How We Live Now

The girls went to Balthazar in Covent Garden last night, a French brasserie-inspired restaurant, which has just opened and the last time we went there was in New York. When I heard about this on Monday, I hatched an elaborate plan in my head that I would rock up to London on Thursday, find the restaurant, wait inside and SURPRISE them all on arrival. What larks.

This cunning plan did not take into account my current location on the South Coast nor my current occupation, mother to an eleven week old bouncing baby boy, who isn’t likely to be tempted by an evening out at a fancy dining establishment. Nor did it account for the fact H probably wouldn’t be home till around 8pm and the inescapable fact I can’t keep my eyes open past 9pm most evenings at the moment. In fact for the last two nights I’ve been in bed for half seven, regressing to the age of about seven and a half.

So my plan was somewhat scuppered and I must confess that to my shame I’ve been slightly fed up about it this week. Whose the baby now? The homesickness is back and that doesn’t help, but I think I’ve been in denial about the fact that certain chapters of our old life are now closed. An evening out with friends is no longer a casual affair involving fixing a date, time and bar, showing up, enjoying the shindig and journeying home.

Now we are 1+1+1. And our gorgeous little one, whilst portable, is not something I can carry into a bar or restaurant on a night out as if he were a new handbag to be plonked down next to the wine cooler.

The old rules still apply, there will be nights out and holidays and trips and parties, but the game has changed. Due to our aforementioned location we don’t have help nearby, so later on when we go out, it will be in shifts with me heading out early for a toast to celebrate our friends’ birthday, before heading home and passing the beer baton over to H as he ventures out into the night. I will no doubt look wistfully after him; it’s such fun when we party together. I miss it. But then I will go and kiss our baby goodnight and remember there’s a wonderful reason for going to bed separately this fine Spring evening.

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