Mal’s birthday weekend of awesome is over.
Before we arrived I knew it would be awesome.
I spent my time in a haze of sleep deprivation, vodka and Pimms.
At one point we went to a fancy people pub where light bulbs hung from trees and waitresses were hired on the basis of leg-length and platform-heel wearability.
It was there I treated Mal and myself to some Summer Punch which at first seemed to be more summer than punch.
Until I found myself eating sponge cake at my Gran’s trying desperately not to slur my words in front of my grandparents, father, father’s lovely new girlfriend, and my ridiculously intelligent scientist uncle.
I don’t mind slurring in front of Mal.
Throughout all this Pal opted to stay behind and put the children to bed.
Apparently coming off night shift, driving to Sydney and then being asked to head out to the fancy people pub with our children wasn’t his kind of fun.
Turns out being a piker served Pal well.
Because come 2am Oscar woke. Pal got up, attended to the child, took him from the room in the hopes of keeping the other two asleep.
He returned soon after with a settled child and we both thought we had escaped a major fiasco.
3:30am brought with it a very unsettled Oscar and a particularly sweet – but ultimately annoying – Roo who insisted that she was the right girl for the job.
The job apparently being to grab Oscar in a stranglehold and yell out “I cuddle him Mummy! I cuddle Oscar! No! I DO IT!”
As Mal’s husband, my uncle (obviously) is fond of saying: “What could possibly go wrong?”
I decided the best course of action was to
save take Oscar to the lounge room, barricade ourselves in, start up a heater and try and keep him settled enough that he might, just possibly, go back to sleep.
Which was a brilliant plan. Right up until Roo came through the sliding doors and announced: “Rory’s aw-AKE!”, and ensured that just as he was beginning to drift off, Oscar was also aw-AKE.
She was followed closely by Pal and Fraser.
Let’s fast forward to 5am where Oscar had fallen asleep on my chest, we’d managed to wake Mal up and the other two children were eagerly destroying Mal’s home and frightening her pet dogs.
Oscar napped for half an hour against extraordinary odds including using me as his bed, whilst I spent my time whispering as loudly and threateningly as I could at the other two children “Don’t Touch!”.
Pal spent his time trying not to die from lack of sleep whilst keeping our children from simultaneously breaking everything and killing themselves by unplugging power cords and climbing on the coffee table.
At 7am, and after we’d managed to wake an entire house of people, I sent Pal back to bed for an hour, on the promise that at 8am I too would get an hours sleep.
Only I forgot that once I’m up I’m up and when 8am came around the idea of sleeping in a house full of actively awake, busy people preparing for Mal’s first party was unbearable.
I can’t miss out on anything. Or feel useless. And sleeping, although glorious, would have meant both.
After a quick trip to the shops after putting the Two (finally) down for a sleep, I found myself standing in front of salted caramel macaroons and shortly thereafter in the liquor shop.
Obviously the most important stop.
I browsed around for awhile, but all of a sudden a light went off in my head and the angels sang “aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!” and I realised that all I really needed was a bottle of Pimms, some lemonade and some ginger ale and I’d be set for the weekend.
And by set I mean functionally inebriated.
The family lunch was fabulous. My children climbed over tables, harassed dogs and in general needed chastising, saving and removing from precarious situations.
Especially Oscar, who was entirely obsessed with getting beer after beer out of the esky.
Which is dangerous for two reasons.
1. The bottles were glass and he was unloading them onto a concrete step on which he was precariously perched.
2. No one should get between a member of my family and their drink. No one.
That evening, unsurprisingly, our children went to bed ridiculously early and slept all night.
I took advantage and despite my own level of tired opted to sit down with a drink and pretend I hadn’t been awake for 18 hours after only three hours sleep the night before, and two hours sleep the night before that.
When they woke at 6am Pal found a way to keep the Two from further twin terrorism.
It was Sunday, the day of the fabulous friend party.
There was much cheese, deli meats and olives.
All favourites of mine.
But mostly, there was more Pimms.
The children found the mud entirely amusing. I found their enthusiasm for all things wet exhausting.
Roo attached herself to the 16 year old daughter of one of Mal’s guests and followed her everywhere.
Despite my growing concern at my lack of parenting skills, that evening our children went to bed without a fight again.
Which I took to mean they had settled into their new surroundings and would be happy to give me a decent sleep.
Until 4am rolled around and all three were wide eyed and bushy tailed.
Which I guess was just a blessing in disguise when 7 hours later we headed off on the drive home.
And the backseat looked like this not even ten minutes later.
Did you go away for the long weekend? Was it an epic drive? Did you end up wishing you hadn’t underestimated the punch in summer?