Drinking Humble Champagne

A Mum Friend turned forty at the weekend.

There was much discussion on Ways to Turn Forty, but in the end she invited us all to a Champagne Breakfast in a tiny, local restaurant. I knew I should be very excited – it sounds such a decadent treat – but instead I found myself thinking of it as a hassle. I have a bad habit of viewing things like this as More Difficult Because I Have Children, meaning that I just focus on how much would need sorting or organising and end up asking ‘is it really worth it?’. In this case my mental list of difficulties would probably be summed up like this:

Number 1: I’ve just booked swimming lessons for Quibble on Saturday mornings, which we need to cancel if we can’t find a babysitter for Squeak. Babysitter will really have to be family because Squeak is a little High Maintenance. Family do not live very close, so will have to be invited to stay for the day.

Number 2: I’ll still have to have breakfast anyway, because Squeak will be up at six. And I’ll still have to get lunch for everyone when I get back, even though I’ve just eaten.

Number 3: I have no nice clothes to wear because in the past year I have been either pregnant or knee deep in children (I doubted the dress code would be slightly stained jeans and a crumpled old t-shirt). What do you even wear for a champagne breakfast anyway?

In the end I could also have added that getting two children up and breakfasted in the morning does not leave much time for getting ready and so I was late. It also turned out to be raining and I forgot my umbrella. When it came to it I had to take a deep breath and force my grumpy self out of the door.

Of course, you know what happened next. The food was lovely, nobody cared what I wore, I got to spend time relaxing in great company. Those few hours restored me a little and reminded me what it felt like to be calm and happy.

But more than all of that, I had a moment that forced me to see how self-pitying my grumpiness really was: one of my Mum friends turned up a little late apologising for her clothes as her toddler had had a nasty fall the day before and spent the night in hospital. He was fine now, just awaiting discharge, but she’d come straight here and not had a chance to change.

See, went that little voice in my head, it really wasn’t too difficult for you to get here, was it?

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