People say having kids changes a person. I can't count how many people warned me that I would change after having a baby. And even more so once we were expecting number two. People relished in this warning, seemingly taking great joy at the thought of whatever misfortune was about to bite at my heels.
But they were wrong. Having kids didn't change me as a person. But it did make some things, like attending social functions, really effing hard.
A couple of weeks ago I was out running errands when I got a text inviting us (kids and all) to the neighbour's house for an impromptu dinner. Pre-kid Shannon would have immediately replied: I'm down, what time? (well...maybe not. I've never been cool enough to text "I'm down" to anyone...but I definitely would have said, "I'm in." Or more likely, "yes please thanks for the invite!" if I was feeling particularly desperate and grateful that I wouldn't be all about the FOMO later that night.)
Anyhow, in my post-kid life, this is kind of what went down:
Check the time. Almost 4pm. My groceries are only half done and there's almost no food in the house. My kids are angry machines when it comes to eating, so I can't abandon the cart. I move my mother hustlin' ass to get everything we need.
Get home. Both kids are in various states of disaster. The toddler yells at me that she's starving. The baby seemingly needs to be held and set down all at the same time. There's no way these two mini humans are going to hold it together long enough to walk over to the neighbours' and make civilized small talk for a while before dinner is served.
I text back to say we'll pass on dinner but will join them for a post-dinner drink.
Our kitchen becomes a sweaty, manic whirlwind of cooking dinner, cleaning up and putting groceries away while dodging demands for pre-dinner snacks.
Clean up both children, change the baby, plead with the toddler to at least try to go pee on the toilet, attempt a shower, decide I don't have time, work some dry shampoo magic, slick on some lipgloss, decide it's all too much work and we shouldn't go, announce with an overly-dramatic pout that we never get to do anything fun anymore, get talked off the ledge by my even-keeled partner, agree that we should definitely go, help the toddler change into an over-fancy, definitely uncomfortable dress that she simply must wear, beg her to pee again, dig out the baby carrier, pack the diaper bag, change the baby into something clean(ish), strap the baby onto my back, remember how much he loves to pull my hair, throw my hair into a messy knot (not the sexy messy kind...the messy messy kind), feel the hot warmth of baby barf down the back of my shirt, let my partner lie to me that, "nope it was just a bit of drool, no barf at all," negotiate with the toddler to get her to wear both shoes and underwear, leave the house. Oh, wait, run back into the house to grab the half-full bottle of warmish white wine off the counter. Ok, done.
I think we got there around 8pm. Which in toddler time is pretty much the equivalent of getting to the bar just before last call. So we stayed a short while, had a good time with friends and soon after dragged our over-tired children out of there so that we could carry them home to bed.
So, it might take me four hours to get to the party, and I might not stay as long, look as pulled together, or go quite as wild as I once would have. But the next morning I still managed to get a text asking if anyone in our house had left a pair of underwear behind. Upon description (small, cotton, Peppa Pig themed) it was decided that they did indeed belong to a member of our household. It's just that this time they weren't mine.
Mama's recommended wine pairing:
Occasion: when every bone in your drool and poop-covered exhausted body is begging you to please just pack it in, call it a night and curl up with some Peppa Pig action but you pull your shit together and party until those Peppa Pig panties are flying on the ceiling fan (or until 9pm, because the kids are getting super cranky).
Wine pairing: When partying with children in the vicinity I'd recommend something inexpensive (so you don't cringe too much when one of the wild children knocks your as yet untouched glass over) and white (so you don't cringe too much when one of your wild children knocks your as yet untouched glass over onto the neighbour's livingroom rug). In this particular case a lovely Viognier might be a good pairing, since neighbours seem to complain less when their rug is left lingering with a mildly sweet apricot aroma versus something heavy and oaky that might turn rancid by morning. One to try is this Cono Sur Bicicleta. It's mild, lovely and has a great pricetag.