Before I start, I will openly admit that I am a lucky mum. Almost every Tuesday evening my parents collect Boychild from nursery and have him sleepover with them whilst they look after him the next day. It saves them getting up at the crack of dawn to come to my house to look after him every Wednesday morning. This, in itself, is a massive luxury and I'm sure that there are many envious parents out there. However my parents are, pretty much, our only babysitters so unless we take full advantage of them on a Tuesday then Husb and I would never leave the house together between the hours of 7pm and 7am. I think the last time we did was 6 months ago for my own 40th birthday party.
BUT, over the last 2 months we have managed to take advantage of this weekly reprieve maybe twice - tonight being one of them - as I swear there is a higher power looking down laughing and deliberately trying to sabotage date night. In fact whenever there is a chance for us to spend time together, something has to happen.
The most recent highlight was 3 weeks ago. It was Husb's birthday. We had both booked Monday off work to enjoy a lovely day shopping, lunching and going to the cinema whilst Boychild was looked after by his nursery. But no. On Saturday Boychild didn't sleep well. On Sunday, at exactly the moment we arrived at a 2 year old's birthday party, he turned into limpet child and clung to me tearfully whilst barely keeping himself awake. He didn't want food or music or games. By the time we got home he swung between inconsolable and pretty unresponsive. Finally we managed to get him to drink some milk... he promptly threw it back up all over his father. NHS direct suggested a trip to A&E - brilliant. So we spent 3 hours in a germ-ridden, fluorescent-lit torture chamber to be told he just had a virus and he wasn't dehydrated but to keep an eye on him and let him eat whatever he wants even if it is chocolate hob-nobs.
Well, we could hardly send him to nursery the following morning could we? So we spent the day letting him eat what he wanted, watch what he wanted on CBeebies and nap when he wanted, whilst we bummed around at home (secretly quite enjoying the no stress family time) . But alas, no lunch, no cinema and no unaccompanied shopping.
The following night (a Tuesday...) we planned to go for a curry with friends to celebrate Husb's birthday. Before we left, I put the bins out (important point, not just an aside). Two hours later, I was sitting in the restaurant pushing my fist into my back to try to unknot the muscle torturing me. As I stood up to leave the restaurant I realised I could barely walk and was having trouble breathing!
A visit to the docs the following day, after a sleepless night and taking half an hour just to roll over in bed, informed me that, not only did I have muscle strain, but it had caused a bout of pleurisy! I ONLY PUT THE BINS OUT!! Am I really that weak and pathetic?
A week later, I could finally walk to the end of the road and back without laboured breathing.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. If either of us is due a stomach bug, urgent work deadline, family crisis (delete as applicable) it will always happen on a Tuesday evening. I can guarantee it.
I am due to meet Husb and several friends in a pub near Waterloo in an hour. I am still waiting for the phone to go and someone to tell me Boychild has chicken pox or that we have been burgled, or the pipes have burst. I am almost frightened to go brush my hair and change my boots.
Wish me luck!