January 5, 2015 by Dadinator
The night was upon us. We were nervous; this wasn’t new ground for us but since having kids we had been trying things like this less and less. It’s not that you become less adventurous when you have kids, and it’s not that you stop thinking about it or having urges, it’s just all a lot more complicated. You don’t have time to really, well, get into things, and you feel guilty when you do. So your eyes glaze over as you dream and fantasize about the freedom you used to have, and you shake your head and smile with resignation as you dwell on how wasted it. You sigh deeply, look into your lover’s eyes longingly as they stare back at yours and you wait for the kids to grow up.
It was 3 years ago we last pushed our boundaries a little bit, but tonight was the night. We were organised. We were ready. We were going out on New Years Eve.
Last time we went out for NYE our boy was 8 weeks old, and small enough to put in a drawer somewhere while we partied through the night (NB we did NOT, in fact, put him in a draw or any similar kind of receptacle, we did put him down for a sleep in the spare room though). Since then with the advent of walking and talking, the inevitable start of “are we there yet?” in the car and the arrival of a second child, NYE has seemed like an impossible quest, a pipe dream. But tonight was going to be different.
A Castlemianian friend of ours was hosting a “child-friendly” new years eve at her place. We know her via child care – our boy is responsible for many of the social connections we’ve made since moving to the country. You’ve got to get something back for all the hard work, after all.
We were organised. We showered and got dressed, and even dressed the kids as a special bonus. The Mamanator was organising a bowl of freshly made sorbet to be our contribution for the evening, complete with ice creme cones for the children, and we were on our way. Remembering how these things worked we didn’t want to arrive exactly on time, but wanted to maintain a degree of “fashionable lateness”. Fortunately the fact that we had kids with us meant that running late wasn’t an issue. Our gracious host had taken care of everything kid related. There was a paddle pool out the back, a cubby-house, loads of toys and there was a movie cued up and ready to go later on.
So we relaxed. And sure, the odd head bobbled up near where we were sitting to ask us for something – a nibble of food, help finding something, asking an odd question or asking for permission to do something or other. And sure we occasionally asked each other “have you seen The Lad/The Lass?”. Mostly though we just sat, ate, chatted and participated in balloon popping (a confetti stuffed balloon was popped every hour in the lead up to midnight) and were generally, you know, adults. It was glorious.
Later that night we walked down to a vantage point to catch the 9:30pm fireworks (the family session) which were being staged at the Castlemaine Showgrounds. I was excited because my kids hadn’t seen them before, but personally, being a city-boy, I didn’t expect to be wowed myself. Nonetheless I was. The show went for longer than I expected, it was varied and kept on building. I also had my son on my shoulders shouting “pop pop pop!” occasionally, as I pointed the brightly coloured bursts out to him. The Lass, however, didn’t like them. Her response was to bury her head in her mother’s chest and ignore them as best she could while I occasionally gazed into the pyrotechincally illuminated face of The Mamanator, and sighed a happy sigh.
But before long they were over and we walked back to the house. Our wonderful host happens to be of Greek heritage, so she had prepared a “Vasilopita” for us all to share. The Vasilopita is a Greek new years cake, (literally it means “Bread of St Basil”), which contains a coin baked into it – like in a traditional Christmas pudding. The person who gets the slice with the coin gets good luck. There were also sparklers which both facinated the children and terrified the parents. “Look, isn’t it pretty – DON’T TOUCH IT FOR THE LOVE OF… – but isn’t it pretty…”
At that moment of contentment when were were contemplating crashing for the night – because why not? – our daughter projectile vomited on The Mamanator without warning. I’m sure ours was not the only New Years Eve ended by someone vomiting….
Well when I said it was “without warning” before, I wasn’t being strictly truthful. To be honest, The Lass had some trouble keeping down a plum earlier that day, but I had dismissed it: “It’s just a bad plum” I said, “Plums are pretty strong on your stomach, maybe she’s not ready for them yet” I said, and my personal favourite “It must have just gone down the wrong way”, I said. You see, I was determined that we were going out on New Years Eve, and I convinced myself that no minor vomit incident was going to stand in my way.
But I was wrong. We went home. She kept on throwing up the whole night. Our first car trip of 2015 was to Hospital to get checked out (the local doctors were all closed). We spent the rest of the day lolling around on a lazy New Years Day feeling like we’d drunk a little more than usual the day before. Occasionally wed get spewed on. It was just like old times…
And by Jan 2 we were all spewing. My boy later poetically described my vomiting as “poo coming out of daddy’s mouth”. Jan 2 involved a lot of TV. Far too much TV.
It wasn’t until Jan 3 that we could say we all felt better thanks to a strict regime of hydrolyte, barley sugars, pretzels and rice cakes. The Mamanator got the worst of it, The Lad bounced back the fastest. So that was that, fun night, not the best of starts to the new year, but provided we don’t spend the next 362 days of 2015 ill, we can say our year has definitely improved from its beginnings.
My hopes for 2015 revolve around finding stable employment (again), taking more time to read the many hundreds of fine blogs on my “to read” list, commenting on other peoples’ blogs more regularly and trying to make sure I take deep breaths if I feel myself getting too annoyed by my children. Oh, and start running again. And finally, growing more food ourselves. We’ve kind of done power and water – food is the next bit step in our quest for self-reliance.
Hopefully I can stick to them!
How did you see of 2014? And how’s your 2015 so far?