New Year’s Eve! Woo! A time for partying, for gathering with friends and family and celebrating the end of either a great year or commiserating a crappy one, and welcoming in the new year with hopeful abandon.
But wait… I can’t actually remember the last time I went out at New Year. I think it was probably the millennium, when I went to my boyfriend’s family house party, where he got hammered in about half an hour and spent most of the evening in the loo, leaving me nursing a bacardi and coke in the corner being ignored by strangers. Yeah, that was memorable – for all the wrong reasons.
I know I haven’t been out in the last decade because, you see, I have this condition… it’s called ‘young children‘.
And, not only do I have ‘young children’, I have at least one who is on the autistic spectrum, making going anywhere quite tricky, let alone going out for the evening with a guaranteed post-midnight finish, virtually impossible. Getting a babysitter isn’t happening, taking them with us anywhere is a no-no and then there’s the fact that we’d be too bloody tired to do anything anyway.
So, this is how I envisage my New Year’s Eve going…
- Wake up at 3.15am (yes, really) when Small decides it’s time to start the day with milk and breakfast, followed by demands for chocolate, because she hasn’t understood that the advent calendar finished ages ago.
- Try to doze for a couple more hours in order to be able to function until at least lunchtime.
- Get back up and try to deflect Small’s demands for lunch – at 9am, because she’s been up for almost 6 hours. Feed her chocolate instead.
- Stumble around in an exhausted haze for the morning, trying to keep the kids amused and telling myself we’ll go out for a walk to the park to blow out the cobwebs (but putting it off as it means actually getting dressed at some point).
- Try to sneak back to bed for a disco nap in the afternoon while The Hubby pretends he will take the kids to the park.
- Not actually sleep as Small keeps coming up to see where I am and Big keeps coming up to tell me the latest thing he’s managed to do on his new games/tell me random facts about the Titanic/dinosaurs/sharks.
- Try to keep Small awake, even though she’s dead on her feet thanks to 3.15am – there’s no way she’s napping now!
- Get up, even more tired than ever and sort tea and have a mini party in the kitchen with music and disco lights – see, we can party!
- Watch the CBeebies bedtime story because, Tom Hardy, even though Small isn’t paying any attention.
- Attempt to bath and bed Small. Read the same, sodding story we’ve read every night for almost a year before kissing her goodnight. Sigh and pour myself a glass of wine when she reappears downstairs two minutes later.
- Flick through the telly channels trying to find something to watch that suitable for kids, seeing as they’re both joining us for the evening.
- Give up on the telly and drink more wine. Scroll through Facebook, lamenting my long-gone social life as I see my (childless, or those with older kids, or even just babysitters) friends posting photos of their fab New Year’s Eve shenanigans.
- Re-watch Tom Hardy reading the bedtime story (what, you didn’t record it?!) in an effort to convince the kids that it really is time they went to bed. Finally, it works.
- Find a film or something on telly to watch. Drink more wine.
- Nod off around twelve minutes later and decide I’m going to bed as it’s all just too much. It’s almost 10pm.
- Wake up at midnight anyway, thanks to the bazillions of fireworks going off (please don’t wake the kids, please don’t wake the kids…) Happy Effing New Year.
- Eventually fall back to sleep, only to be woken in the early hours by Small as she starts all over again…
Sound familiar? Or are you lucky enough to be able to actually get out and celebrate? Whatever you do and however you do it, I hope you have a good one, and Happy New Year!