Yesterday, of course, was Valentine's Day, which as a writer of romantic fiction, I can hardly ignore, can I? In case you thought Valentine's Day is for unrequited lovers, let me put you right, according to this article here, St V was more interested in established partnerships and the real man for the job is St Raphael (handy that I put him in Last Christmas then).
Spouse and I tend to use St V's day as a rare opportunity to get some quality time together. This can be a variable feast. Last year we ended up in a cold chalet at Pontin's, but you can't have everything you want in life.
This year the day falling on a Sunday, and us normally having aged mil for Sunday lunch, we felt going out for dinner was a bit of a waste of time, and given no 1 had a party till 8.30 on Saturday (sigh, her social life is sooo much more interesting then ours), going out then was a no no too. So we went for the Eating In is the new Eating Out option (or one of my pet hates, "date night", ugh). When the children were little, this was a relatively easy way for us to have some grown up time to ourselves. But now of course, they go to bed really late, so trying to get a quiet intimate dinner round the table takes some doing.
Added to which Spouse always thinks a trip to Ann Summers is in order before we have any time to ourselves. A slightly mortifying proposition for both of us - he lives in fear of meeting his patients, I live in fear of meeting school run mums, or worse, their husbands... I am always impressed by the sang-froid shown by the younger generation though, who genuinely don't seem to be as embarrassed by the presence of so many rampant rabbits as I am. And don't mind at all being asked by the staff if they need help. It is bad enough that I have managed to get myself through the door of Ann Summers. I most DEFINITELY do not want help when I get there.
As a result of my mortification, my first trip Ann Summersward , left me coming away empty handed. But then Spouse had the bright idea of a Sutton shopping trip on Saturday. While he distracted the children in Primark, I was sent off to buy something nice in Ann Summers (and actually once I get over the discomfit, I am not averse to buying nice underwear - if I was buying it in M&S I wouldn't even blink). It was quite liberating knowing the chances of meeting someone I knew were zero (though have just had the awful thought in a few years I shall probably be meeting no 1's friends in there, eek), so I came away with something suitably slinky. Result.
What then ensued was that when we got back home and I decided to slip into my something slinky for a later point in the evening when the offspring had all departed to bed, no4 took it upon herself to nosily wonder what I was up to. Her notion of what I was up to involved her imminent birthday, not any idea of her mother having some kind of Other Life which most definitely does not involve children. So every time I tried to secrete my new purchases from my bag the door would fly open and in would burst my youngest saying, suspiciously, What are you doing, Mummy? (you have noooo idea...). This was slightly less tricky to deal with then the time no 2, then aged 7 came running in when I was trying to force my somewhat bulging post baby body into places it really shouldn't go, which involved buttons pinging off inconveniently and I had to hide behind the bed and have a conversation with her (yes, really, and so as not to waste the embarrassment, I put a similar scene in Pastures New, oh yes.) In the end though I sent her packing and locked myself in for ten minutes, so she probably spent the next half an hour scouring my bedroom for birthday presents.
Then it was time for Saturday evening with the family. Usually this involves Chinese from Sainsbury's, but I forgot to buy crispy Duck, so had to make do with a duck we had in the freezer which took forever to cook. In the meantime I had to go up to visit mil to do various tasks, before picking up the eldest from her party at 8.30pm. By the time we got back at nine, everyone was still up, and no one had eaten, so any chance of Spouse and I having some ahem quiet time together vanished into the distance.
Honestly, he said, it's worse then living with your parents.
This is very true. OTOH, I feel that maybe we can add an extra spice into life by managing to keep that side of life going without them guessing at all. After all, as far as they're concerned we're practically old enough to have bus passes, so I'm sure they don't think we get up to THAT sort of thing anymore at all.
In fact as far as the youngest knows, who has had the Daddy puts his seed into Mummy's tummy chat, we've only ever done it four times.
Yup. That's right. Four times. And it was so disgusting we'll never ever do it again.
Or at least, not until our children have grown up and left home...