Oh how things have changed...
Now you know the key is to act indifferent to the whole thing, maybe just mention the night out in passing, with promises of pizza and cake. Try and act normal and don't let the kids realise that you actually need some time to get ready.
The problem is that the more kids you have, the longer you need, and the less time you have available. It keeps getting squeezed. Which is how I ended up on Saturday night as a hot sweaty mess with unfed kids and a lost birthday present and a hour to go before I was due to meet some very good friends.
First there was the ham emergency. Someone had opened both packets, and over a week ago. Which meant there's none for the child who insists on having ham sandwiches for tea. I persuade him to eat the last of my smoked salmon instead. Time consuming, but quicker than a trip to Lidl.
As time ticks by my preparation plans gradually get pared back. The shower is replaced by baby wipes. The manicure becomes a quick file of the nails that have torn off. I pick the dress that requires the least amount of hair removal.
I discover that I was right about my GHD not working any more, when after 15 minutes of trying to tame my wire wool locks into submission and failing, I
As it gets dark I go to switch on the lights, and find that one is blown. Not just any old light bulb, but the one on the landing that has to be left on all night to ensure that sleepage occurs. So I haul the ladder in from the shed trying not to trip over my dress and fumble around in the dark keeping my fingers crossed that I don't get mercury poisoning.
Then the sink plugs could not be found, which added a frisson of danger to putting in the contact lenses. I dig out last year's lovely suede boots to find them covered in dust. But no-one will see that in the dark, right?
A quick dash downstairs to change the DVD on the electronic babysitter with one eye made up and praying that no-one rings the doorbell. Wouldn't it be great if you could justify having a babysitter for a couple of hours before you go out?
Something was needed to calm me down, My secret stash of chocolate had been raided, but luckily not the Bacardi and coke.
A guilty text to my friends to say that I was running late. Again. And then I was out the door. I made it. And I was very glad to be a part of a very special celebration.