Christmas party season is in full swing. In other words, you can't pass a pub or restaurant without seeing large groups of people wearing party hats and looking slightly worse for wear, the Tubes are heaving with drunk people and the streets, even in the more sedate areas of Nappy Valley, are adorned with pleasant little offerings of vomit in the mornings.
Five years ago, when I was immersed in the glamorous world of media and advertising, these pre-Christmas days would have passed by in a champagne-fuelled whirl. And this morning, as I was thinking back to those heady days, I thought it would be an interesting exercise to compare my festive season then and now....
Then: Look forward all day to the office Christmas party.
Now: Look forward all day to the moment when the Littleboys are asleep in bed.
Then: Get glammed up in little black number and knee boots for Christmas do
Now: Ask husband what you should wear to his work party. Receive the reply: "Well, remember that you are a consultant's wife."
Then: Start drinking at lunchtime in the pub; finish at 3am at a seedy bar
Now: Start drinking at 8pm watching Eastenders. Cork up bottle after 2 restrained glasses and hit the mineral water as you don't want to cope with two small children AND hangover.
Then: Spend evening throwing shapes on the dancefloor
Now: Spend evening throwing Lego back into Lego box
Then: Singing along to Robbie Williams, Kylie or whatever cheesy music playing at office Christmas do
Now: Singing along to the Cbeebies Christmas song (sadly becoming rather addictive)....
Then: Stumble in at 4am and hunt for nurofen in the vain hope of warding off hangover
Now: Stumble downstairs at 4am and hunt for Calpol in the vain hope of placating crying child
Then: Spend morning after a party gossiping in feverish, hungover fashion with workmates about who snogged who, or who had been totally indiscreet about an important office-politics related matter (although annoyingly, you could never recall what this was the next day).
Now: Spend morning after a party arguing with recalcitrant small boy about what pair of pants he's going to wear.
Then: spend family gatherings in a boozy haze of over-indulgence and occasional arguing
Now: spend family gatherings trying in vain to control children, clearing up after them and fetching them stuff to eat and drink, while staying stone cold sober in order to drive them home.
So have I turned into a boring, sensible parent? Would I still be ABLE to go out and party - even if I wanted to?
Or does the fact that the highlight of my Christmas season so far has been seeing the (brilliant) play of The Gruffalo with Littleboy 1 show that, in the immortal words of Buggles' Video Killed the Radio Star, (which I was singing along to in the car this morning, much to the Littleboys' bemusement) 'we can't rewind..we've gone too far'.....?