Blogger and mammy Ruth Chambers' weekly take on toddler and parenting dramas
BC (before children) I loved a good night out. A few drinks at home before heading to the pub was a weekend ritual. I’d even go in search of a party after whatever establishment I was in called time.
When I got pregnant with Aidan in the Autumn of 2012 the weekly ritual ground to a halt. My tolerance levels for drunk people when I’m sober is non existent.
Now nights out for myself and Daddy Chambers are as rare as a good Irish summer. However, when a neighbour asked us to join them for a Saturday night out recently, we jumped at the chance.
Another neighbour kindly offered to babysit Aidan and Sarah and gave us strict instructions to enjoy ourselves and not return before 2am. I’m not usually one to do as I’m told but on this occasion I followed said instructions, I won’t say to the letter because I’m not sure what time it was when I turned the key in the front door on my return!
At 7pm both Aidan and Sarah were tucked up for the night so myself and Daddy Chambers opened a bottle of wine. Two hours later our taxi arrived, we bid the babysitter au revoir and made our way to join the neighbours in the local public house.
After a couple of hours we moved on to another establishment. The rest of the night, if I’m honest, is a bit of a blur.
At least Daddy Chambers had a bit of sense and left early-ish to relieve the babysitter of her duties but sense was never my strong point. When we started a sing-song in the corner of the pub I think we tipped the barman over the edge and we found ourselves heading home pretty soon after.
Except I didn’t go home. No, I thought it was a fine idea to head into the neighbour's house for another beverage or two.
I eventually stumbled in to bed at crazy o’clock and conked it but not for very long. At 6am Aidan was out of the bed and calling for us. Daddy Chambers very kindly arose first to tend to him. An hour or so later I was abruptly woken by a toddler jumping on my head and screaming ‘good morning mammy’ in my face. This is one huge disadvantage of living in a bungalow. I envy you folks who can close the stair gate and get a lie in upstairs, oblivious to the chaos that goes on underneath you!
At that point there was no going back. When Daddy Chambers arrived in I could clearly see he was under the weather so he went back to bed when I took over.
First up there was a dirty nappy (the younger one) to contend with; not pretty at the best of times but 100 times worse with a hangover.
Back in the sitting room I decided to stick on the telly in the hope it would keep Aidan entertained as I curled up in the fetal position on the sofa. I was wrong. No, he wanted to play ‘horsey’, a game where he climbs up on my back and I trot him round the house and make horse sounds. After that I had to don a toy hard hat and pretend I was on a building site, fake hammer and all, and fix things. You name it and I fixed it! I fixed the sofa, I fixed the curtains, I even fixed a pair of socks he had pulled out of the chest of drawers in his room.
When Daddy Chambers finally arose I suggested we go to a local play centre in the hope that Aidan would head off, make some little buddies and be entertained, without our help, for a couple of hours.
In fairness that’s exactly what happened but we didn’t think the plan through. The play centre was wedged, packed full of birthday parties and what with it raining outside it seemed like every child in the country was in the bloody place.
The noise of screaming kids did nothing to help the hangover and the over twos who were illegally playing in the under twos soft play area did my head in as I attempted to shield Sarah from their over zealous antics.
When our hour and a half time slot was up Aidan had to be dragged literally kicking and screaming from the place, while the chase after him round the car park outside was soul destroying.
On the plus side though bedtime was nearing. My stomach churned as I set about making them dinner but thankfully they both ate it without incident and two hours later it was time to put them in their pajamas and load them into bed after what seemed like two days rolled into one. Lunches for the following day were then thrown together, bottles made up and finally it was time for myself and Daddy Chambers to retire.
“I’m never drinking again,” I muttered to myself as I made my way down the hall. Or at least I need to realise that I can’t go out and skull drink the way I did BC. I’m supposed to be a responsible adult, on paper I tick all the boxes anyway. I have a mortgage, two kids, a family car and a pension but on Saturday night I foolishly returned to my youth and paid a heavy price for it the day after!
So if anyone happens to see me out in the future and reckons I’ve had one too many please point me in the direction of home or at least come and mind the kids the next day! if you’re interested in the latter you can contact me to arrange collection!