A lot of my friends are still or newly (post-divorce) single and they all seem to be having a ball. I’ve discovered there is a whole plethora of dating apps at one’s disposal and an equal number of networking and meet up events that singletons can attend. Every five minutes my friends seem to be getting ‘pinged’ by interested parties on these applications. And trust me, these guys aren’t all unattractive weirdos. Some of them look decidedly yummy and quite well accomplished. Today I spent a good hour swiping left/right/up/down on various dating apps on my friend’s behalf. I was absolutely mesmerised. I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun! Not only that, my friends get to go out on exciting dates, get wined and dined and complimented. In contrast, I get a takeaway from the Old Git on a good night, and a grunt on a bad one.
Of course the downside for my friends is that they have to manage multiple dating profiles which can all get a bit confusing and exhausting apparently. They tell me text flirting with all of these hot guys is time consuming and tiring. Boo hoo, cry me a river. What’s there to moan about? Whilst they are out hitting the town I am sitting at home watching documentaries about serial killers. Whilst they are getting their hair and nails done in preparation for their dates, I am cleaning up potty accidents. And whilst they have plenty of exciting anecdotes to share about their hot dates I have tales of toilet training.
I think I may have a case of dating envy to be honest. Last month I had garden envy (my neighbours have an immaculate back yard which makes mine look rubbish) and this month it’s all about dating. I miss the days of dressing up for a date, going to cool restaurants and the butterflies in the stomach that accompany it. Nowadays, if I get any kind of feeling in the stomach it normally means indigestion. Unfortunately (or is it fortunately?) the Old Git and I don’t get to go out together as much as much as we used to due to two little blood sucking, sweat inducing, tear provoking human beings that currently control our lives. But back in the day we had a ball. Perhaps I need to channel this residual dating envy in a constructive way and make more of a concerted effort to organise date nights with the Old Git? Now there’s an idea.
The grass is indeed always greener. My single friends may think I live in a permanent state of marital bliss and I may think they have an exciting, sexy, party-going lifestyle. The reality is neither is true and each of us has joys and sorrows. The important thing is, I suppose, to appreciate what we do have in our lives and not yearn for things that we don’t. So, I’m going to pick myself off my reclining sofa, put the TV remote and Kit Kat to one side, and go and find the Old Git to give him an appreciative kiss [no tongues]. He may just keel over in shock.
Ludoo is back at nursery and by God I’m excited. The problem is Ludoo is not. Despite attending all of last year, he is finding the whole morning drop off routine quite traumatic….again. There is a lot of wailing, gesticulating and nose wiping going on. And he’s not the only one…the other day it was like a frigging chorus of ten screaming children, with Ludoo being the loudest and most expressive (apart from this one child who was rolling around on the floor howling hysterically).
The interesting thing is, I never had this issue with Flump. She just skipped into nursery and got on with it. Independent and full of enthusiasm. Ludoo, in contrast, starts sobbing before we even get to the nursery gate, with his desperate pleas “Mummy I want you, mummy I need you.” Admittedly it’s hard to hear and not the ideal start to my day. As awful as it is, I frequently leave him sobbing in the capable hands of his nursery teachers. The key, I find, is to make a quick exit…the longer I linger the worse he becomes. And when I return to pick him up, he is perfectly happy, with food, paint and snot smudged all over his face, just like all the other children. I know he’s had a good time and I know it’s good for him (and me) to be at nursery.
I’ve come to realise that some children are just more sensitive and needier than others. Ludoo demands my full attention and requires constant reassurance. Sometimes it’s at the most inappropriate of times, for example when he kept asking me loudly at my daughter’s school assembly ‘Mummy do you love me?’ at five minute intervals. It was a bit embarrassing but if I didn’t reassure him he got increasingly agitated and upset. That’s just him. Whilst it drives me nuts sometimes and can make life a lot more challenging (especially in the mornings), the flip side is no man has ever given me this level of attention in my life. EVER. Not even the Old Git when he was trying to woo/trick me. I am the centre of Ludoo’s world and the focus of all of his attention and affection. I’ll take it for as long I’ve got it.
I don’t know how it rolls in your household but my old man’s bedtime routine is diabolical. It takes about two hours longer than my own ‘wham bam get in bed or else you’re dead..’ approach and consists of rolling around on the floor, laughing hysterically, a lot of tickling and running around like crazed puppies on speed. I can cook a meal, do the washing, watch two episodes of EastEnders, and the Old Git will still be getting the mini monsters ready for bed.
Quite frankly it doesn’t bother me if I’m off out with the girls… as long as I don’t get any phone calls from the kids wailing down the phone and demanding that I come home…my phone’s normally on mute anyway [evil laugh]. But if I’m at home and I ask the Old Git to put them to bed so that I can get on with the zillion other things I have to do, it narks me off when I can hear them having a party upstairs. Why can’t he just get on with the task in hand? Why over excite them before bed? And why does it always have to end with me stomping up the stairs and yelling at them to get a move on?
My evenings, post bedtime, are the equivalent of a relaxing spa day but without all the spa facilities. I like to switch off, chill out and recharge. So if the kids eat into that time too much I start twitching like a deranged person. But for the Old Git it’s a totally different experience. He hardly gets to see them during the week and so the weekends are precious time spent with them. Even though it pains me and goes against all my Hitler tendencies, I suppose the odd night spent where the kids run riot isn’t going to kill me. If it’s good for father/daughter/son bonding, then who am I to piss on that parade?