We went out for dinner last night, with friends and there was not a feral child in sight. It was amazing.
This had been organised for some time and no word of a lie, the prospect of this evening has seen me through a few dark days recently. As most parents will tell you – mostly Mum’s actually because my husband still has an uncanny knack of turning a few quiet beers into ending up in some weird rave warehouse in Lewes – random nights out with a child are pretty much like going to soft play and all the children adhering to their allocated, age appropriate areas whilst maintaining a calm disposition – they just don’t happen.
As a treat, we got taxis last night, there and back. So novel and so deserved I feel. Which obviously meant that we needed to withdraw some cash to pay old drive. Despite having several cash points in the near vicinity of the high street, Waitrose was the chosen option, by two of the husbands I’ll add. Which meant that in order to withdraw said cash, a purchase needed to be made. Not chewing gum, or a lottery ticket say. No, no. Cans of G&T and bottles of cider. One each for the journey. I haven’t ever seen my husband skip, but I’m pretty sure there was a little hop and a shuffle out of Waitrose at the sheer excitement of this actually being a thing we were doing, a cheeky pre-dinner appetiser if you will. Now I’m not going to lie and say that I was really unhappy about this because actually, it was bloody brilliant. I felt like just for a moment, we were back being 18 and care free. Classy I know, but do it every now and then. It was great.
So anyway, dinner was amazing. The Hurstwood near Uckfield, I would really recommend it. I had serious food envy though, I actually thought fish and chips over steak would be a good idea. This was a total fail on my part, and never again shall I be so foolish. Life lesson: where there is steak, eat it.
We also pretty much managed to clear the entire area surrounding us. I think this was due to the fact that we were all so excited to be out it was pretty much like 4 year olds at a party with one of the infinite icecream machines, except we’re adults and there was a fairly infinite supply of alcohol. Had it not been for the minor detail of returning home for babysitters and said children, I’m pretty sure we would have been in TJ’s dancing like twats and getting a MacDonalds drive through on the way home, it was a very close call.
These days, a night out also requires a high degree of organisation in order to deal with the next day. Luckily though, we got off pretty lightly. In fact, we shipped B off to the in-laws and it’s pretty much felt like we’ve been on holiday minus the chaos of an airport and locating passports.
So back to the food… You know you get these end of the world people who prep for the inevitable apocalypse by drying out parsnips and stuffing them into air tight bags? Well I’m a ‘hangover prepper’. Naturally I did this on Saturday morning. This involved purchasing the obligatory eggs, bacon, sausages and English muffins – when we are totally past the point of no return we just head to my Mum and Dad for the Sunday cure. It was absolute heaven to wake up to that this morning, and knowing I could eat the whole plate to myself was even better.
I’ve also gone slightly American and embraced the need for junk food when feeling a little fragile; braised pork ribs in coke, smothered in sticky BBQ sauce. I’m a little bit excited about these. Totally unhealthy but completely needed. I’ll report back on how they turned out. I’m pretty pleased with the level of forward thinking that I’ve employed with this one.
So to close, my top tips for going out minus child in tow and surviving the inevitable hanging out of one’s backside:
- Ship them out, not permanently but just allow yourself to relish in a lazy morning. They don’t happen often and all parents deserve them every now and then.
- Food, Food & Food – you know you’re going to want delicious morsels when trying to wrangle a toddler. Give in to the shit. It’s so good every now and then.
- Get a cab, and go on… Grab a can for the way – it’s dark. No one can see.