It is Monday evening, and I am still somewhat under the weather from my Saturday night. You don’t expect to get completely and utterly annihilated when you're middle-aged, have three small children, and have planned a relatively cosy night in with some friends, some food, and maybe a bottle of wine or two. But that was precisely what happened. Suddenly, round about midnight, there was dancing on the table, shots of vodka, brandy-based cocktails... We went to bed at FOUR A.M. And then, not at all long after that, when the Baby started to SCREAM for food and the Man – who is on duty on Sunday mornings – whimpered “I just can’t”, in a pathetically small voice (and then pulled a pillow over his head, leaving me, and the Baby, in no doubt as to his lack of intentions), GUESS WHO had to get up and struggle with the three kids until midday... I literally could not stand up straight for about 7 hours. And my stomach fizzes every time I think of brandy. Uuugh.
I’m still not sure how, or why, we got so wrecked; perhaps, subconsciously, we were celebrating the end of Parenting Babies. Because on Friday, we went from this:
...in what feels like the blink of an eye. Where has this time gone? I still half expect her to be all chicken-legs and scrunched-up angry face when I check on her at night, and yet there she is, this great big thundering lump who spends the days whizzing about on her hefty bottom, dementedly shouting her two words (“Dedda!” and “Yaya!” – her names for the Boy and the Girl, respectively), sobbing the sob of the broken-hearted when they leave the room or turn away from her or – God forbid – eat something without offering it to her first. She is fabulous. I suspect she is also going to be a holy terror (a very very tall holy terror). And despite my initial, er, lack of enthusiasm when I was first pregnant, I have to say that I love having a third
baby child. Instead of 100% of my
children squabbling all day long (as would otherwise be the case), only 66% of
them do and only for about half of their waking hours; the rest of the time the Baby is making moon
eyes at them, or feeding them specks of dried-out food scraped off some corner of the floor, or shuffling along behind them
demanding a crisp or a kiss or just some – ANY – attention, RIGHT NOW.
So happy birthday to the Baby – who is no longer a baby. I would drink to your continued loveliness, chubbiness and cuddlieness, but alas - I’m never drinking again. (I might have a quick shimmy on the table in your honour, however).