Last Friday night, Mr LMR and I had a night out. Not just a night out, then home again to deal with the monkeys. No. A whole night away. Overnight, hotel, lie in, breakfast alone, everything. Less than twenty four hours, but a long enough slice of freedom to briefly feel human again. In our day we liked a party. A few drinks, dinner then dancing. But nights out aren’t what they used to be. But yet, what is post monkeys?
In the past a night out meant a week of preparation. New outfit (maybe), legs shaved, nails done, hot bath, plenty of time spent on make up and looking good. On Friday night we ran around in the 15 minutes after my parents arrived, stuffing clothes into a bag, grabbing what was needed before giving a last boob feed to Little Miss and a cuddle and kiss good night to the monkeys. Typically, 10 minutes down the road, I realised I had left half the things I needed so had to double back and sneak back into the house to get them.
At the hotel we only had time for a quick shower and change before stepping out. I am due a waxing appointment, I only just remembered to shave my armpits and my hot pink nail varnish was down to the final scrapes. Luckily it was only on my toes so no peep toes for me that night. To be fair I brushed up ok, if you didn’t start looking for the cracks. Any outfit that isn’t covered in snot or food is an improvement. A bit of make up and the flush of excitement from a monkey free adventure makes up for the imperfections.
Oh let us not forget the main hurdle to a night out. The guilt of a parent. Oh the guilt. “She’s never settled without me.” “what if something happens and I’m not there?””The sky might fall in and, I can’t catch it?” Or, what if I go out, have a good time and everyone survives? It is possible of course and so it was. Granted, Little Miss wasn’t the greatest and gave the grandparental unit a significantly hard time at bedtime. But they all survived and my mum reminded me that it is ok, otherwise we would never get out. Ever!
On Friday night we were meeting up with my brother and his wife for his birthday and my sister and her husband. My brother lives locally and had offered us a bed for the night. In the past we would have been more than happy to partake of the free bed. However, now that Mr LMR and I get no time alone together any opportunity for a bit of marriage maintenance was pounced upon. I love spending time with my family and friends but I love to remind myself about why I married my husband too.
It was cheap and cheerful and we had the option of no frills for less money. Mr LMR, the old romantic was kind enough to pay the extra for toiletries, a towel, a hairdryer, wifi and (I am not joking ) a window. It was fairly new so was clean and fresh. A real surprise for the price. We were also right at the heart of the area we were going out in. Surprisingly quiet, even with our window open, and perfect for getting back again.
One drink or two or four maybe
The biggest dilemma during a monkey free night out is how much to drink. In the past I have started out with good intentions but after the first couple of gins I find the willpower wanes and the excitement takes over. Next thing, I am wasted and, the subsequent hangover is completely incompatible with the rampage of monkeys I have to return to.
So how many drinks do I have? Sadly I am a bit boring these days and only manage about four gin and tonics. On Friday, after reaching gin four, coupled with a Thai set menu, I just wanted to fall asleep face down in my dinner plate. Truth is I am just a light weight these days.
The joy of a night out
Number of drinks, lack of preparation, guilt and quality of digs aside I can confirm the purpose of a night out is just to reconnect. I loved having a complete conversation. One that made total sense and did not involve fictional characters or mind bending twists and turns too difficult to follow. It was also followed by further conversations that did not result in a full blown angry tantrum.
I loved that I went to bed at midnight because I wanted to, not because someone woke up for one last feed. No one visited me in the dark. Arriving silently at the side of my bed to scare the living day lights out of me. I still woke up at 6.30am, but I didn’t have to get up. I lay awake for a short while then fell back to sleep. The novelty of it all too much to manage.
A full English please?
The following morning we went out for breakfast. A full English, coffee and toast. It was yummy and made even better by the lack of angry, tired and hungry monkeys. A quick call home and the grandparents said there was no rush to get back. The offer sounded genuine so we went to ikea to look at storage to hide all the monkey’s crap in. Oh yes the party just kept going.
I guess that is the point really. Sometimes you can be so immersed in family life that you cannot see that you need a break. Most of the time away from them was spent talking about the little monkeys and missing them. Well not all of the time. I can promise you this though, time apart makes you better for them. Possibly not immediately after, once the hangover has passed of course. But a few hours to be Louise again and not just mummy was worth all of the guilt.