Tag Archives: Date Night

Flying the flag for date night

Photo 07-07-2014 08 31 52 pm

Real spouse talk: we find date nights hard these days.

Didn’t everyone say we would, and didn’t we think, all naively, that we’d find a way to work around it? I am in awe of couples who manage to get out once a week or even once a month. Whether you pay someone to come round (sometimes more expensive than we can afford, and difficult to do on weeknights) or just ask a friend (do they have kids already? What might the boys do to their house?), it’s bristling with awkwardness.

More real spouse talk: our relationship deteriorates, in measurable and significant ways, when we don’t have time alone.

And we do not want a relationship of pleasantries and routine. No, we signed up for hand-holding and intimate conversations and intimate everything else. I am here to make a stand and say that friendship, even best-friendship, is not good enough. Even with small children. Even with work and tiredness. I am here for heart-hurting love, and not a single thing less will do.

So it’s a good job, all things considered, that Timothy is the type to book tickets to BBC recordings on a whim, and take us off to London for the evening. All of us, because my brother- and sister-in-law were lovely enough to entertain the boys for the evening while we skipped off into the capital. They live just south of the river Thames, work in animation and theatrical makeup, and are the coolest and nicest people I know.

We were late, of course, so the first half of the date was characterised by sprinting: to the Tube station, onto the Tube, through a sandwich (awkward Tube eating is awkward), and then onto the theatre, where the lady told us they were already full. Great. So we took a long walk down through Bloomsbury to Covent Garden, and got a frozen custard from Shake Shack. Mine came with toffee sauce, chocolate pieces and a kind of malt powder that was like crushed Malteasers plus Horlicks plus crack. I ate it with blueberry lemonade at my elbow, and I honestly don’t think I’ll ever be the same.

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Pre-Raphelites woz 'ere. *shriek*

Pre-Raphaelites woz ‘ere. *shriek*

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Then – oh, my heart – we hired Boris bikes, and freewheeled over the river, Big Ben and the London Eye gleaming on the water, back to pick up the boys. I haven’t been on a bike since university, and went the whole way chanting ‘we’re not going to die we’re not going to die’. Three miles on a bike through London, while the sun sets? My date-o-meter just spontaneously combusted. We came back to chocolate fondue and some Peppa Pig talk, and it was all so perfect it hurt.

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Photo 07-07-2014 10 19 44 pm

On my flag of personal absolutes is painted ‘DATE NIGHT’. I believe in date night, however we wrangle it. If it’s on a Boris bike, so much the better.

Share with me your collected wisdom, o internet browsers: how do you make date night work? 

A date with a million tissues

There was a point, yesterday, as I crouched stark naked with unwashed hair and half a shaved leg to pick up poop from the bathroom floor, that I really wished myself elsewhere.

It was the sort of day where you don’t see the sky once, find yourself tweeting about faeces and think that that’s ok. Henry woke up with a cough at full pitch, a temperature and a thick-headed, dribbly cold. He wanted to sleep but not for longer than half an hour. He wanted to play with things but not on his own and definitely not on the floor. He wanted, apparently, to poop without catching it in a nappy and then tread it around the bathroom while I tried to shower. I hated seeing him so miserable and not being able to fix it.

In the morning, we mostly looked like this.

In the afternoon, I gave up entirely and sat with him sneezing and groaning on my t-shirt and having fifteen-minute catnaps on my chest. When Tim came through the door in the evening, Henry laughed. I cried. I was so glad to see him perk up a bit, and I’d just remembered I hadn’t brushed my teeth. (What can I say, relief and sadness are emotional bedfellows.)

Well, lucky it was date night, and lucky that the magical appearance of Daddy works a lot better than Calpol. Tim cleaned Henry up and settled him in bed, while I changed and tried to do something with my face. The eye bags weren’t shifting, but I wasn’t covered in snot anymore and I was wearing lipstick. We went out for dinner and romancing, and I got out from under the weight of the day and breathed properly for the first time. Sometimes I need to see myself the way Timothy sees me.

My name is Rachel Jeffcoat, and I am more than a pooper-scooper.

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