Isn't it funny when you are really not looking forward to something, and then it turns out to be quite fabulous.
I suppose if you're not armed with very high expectations, you are easily pleased.
Sometimes it's a simple matter of, it wasn't half as bad as I thought it would be!
This is what happened to me on the 31st December 2014.
It was new years eve. Hubby, myself, and Tommy, were invited to a friend's house.
I'll be honest with you, dear readers; I was thoroughly content to stay at home, in pyjamas, with hubby, child, and chocolate.
However, when one is invited out, and when one's husband is eager and willing to accept invite, it could be considered inappropriate to decline invite in favour of, sofa, Cadburys, comfy nightwear.
So we ventured out.
"Are you really sure you want to?" I kept whining, all day, to my hubby Mark.
He was sure he really wanted to.
"But what about Tommy?" I said on more than one occasion, and repeatedly questioned to myself.
"All the kids are going, it will be fine," was always Mark's reply.
Mark is an optimistic with regards to life, our son's sleeping habits, and his general care.
I am optimistic with many matters, alas I am also peppered with realism, especially with regards to our son's sleeping habits and general care.
On our way to friend's house we stopped off at my father-in-laws. Mark and I were offered wine and Ferrero Rochers, Tommy excitedly ran around the house, trying to touch and pull everything in sight. After five minutes I was exhausted.
"I'm so glad I'm not going out tonight," said my father-in-law, with a relaxed smile, in his comfy armchair.
He wasn't helping matters.
"I would much rather stay at home too," I confessed, whilst ensuring Tommy did not fall into the fireplace, or cause considerable harm with all objects in father-in-law's house.
I sighed when I thought of our small, Tommy-friendly home. I sighed louder when I thought about our next destination; our friends's huge(albeit lovely) home, with potentially hazardous situations.
I practically shuddered when I imagined an over-tired Tommy and myself pacing their huge house, whilst trying to convince him that everything would be okay if he just relaxed and fell asleep!
We left my father-in-law's house shortly after Tommy nearly tumbled onto the glass polar bear. We then arrived at my brother and sister-in-laws house, on route to friend's house, where I was greeted with a glass of bubbly, and a very tired nephew.
"As soon as we arrive at Michelle and Steve's I'll put him to bed," said my happy sister-in-law. I tried not to be green with envy when I looked at my wide awake son, who was running around with a dinosaur in his hand.
We walked to Michelle and Steve's house, with children in prams. My nephew promptly fell asleep, never to be woken again All NIGHT. Tommy pointed at everything during the journey to friend's house, and growled. He keeps growling. Luckily, so far, everyone finds it amusing.
Okay, here's where the night took an unexpected turn. You could have literally slapped me round the face with a wet hedgehog.
Tommy did not run around the house, nearly crashing into glass/sharp objects/anything that would have hurt him or made him cry. He did not cling to me in a terrified way, wailing at anyone who dared to look at him and try to make him laugh.
He did not spend the majority of the night sobbing, due to over-tiredness and sheer frustration.
I did not complain that my back was aching from carrying him/bending down to rescue him/running behind him in a concerned manner.
Tommy found the playroom and played merrily and quietly ALL NIGHT. He did not even notice when I prised myself off the bean bag and sneaked out for cheese. Of course I made sure another responsible adult was in the playroom to supervise.
Yes I probably spent most of the night in the playroom, but it was fine. If Tommy was happy, I was happy.
It was actually quite relaxing sipping wine on a beanbag, watching his face concentrating on pretend and safe pots and pans in a pretend and safe kitchen. Other friend's popped in from time to time to chat to me, sometimes they even offered to sit with him and the older kids whilst I ate/danced/chatted to other guests in the kitchen.
Next, exhausted and content with all his playing, Tommy reached out to me and fell asleep. If only every night was this simple! I made him a little bed on the armchair in the open planned lounge and kitchen, so I could keep an eye on him. He was the last child to fall asleep, Freya, Ana and Georgia were sleeping soundly on the sofas and Ava and my nephew had slept the night away upstairs.
So I managed to indulge in some adult time too, satisfied in the knowledge that Tommy was sleeping soundly.
And he didn't even wake up when we all serenaded each other with the Disney classic, Let it Go. Or when we danced around the kitchen to Auld Lang Syne at midnight.
That, dear readers, is what you call a surprisingly successful, and quite fabulous, night.
Happy new year!