I learned a valuable lesson on the weekend. It’s a lesson My Sweet learned the week before. It’s also a lesson that explains why some friends of ours have gone into a socialising cocoon since becoming parents. The lesson: Alcohol, late nights and young children do not mix.
Some weeks ago we heard from some uni friends of ours to tell us that they were going to be in town and it would be good if we could catch-up. As I had been meaning to get a few of our mutual friends together for some time I welcomed this as the opportunity for such an occasion. I had described it as a BBQ but it was soon being referred to as a ‘party’. In the background, deep in my sub-conscious, there were some alarm bells ringing but alas they were too faint and they were soon drowned out by all the other peripheral noise associated with getting organised for the event.
So, Saturday rolled around and our guests duly arrived with their children in tow and plates under their arms and eskies in hand. It became clear early on that we had all combined to over cater by a factor of at least 50%, again another alarm bell should have sounded. I know I should have been worried when a big bottle of rum and a bottle of port were placed on the kitchen bench, but I honestly didn’t think they’d be touched. How wrong I was. Friends in their mid thirties who’ve know each other since their teens or early twenties often think they’re back ‘in the day’ when re-telling old tales. Now, My Sweet was wary of the signs, as I said, she learned the lesson I was about to learn the weekend before when she was incapacitated for a day following a long-lunching session with her work colleagues.
The night went well, there were many laughs, we ate and drank in style, had some good laughs, the kids seemed to mix and play well and there were only a few ‘tales being told’ and that was just the adults. The last of the guests departed around midnight and inside I went. My next mistake was to turn on the TV and discover Australia playing England in the league, I’ll only watch to half-time I thought and so I continued to be festive … by myself.
And then the pain began.
Baby James was clearly unaware that our/my sleeping pattern had changed the night before. Had he been aware, I’m sure he wouldn’t have woken up so early and if he had, well then I’m sure he would have been happy to play quietly for an hour or three. But no, he wasn’t aware of this fact. And so it transpired that through the day, each time Baby James had a sleep, so did I.
But it was more than just the sleep issue. Baby James decided that my ‘day after’, would be the day that he might try out just how whiney he could be. I might be exaggerating a little, but it seemed at times as though nothing My Sweet or I did would satisfy our little man … he knew, didn’t he? How could he know? Perhaps it was the fact that I was lying prone on the lounge unable to move, I was a captive audience.
And so it came to pass that I suffered through my hangover with a new aspect to include, because the jobs that a baby requires you to complete on their behalf do not go away. I still had to change the nappy of a twisting, turning, grisly baby. I still had to bath a boy who does not want to sit down when I attempt to brush his teeth and I was, for the day, unable to recall a single line from any of his Gymboree tunes that seem to placate him while going through the dressing ritual.
It was quite a painful day to endure, complete with little sympathy from My Sweet as I had made the poor call of ‘encouraging’ her to take Baby James to his swimming lesson when she was in a self-inflicted state the week before.
So, it’s now the day after the day after and with a clearer mind I believe that instead of ‘OcSober’ I think I might proclaim ‘SobVember’. And as for any festive invitations that come our way, well, we might just well become the couple who avoid socialising now that we have a child.