him, given that I was totally stone cold sober. Mind you, that state of affairs didn't last long.

We were chucked out of the bar we were in at 10pm, so we wandered back up to the local Spouse and I have been drinking in since time immemorial. Aaah... the stories I have about that place. It seems to currently be working its way into the wip somehow. All I'll say here is that it is known locally as The Stranglers on account of a previous landlord having come to a sticky (and strangled) end at the hands of his wife's lover. It also has ghosts, or so I'm told, and is one of the few pubs I've ever been in that I don't mind walking into on my own.

Before I knew it, time had gone all elastic on me and it was midnight - which is way past my normal bedtime. Oh dear.... I rang Spouse to say Oh Dear, but I think he was feeling so bad about having got in late he didn't tell me off. I'll be back soon I said...

Soon turned into nearly 1am, so it was very oh dear this morning.

Particularly as I had promised to go swimming with another lovely friend...

It was a sharp shock I can tell you, but not a bad way of getting rid of a hangover...

And I've just reminded myself that sometimes it's worth the effort of getting out, even if I'm not quite all in one piece the next day...

To lovely friend, hope you enjoyed your birthday as much as I did....xxxx

7 comments:

Dumdad said...

And still you had the energy to write this long and entertaining blogpost. I'm impressed.

ChrisH said...

I don't know how you're fitting it all in! Best wishes, Chris (also on romna).

Jane Henry said...

Hi Dumdad... I was probably still half pissed when I wrote it...

I shall be in your neck of the woods next weekend... first time in Paris in over ten years, I can't wait!

ChrisH, nice to see you here. Just been on your blog and am impressed by your runs - 6miles is more then I usually have time for as am so slow... but just did 2miles home today and 4miles on Tuesday....

Dumdad said...

Gadding about in London, bopping to the Kinks live and next Paris: it's a hard life!
Hope you enjoy the city of light - where are you staying?

liz fenwick said...

Have so been there....... :-)

Sue said...

Can understand the 'not wanting to be bothered' attitude. Tiredness can ruin any joy. Usually when you feel like that though you end up having the best time.

Glad you had a good night, I could picture the scene before you went out and empathise wholly!

Jane Henry said...

Dumdad, I can assure you my life is not normally so exciting! (I don't go gadding about in London though... my drinking habits extend to walking down the road to our local normally...) Paris we're staying at a place called Brie Comte Robert. I've been invited to a wedding, but it coincided with the period we normally go visting the German rellies, so we're off to Germany the following day. It's all go in my life I can tell you...

Liz and Sue, thanks for the empathy...

Yes Joy suddenly comes unlooked for on these occasions. I took it all for granted before I had children...