OK, so it wasn’t really a hot date, not hot at all in fact, although I did put mascara and lippy on, so technically I made an effort. Yesterday The Boyfriend and I had a day to ourselves. This hasn’t happened since The Baby was born. In fifteen months, we haven’t had a day where one of us hasn’t been working, or we haven’t been with The Baby. Don’t get me wrong, we adore spending time as a family. That in itself is a rarity, as The Boyfriend works ridiculous shifts, involving ridiculously long hours, for ridiculously little pay, and as a consequence we generally get to spend one day a week together. This day together inevitably involves getting jobs done around the house that are impossible to do when there’s only one of us with The Baby, and occasionally going somewhere child-orientated for a day out (soft-play centres and parks). So when we booked time off work this week, and my parents were more than willing to have The Baby for a day, The Boyfriend and I decided to use our time together wisely. By Christmas shopping. Hardly decadent, but very necessary, and (for me at least) very enjoyable.
After a slightly rocky start in which a combination of hormones (mine), lack of sleep (ours) and lack of communication (his) led to a row, the day was actually perfect. We drank coffee, shopped successfully and surprisingly quickly, and enjoyed lunch at Jamie’s Italian which was probably the highlight. The food was good, the restaurant was lovely and not too busy, the service was prompt, but best of all we took our time. We chatted and relaxed and enjoyed our food, instead of having to eat quickly whilst simultaneously feeding a toddler, keeping her entertained, stopping her from trying to steal food from other tables, and quashing a full-on tantrum when she’s bored and needs to get out of the highchair. We had a conversation that actually flowed and wasn’t punctuated with renditions of The Grand Old Duke of York or Incey Wincey Spider, or the word ‘No’ twenty-seven thousand times. There was no-one else to think about, feel responsible for, or act on behalf of, it was just us and it felt nice that it was just us.
It’s easy to forget as a parent that you’re still one half of a couple, that even though there is a very important third person around, there is still a couple involved in the family. Time together is so important and yesterday made me realise just how important it is. It has been too easy for me to get caught up in parenting, in focusing solely on The Baby, in making sure she is always tended to, always put first, that I have neglected the other very important relationship in my life. The one which started the whole process of becoming a family; the one with The Boyfriend. I can’t believe yesterday was the first day we have had together in fifteen months. Not good, eh? I hope we can manage to find the time and the babysitters to spend days together a little more often.