On Saturday evening, Will and I took the boys to a friend's 40th birthday party. It was the first time we have attempted to break from the established dinner-bath-bed routine that we have done pretty much every day since Ollie was born. Rather than putting them into their pyjamas after a bath at their ma-ji's house, we put on their best clothes (well, clean clothes) and off we went for a drive at night time to Uncle Tim's 'party-birthday'. It was good fun, actually. Hard for us to really enjoy ourselves what with having to keep an eye on each kid (seemingly not at all scared by the prospect of running far, far away from their parents) but they had a good time and Ollie was very charming, shaking hands and high-fiving anyone that offered. He gave Tim (who's 'very old') a gift and ran around the place, sticking his nose into the Eskys and having quite the social time. Max was an equal hit, that bashful look he has, the fluttering of those impossibly long eyelashes and that giggle that is so infectious.
And so we stayed for only a little while, bundling the boys into the car after a quick change into more comfy clothes as we made the hour long journey back to Brisbane, where we delicately lifted our sleeping babies from their car seats and tucked them safely into their own comfy beds before enjoying a glass of red wine.
I have to say the evening was a hit. I think this kind of socialising is good for them in small doses, and there was even a funny moment at the end of the evening when they clearly wanted to leave and for a moment, Will and I were our own parents, prolonging goodbyes and starting anecdotes and sharing tales with people we were trying to say goodbye to while the kids wandered around shoulders slumped waiting for mum and dad to get their act together. It was a relief for us to have done this kind of thing, having turned into social recluses the day Ollie was born (to this day we have yet to leave them with a babysitter for an evening), but the kids were tired.
Yesterday, being the day after the party, Ollie refused to sleep. We had friends over in the morning that stayed a little longer than we had anticipated - no big deal except Ollie needed to sleep and just wouldn't. By late afternoon, he was exhausted, on the very edge and definitely not in the mood for dinner. So, it was bed time at 6.15pm and within moments he was asleep, until this morning, when at 7.30am he woke in the grumpiest of moods and has been like that all day, despite a trip on the train into town, seeing a cop car flash their lights (just for him), watching the boats on the river and playing with his beloved sticker book. On the way home from a morning in town we had what can only be described as meltdown as we found his breaking point and the kid screamed all the way home. All the way. Screamed. Meltdown.
He is asleep now. Both of them are, thank goodness and I'm reminded that as a baby, he was always very hard work when he was lacking sleep. Together with his dogged determination to do everything himself (and I mean everything) which seems to have increased exponentially in recent times, we are all feeling a little frazzled. I am hoping he wakes a little happier than he was this morning and we can enjoy a bit of this winter sun without too much fuss. He did so well at Tim's party-birthday, but lordy, if I've learned anything this long weekend, it's that the kid still needs his sleep.