I think there are times when parents speak a different language to everyone else. Bank holidays are one of those times when certain phrases have very, very different meanings before and after having children. Here’s a quick guide.
1. I’m looking forward to the bank holiday
Before children: I love getting drunk on Sunday nights and not going into work with a hangover.
After children: An extra day away from the office is always welcome.
2. I’m going to a music festival
Before children: I intend to spend the weekend drunk and dancing to great music.
After children: I’ll probably go and listen to some music on Saturday afternoon. There will probably be Morris dancers. Oh god. I’m terrified of Morris dancers.
3. I’m going to a party on Saturday
Before children: Please don’t contact me before 5 pm on Sunday, if I’m not hungover I’ll still be drunk.
After children: I am going to be subjected to a large number of small children. Best case scenario, I will be allowed jelly and ice cream. Worst case scenario, there will be a pepper pig theme.
4. I love long weekends in the sunshine
Before children: I love cider.
After children: I hope it’s sunny enough to put the bouncy castle up so I might get time to drink a cup of tea before it goes cold.
5. I’m going away for the weekend
Before children: I’m going to Amsterdam with a big group of people, I’d love to tell you about it on Tuesday but I probably won’t remember.
After children: Apparently Barry Island is nice this time of year. I hope it doesn’t rain all weekend.
6. I’m going out for dinner
Before children: I’ve booked the Fat Duck, we’ll be having the tasting menu with accompanying wine. I hope I don’t fall down the stairs and embarrass myself. Again.
After children: I hope the soft play isn’t too busy. If I’m lucky both children will sit still for five minutes before they start throwing food at other diners. I hope nobody gets hurt.
7. What a weekend, I’m exhausted.
Before children: I ran a marathon and still enjoyed the rest of the weekend.
After children: I ran around after a naughty toddler all weekend, the baby didn’t sleep and I’m glad to get back to work for a rest.
I wouldn’t change things for the world, I love bank holidays and relish the opportunity to spend a bit more time with the children. And 17 years will pass quickly, bank holidays will soon be back to normal, won’t they?