Monday morning and, armed with coffee, I sit to tell you about our weekend which did, at times, resemble a lesser episode of Outnumbered. First up, some advice:
If you are off to a wedding on a Saturday and you have had a baby in the last 18 months, if you have not bought a dress to wear, figuring that since you fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes now you’ll just pick something out of the wardrobe: DO NOT leave it till Friday night to try the dresses on.
One word – boobs.
I’ve only gone up a single cup size which was annoying enough – I’d kept the pre-pregnancy bras just in case – (incidentally why is there no double E cup size? Everyone else gets a double, but not E, you go straight to F. Why?) but I thought I should be ok to squeeze into one of three dresses in the wardrobe. Nope. So that left me with the bridesmaid’s dress I wore for my sister’s wedding which was too big (to be fair, it was too big for her wedding so now it’s even bigger – fittings were while I was pregnant and all guesswork) a dress that did do up but had a gaping hole at the front or a dress I wore for my mum’s 50th birthday party 13 years ago. That one fit! But it was halterneck.
Saturday morning, one emergency run into town to be waiting at the door as Bravissimo opened and E and I made our way back home to pack before swimming. And in the event I think it looked good. Thank God I kept it. (It’s also quite liberating wearing a strapless bra – I don’t know why I haven’t done it before.)
The wedding party was really lovely. I spent the first hour or two walking around with E as she explored the grounds. Everyone commented on how gorgeous she was so I could bathe in mum-pride. She finally got to sleep as they were cutting the cake and her dad gave her a cuddle while I went on cake doling out duty (three tiers, all different flavours, paper plates, assistants and a queue of small children all wanting chocolate which of course was at the bottom). And then the disco started.
S, not being much of a man for dancing or drinking, had a pint of shandy and sat watching for a while. I did offer to take E but he must have sensed my reluctance. Anyway, by 10 he decided to take her home to bed and he and a friend we were staying with left together. Which left me and a bunch of lady friends to dance the night away! But first, another gin. I know, I know, what kind of a mother am I, knocking back booze and dancing while my child is elsewhere?
It was brilliant. For me, the only thing missing was my sister who would have loved a dance here too. As it was I had good friends who I’ve known for AGES. I looked at us all dancing (badly) and having a lovely time and realised we’d all turned into those sad looking 30 somethings who only really enjoy the music of their youth and don’t know when to stop making a fool of themselves at weddings. I’m sure I used to mock such people at weddings myself in days of yore. But that was in times before I knew how lovely it was to be, for just a few hours, without the responsibility of a job, husband, child, novel writing deadlines and a world of other concerns. As it was, all we could really do was feel sorry for the DJ, who must have been able to plot our requests from all the other weddings he’s probably done with the same sorts of crowds. “Stone Roses? Check. Primal Scream? Check. Let’s Dance? Check.” We ended the evening with four of us in an arms-round-the-waist-swaying-singalong-session to Cyndi Lauper’s Time After Time and then staggered home in (in my case) inappropriate shoes.
On Sunday we decided a cooked breakfast in the open air at the top of Williamsons Hill Park in Lancaster would be in order. And it was a good idea in theory. In practice not so much.
I’ve just started to blog what went wrong but it already took up 300 words and I hadn’t covered it all so just take my word for it, if you do go to the cafe there (by the Ashton Memorial and the Butterfly House) make sure you’re not in a hurry or particularly wedded to the idea of having a specific something on the menu. They still owe us a portion of beans. Essentially the experience can be summed up neatly by a woman who came out from trying to place an order and told her partner they should go somewhere else. “Let’s not waste an hour of our lives,” she said. I think they just wanted a cup of tea.
The rest of our day was a lazy Sunday walk back to the house and a cup of tea together before we drove home. Far from being grouchy and tired all day, E made it all the way to 3.30 before she fell asleep and was out cold the whole way home. Today, she’s had a good sleep and is on her usual top form so the brief break in routine was fine.
Today is my day to look after her while S is at the arboretum all day but I get to abandon them both again this evening while I go to watch Springsteen and I. It’s confirmed, I am a dreadful mother.