Life in the fast lane...

>> Saturday, 16 February 2008

Question: What's the difference between a mother with 'help', and a mother without?

Answer: The mummies with 'help' can sit and make phone calls or send texts during the witching hour of 5.00 - 7.30pm. The mummies without - ignore them.

Or: The mothers with help get to go to the loo with the door shut (an old theme of mine, I know, but it looms large...). The mothers without have panic attacks that their son's earliest memories will involve their mum and the toilet...

Or: The mothers with help get to go out in the evenings looking cool, calm, sophisticated and 'finished'. The mothers without throw on a change of clothes 5 minutes before the dinner reservation starts, arriving flustered, late, with no make-up and probably with their clean pants on inside out.

It was my birthday yesterday. Can you tell?

No. Neither could I...

I'm exaggerating, of course. I did have a lovely day - but lovely in a 'rather like any other Friday' fashion than in a lovely 'whisked away to a child-free pampering day in spa followed by leisurely drinks on the terrace and a relaxed saunter to the restaurant' fashion...

But I did get to eat chocolate smartie-covered cake with my boys (somewhat earlier than planned due to incessant questioning as to whether it was tea time yet - that's what you get when you use cake-decorating as a filler activity in the morning and they know what's coming in the afternoon), and to go out for dinner with my Husband somewhere completely unknown to either of us in the centre of town.

Not our usual type of destination as we are now officially both old farts (well, I am, anyway), but it was fun to step out of the comfort zone of South Ken for a change. Now I'm not working, it was particularly interesting to see the post-work clientele out intent on a 'crazy' Friday night; walking through the bar to the restaurant behind it I lost count of the number of times we were checked out by black-clad wannabe-media types, all drinking caiparinha's and talking to each other with an eye permanently fixed on the door for someone more interesting. (Suffice it to say - we weren't those someones...)

After gorging ourselves on yummy Malaysia food on too-cold plates (god, I am SO spoiled), turning down pudding despite the appearance of chocolate fondant on the menu, and heading back through the freezing night into a drink-sozzled tube, we even managed to get home in time to watch Jonathon Ross.

Rock and Roll (as I said to our babysitter).

Who needs spa-breaks?


aims 16 February 2008 at 21:14  

Well for goodness sakes! Happy Birthday darling!! Belated tho it is....and so close to Valentine's Day - almost as bad as being a Christmas baby - bummer.

GoneBackSouth 16 February 2008 at 22:45  

Many happy returns. Being firmly in the do-pretty-well-everything-myself camp, I can relate to your post. I do howver know someone who has SO much help, she moans about how hard it is to manage the nanny, the gardener, the housekeeper, the cleaner, the babysitter ... everyone has their problems I suppose!!!

Tracey 17 February 2008 at 03:02  

Happy Birthday! I still find it a challenge to "go out" for a special occasion because all the extra work involved with leaving the kids behind somewhat takes away from the experience. So well done on managing it.

debio 17 February 2008 at 05:24  

Happy Birthday - albeit a bit late!

Mom de Plume 17 February 2008 at 07:00  

Happy Birthday PM, it seems we share a day of celebration! We did not get to go out hwever... breast feeding in restaurants in South Africa is still somewhat taboo, and nice quiet mommy/baby rooms are almost unheard of ... so I can empathise with your post wholeheartedly!!! I hope you have a GREAT year!

Potty Mummy 17 February 2008 at 14:53  

Thanks Aims! And you're right about the timing being a pain - although on the plus side, the early cards at least made it looked as if I had plenty of Valentines...

GBS, I have a number of those friends myself (hence the post). In fact, if you read the Sunday Times there's an interesting feature on them in the Style section today. It 's a little exaggerated - as ever - but I think it mostly finds the mark...

Hi Tracey, we're lucky enough to have 2 or 3 golden babysitters, and kids who don't complain (too much) about our using them. Thanks heavens for that!

Thanks Debio - and since I didn't post about it until the 16th, no need for the apology!

MdP, sorry to hear you didn't get to go out. I used to find a corner table and a big pashmina to hid the baby and boob under were invaluable at times like that. Oh, and the threat of a law suit if anyone complained...

Rosie 17 February 2008 at 20:02  

Happy Birthday for yesterday! Your points about mothers with help and mothers without are SO true, especially the bit about the loo!

PS Good old Jonathan Ross!!

Rosie (aka IngeniousRose)

Pig in the Kitchen 17 February 2008 at 21:40  

Joyeux anniversaire! It's just one long slippery slope now into buying one of those fleecy, zip-up-the-front babygro jumpsuits for ladies. The future is bright...

Potty Mummy 17 February 2008 at 23:07  

Thanks Rose, am so glad to know I'm not alone in the loo thing!

Pig - thanks. You are so cruel... (am assuming you are sitting wearing one of said babygro's as you type?)

Nunhead Mum of One 18 February 2008 at 10:40  

very late but happy birthday!

Potty Mummy 18 February 2008 at 11:48  

Thanks NH Mum! It feels a long time ago already...

She's like the wind 18 February 2008 at 12:14  

Happy belated birthday. What a nice day, cakes with the boys and dinner out, good for you. Once children come birthdays are never the same. x

Potty Mummy 18 February 2008 at 15:39  

Thanks SLTW - you are so right!

Jonny's Mommy 18 February 2008 at 16:32  

Happy Belated Birthday. Glad you at least got out for a nice dinner. And ditto on the lack of help with the kids at times..although I do have some help from Hubby....when he is home from work.

Potty Mummy 18 February 2008 at 20:33  

Hi J's Mommy, and thanks for the birthday wishes. I don't want to mislead you: I do get help from Husband when he's around. The sort of 'help' I was referring to in my post normally speaks with an East European or Philippino accent round here...

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