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Posts Tagged ‘slumber parties’

The Mild-Mannered Lawyer and I recently found ourselves waving the ‘Suburban Mums’ flag at an inner-city warehouse-conversion party full of cool people wearing ironic hats. We had declared ourselves early in the piece by declining dinner (“I ate with the kids at 5!”) and yawning a lot (“Wow, is it as late as eight-thirty already??”).

However, we were Suburban Mums With A Difference. We had to leave the party early – and not because we had to get back to the babysitter or because one of our kids was in a gymnastics exhibition at 8am the next morning. We had to leave the party early because we had another party to go to. Yes, we were party-hopping.

Had the cool people actually noticed we were leaving to go to another party, I do believe that might have been our ‘O Captain My Captain’ moment. In a way, it was lucky that they didn’t notice because I would have felt compelled to tell them that standing on chairs was dangerous and then confess that our other party was 30km from the CBD and that we were taking along our own bedding, toothbrushes and jimmy-jams. They probably would have thrown their ironic hats at us in disgust.

To be honest, it’s always a little hard to arrive at a party in full swing, clutching your own pillow to your chest. Luckily, my dear friend Muliercula (whose 40th was our second and final stop on the party circuit) was quick to show us our room for the night and then direct us to the Make Your Own Cocktail table to help us get into the mood.

Many double-strength ‘Salty Dogs’ and glasses of french champagne later, we were probably a little too much in the mood because before I knew it, we were singing (and dancing) full-pelt to Tears For Fears.

“I LOVE TEARS FOR FEARS!” I shouted over the music to the MML.

“Yeah! Roland Whatshisfacewiththebigteeth!” the MML shouted back. And I gave her the thumbs-up and kept dancing and singing until I remembered Tears For Fears were responsible for ‘Sowing The Seeds of Love ‘, a song most notable for being a pastiche of The Beatles and being about semen.  Feeling a bit queasy all of a sudden thinking of Roland Whatshisfacewiththebigteeth’s semen, I sat down on the couch.

The MML joined me while someone changed over the records (Yes, we were listening to vinyl).

“I’m going to our room to remove my stockings,” I whispered to the MML. I was feeling a little hot.

“And what am I supposed to do with that information?” the MML asked.

“You’re supposed to wait two minutes and then follow me there,” I replied.

Now, before you start jumping to conclusions, I was concerned that, in attempting to remove my stockings under the influence, I’d forget to remove my shoes first and end up falling over and hurting myself  – or, worse still, damaging private property. I mean, what’s the point in taking your legal counsel to a party if they’re not going to help you avoid a potential lawsuit? Shuh! I guess I could have said “If I’m not back in two minutes, please come and check I haven’t fallen face-first into a double bass” but where’s the fun in that?

Anyway, it doesn’t matter. I didn’t fall face first into a double bass and the whole point of this post is that us Suburban Mums partied as hard as anyone wearing an ironic hat and the subsequent headache that I still have, four days later, I’ve worn as a badge of honour, people! Except it’s now less a badge of honour and more a pain in the arse. Not to say that my head is an arse, mind, although you could say I got it from acting like an arse. Look, I’m going to end this post right now. Sheesh.

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We all know that the term “Slumber Party” is a complete misnomer because it involves precious little slumber at all. Still, it’s fair to say that nobody would ever dare to host one if they were called “Wide Awake And High On Sugar Endurance Parties”. Somehow, retaining the word “slumber” in the title is vaguely reassuring to parents. Aspirational, even. 

It was therefore an unsurprisingly exhausted Mr Justice that my husband picked up from his first ever slumber party the other weekend. And somewhere between the party and home something happened in the car between Mr Justice and his two siblings, the details of which noone would speak: what happens in the Love Bus apparently stays in the Love Bus. Even my husband wasn’t forthcoming, except to tell me he had subsequently banned all television for that day. 

And having made such a grand pronouncement, he then made a swift getaway outside to work on the new carport for the rest of the day, leaving me inside with three bickering children and no hope of any respite.

Of course, I contemplated overturning my husband’s ruling, by finding a loophole such as “Oh, but Daddy meant no TV for anyone in the car…”, or “This? Oh, this isn’t a television. It’s a total home entertainment system…“, or even “Daddy who??”. But I didn’t. Because some small part of me wanted to play the martyr. Okay, okay so all of me wanted to play the martyr. That’s how I roll. 

“Oooh, look at me! I’m Daddy! I like to play Bob The Fucking Builder with my powertool friends all the live-long day while Mummy’s inside developing a severe baking-stress disorder from watching the kids mutilate gingerbread dough… Can we avoid all childcare duties ever? Yes we can… ” was just a small example of the kind of things I muttered under my breath that long, long day. 

But at one point, while I sat around the kitchen table with the kids eating warm gingerbread mutants, I saw him balanced perilously on a ladder outside in the howling wind, holding a drill in one hand and a hammer in the other and I thought, “Actually, that doesn’t look like that much fun.” 

And then the same thought occurred to me later when I found him crawling around on all fours in the semi-darkness of the shed, trying to find an essential screw he’d dropped in his hurry to finish the job, no doubt largely aided by me looming at the door and saying “Are you planning on finishing any decade soon?” while the kids screamed and hit each other with blunt objects behind me. 

My poor husband. He gets up every morning at 4:30am so he can start work at 6am in the city. He arrives home just in time to share “shit o’clock” with his family in a house that, quite frankly, would look tidier if it had been firebombed. Every now and again I just need to stop and think how it must be for him to rush home from a full day’s grind only to have a screaming child thrust in his arms before he’s even stepped through the front door. Just as sometimes he needs to remember what it’s like for me to never ever be able to go to even go to the toilet without some small person following me asking “How do our bones stick together, mummy?”. But this is not about me…

The other morning, I happened to wake briefly when my husband’s alarm went off and saw how cold and dark it was at that ungodly hour. I jumped up and hugged him tight and said thank you for doing this for all of us, before considerately collapsing back into the warm bed to sleep a little longer.  

When I spoke to him on the phone later in the day, he said “How did you know? This morning, more than any other morning, I was really struggling to get up and face the day… and then you thanked me. It made a big difference.”

And so I’m thanking you again now, my darling husband, in advance of Father’s Day this Sunday here in Australia. Thank you. For everything. 

Now, where’s that drink you were getting me?

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