Wednesday 7 June 2017

Date night: just leave the paper at home please.

We went for dinner in Brighton one evening - in they days when we could have 'mini-breaks' and spend time together without having to organise with military precision who would feed the cat or watch the kids. Back then we averaged about 4 'holidays' a year with a city break somewhere like Marrakech or Rome in addition to the main holiday and a couple of weekend getaways. Anyway, we were sitting together waiting for our food and I noticed an older couple at another table. He was reading the paper sitting opposite - a woman who I guess was - his wife. I remarked to Hubbie how sad it was that they weren't talking to each other. Oh the arrogance of youth as we made plans and laughed at how very romantic we were and so much better at being married than they were.

Fast forward to our lives now with two young children. We haven't been abroad since Blue Bear joined the family and only once since Brown Bear was born. Our main holiday is usually on a farm in Cornwall so the kids get to feed animals and drive a tractor and our weekend breaks are with grandparents so we can get a lie in while the kids watch TV and eat jelly babies with Grandpa. If we do go out for dinner the topic of conversation will rarely veer from our children and I can't remember the last time we sat and made plans other than who would take the boys to school.

The first time we went out after Brown Bear was born my sister came to watch him for us and we went to a bar nearby and I knocked back my drink and sent a text to my sister to say we'd be coming home. She told us not to worry and to stay out longer if we wanted to. I guess it was that evening I lost the art of being good company on a night out. My mind is always half on what is going on at home. Did Blue Bear wake up and call for Daddy - I'm really proud of this one, I never have to get up for him - and how many times did Brown Bear come downstairs for a drink, due to a bad dream or to ask what the babysitter is eating. I vacillate on whether to have a drink or not in case something happens to the boys. I don't want to risk a drive to A&E smelling of booze. Of course if I do indulge I'm over the guilt pretty quickly - I am British after all. 

The babysitting thing means that often we end up going out separately with Hubbie going to noisy gigs and me going to the theatre. Occasionally we even manage to achieve the holy grail of an available babysitter and tickets to something we both want to see. If I ever see Hubbie reading the paper though I will have to have a word. 

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