Monday, 22 December 2008

Party on?

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'.....?

12 comments:

Potty Mummy said...

Oh happy days NVG. As I'm currently trying to blog whilst simultaneously trying to placate a bored and whiny child, your post has a particular resonance for me...

Bush Mummy said...

I LOVE the CBeebies Christmas song. Bush Daddy and I were commenting only today on how nice it is that they always have the same group of presenters. I think mothers around the country thank god daily for Poi, Sid, Andy and Chris, not forgetting Mr Tumble of course. (I personally have a bit of a penchant for Andy..)

BM x

Urs said...

Oh I am sure you could still party given the assistance of a 24-hour ruinously expensive nanny to cope with recalcitrant children and you cope with recalcitrant hangovers! In the absence of which, just be grateful you don't have to stick to mineral water ALL Christmas thanks to two large buns in the oven.

Glad Gruffalo good, our Littleboys going after Christmas.

Nota Bene said...

aaah...but would you have it any other way....?

Dumdad said...

Yes, we have become our parents!

Your then-and-now list certainly echoes loudly to me. But gone are those days and these days it's all about children.

I've just said to my wife I don't want to go to a New Year's Eve party to which we've been invited. Am I becoming that boring? Yes and no: the party isn't the sort I went to in my Fulham, childless days. This will be a mix of adults and kids and, frankly, I can do without other people's children as, no doubt, they can do without mine.

Some foie gras and a good bottle of wine or two and that'll see me fine as the New Year approaches....

Iota said...

I love that Buggles song. If it's any comfort, little boys grow fairly quickly into big boys with whom there are new pleasures waiting to be discovered. I introduced my 11 year old to Tears for Fears the other day on Youtube, and found him later printing out the lyrics to Mad World, which we agreed was a fabulous song. I'll see what he thinks of the Buggles.

I think you are right, though. You can't rewind. The thing to do is to enjoy current pleasures and look forward to new ones, (which don't involve pleasant little offerings of vomit, as you so neatly put it).

http://reluctantmemsahib.wordpress.com said...

completely, completely wonderful. marvellous prompt to remember Then and Now. Thank you. And happy, happy Christmas x

nappy valley girl said...

PM - blogging and childcare? A fiendish combination. As I know to my cost...

BM - Am with you (though Chris is my favourite). And yes, the song is fab. In fact, I would have thought it a strong contender for Xmas no 1; that or the 'credit crunch Christmas' song, which is brilliant and can be found on Youtube.

Urs - I will thank goodness for that, and be thinking of you and your two buns....

NB - of course not; there's no way I'd travel back in time (with the exception of being offered a lift with David Tennant in the Tardis)....

Dumdad - a NY Eve party with other people's kids? I am in total agreement. Stay behind and have the foie gras....

Iota - I fully intend to give my boys an education in classic 80s music. Agree, Tears for Fears are fantastic - and seem to be having a bit of a revival at the moment (I have also been found singing to 'Sowing the seeds of love' on the car radio recently...).

RM - thank you. And a happy, happy Christmas to you too.

A Confused Take That Fan said...

Urgh - I remember the piles of vomit on tube platforms, street corners all over London at Christmas. This is the first year I didn't go to my old works Christmas party - despite getting an invite. I felt having not worked there fo 18 months it would be a bit weird. And I did miss it...
Esp having seen the photos on Facebook! Although it was full of pretty young things, not sure it would have done much for my self confidence!!
Would you swap it? Nah, not in a second. We are lucky to have experienced both!
Happy Christmas Nappy to you and yours. Hope the boys have a magical CHristmas

Expat mum said...

God when I think of my single life in London I don't know how I'm still alive. Having both teenagers and the little one now, the Ball & Chain and I have plenty of opportunity to go out - the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

Had to laugh at Iota - I got my 13 year old guitar playing son into the Jam's "That's Entertainment" (one of the best songs ever) and he plays it all the time on You Tube. He nearly died when I showed him the photo of a 50 year old Paul Weller snogging some 23 year old in the street!!

Frog in the Field said...

Love the fighting over pants...very funny.

Coding Mamma (Tasha) said...

I love the CBeebies Christmas song! We go to the CBeebies website and play the songs when R is jealous of me being on the computer and I frequently try to persuade her that we should play the christmas song; even if it's the middle of summer!

Despite suggestions from my other half that I would be able to do lots of drinking at Christmas due to being surrounded by doting grandparents eager to take R off our hands, I only ever managed a glass of wine with dinner and a Baileys before bed. Really do not have it any more.