When you’ve been sleep deprived for over three years, and you spend more time complaining about your worsening back ache than bumping uglies, your first full night away sans children since the second one’s arrival (almost a year ago) is a big deal. This came in the form of our lovely friends wedding last weekend. A beautiful do in West London necessitating an overnight stay in the fancy pants Chelsea Harbour Hotel – perfect.
BC (before Coco) this would have required hours of shopping to find the right dress, a new set of sexy underwear, a bikini wax, and quite possibly a fresh blow dry. Now the only prep I had time for was a quick shop online for a dress I wouldn’t have bought in the shops and some digging around for a fresh set of spanx.
As all parents know, transporting your offspring from one place to another with all the paraphernalia needed for a sleepover requires logistics similar to those used by the SAS. The lucky recipients of the kids and all their clobber this time being my darling big brother and his poor pregnant girlfriend who, I imagine, would have rather stuck forks in her eyes than look after my gruesome twosome but, bless her, is just too kind and lovely to say so (which we totally took advantage of!).
This meant we needed to pack the car, drive the four of us to my brother’s house in Hampshire, drop the kids off and forcibly remove them from our limbs without leaving them (and the babysitters) in floods of tears. Then drive to the hotel in Chelsea, get changed and grab a cab to the church for 1.30pm. Time was tight, but the lure of that first glass of champers and some kid-free fun was a strong motivator. The car was packed and we were off on our first leg of the journey just a mere fifteen minutes late – a bloody miracle. All was going remarkably well… that was until we realised we had forgotten our wedding clothes….FUUUUCCCCCKKK!
Despite my initial reaction being to lurch forward and throw my hands around my husband’s neck (he was chief car packer), a feeling of crazed calm soon fell over me. A quick brainstorm of how the flippin’ heck we were going to get to the church on time wearing something smarter than the dirty jeans and jumpers we were currently both donning, told us that there wouldn’t be time to get home and pick up the outfits still laid out on our bedroom floor. Instead we would have to do a dump and run with the kids and visit the shops en route to buy new outfits. So that gave us around around twenty minutes in one shop – so it had to be M&S.
As we literally ran through the streets of Guildford, asking passers by for directions, I was pretty convinced I was in an episode of Punk’d and Mr Kutcher would be jumping out at me any minute. Sadly this wasn’t the case and I really did have to find a brand new outfit for my slightly chubby mummy body in under half an hour. But that I did! Yes, I wasn’t going to win any best dressed awards and, yes, I wanted to do a little sob when I saw my slender friends in their gorgeous outfits, but I actually felt fine (despite having to paint my nails in the cab at red lights en route to the church ) and the best bit was we even made it before the bride and every one was none-the-wiser.
Sadly my poor brother and his girlfriend weren’t quite so lucky. Not one to ever really want to sleep on her own, Coco happily snuggled up in the middle of them in bed before peeing all over my brother’s back (the plonker forgot she wears pull-ups at night). This was a few hours prior to Raffy making his presence known to them, and the whole street, by screaming for a solid hour at 3am. To say the babysitters were broken is an understatement and, despite the smiles and well wishes, I’m sure couldn’t wait to see the back of us and our “spirited” brood.
But did we make the most of our night alone in a very nice hotel? We certainly did! A cheeseburger and chips in bed at midnight and a solid eight hours sleep. Happy days.