When I was in college and even into my 20s, the evening didn't really start until way after dark. I'd take a shower and fix my hair around 7 p.m., have a few drinks by 9:00 and be ready to go out by 10 p.m. or so. By midnight, I would get the munchies and be on the prowl for a loaded hot dog from a street vendor or some fried bar food. By 3 a.m., I was still up but winding down with whatever friends were still around. The next morning? A hangover and a hazy memory.
As I got older, I tried to be in the house and settled for the night by 10 p.m. The thought of leaving my cozy mortgaged nest made me yawn and snuggle in even deeper. And now that I have children, well, once again, it seems that is when my night begins.
Oh, we like to pretend that our evening is winding down as we watch the 10:00 news. We joke that we can't make it to the 11:00 news. And Saturday Night Live? Forget about it. I haven't seen a full episode in years. I figure if there's a really good skit, someone will send me a YouTube link. (You didn't think I'd actually record it, did you? I have barely any time to eat, let alone watch recorded television.)
Lately, 3 a.m. has been full of activity around here. Last night, Owen was up for his feeding as usual. Fiona was holding her pacifier in her hand and crying in her bed. So much for a pacifier being used to actually pacify the girl. After settling her, I came out to find Danny in the hallway at 3 a.m. saying that it's dark in his room and could I please turn his lamp on. Sure, kid, if it'll keep you quiet. I have no idea how long he read his books. He finally got up this morning at 9 a.m. Owen is the only one who has a good excuse for being up, in my humble opinion.
Sadly, this is not unusual these days. The only person who routinely is asleep at this hour is my husband ... who I sometimes feel like punching awake. (Not really; I'd just like to punch SOMEONE at that obscene hour and there's a good chance that he'll believe an elbow to the back was just an accident. Um, it's not likely though since I just tipped my hand, is it? Oh well.)
So, if you're afraid that having kids will kill your nightlife, don't be. It will be nearly the same.
Bath time will be at 7 p.m. with a full hair and skin care regiment.
Bedtime snacks and smoothies are meted out around 8 p.m. (We do banana and yogurt smoothies around here. We still cling to the hope that the calcium and potassium will put them to sleep.)
Your kids will still get the munchies at around midnight. ("Mommy, I'm hungry. You just forgot to give me a snack. I neeeeeeeeed a snack.")
Your baby will be laughing and smiling at 3 a.m. like that drunk friend who always seems to get a second wind while the rest of us are tanking.
Your kid will want to "talk about it" at all hours of the night just like that dude on the barstool who talks your ear off. (When Danny wants to talk about his day, he asks us to "talk about it.")
You'll wake up with people in your bed and you won't remember how they got there.
Someone will have thrown up in your bed (Owen is a rather puky baby).
Your memory of all this will be quite hazy until late afternoon when you remember that the 3 year old was up at 3 a.m. and probably should have a nap since he's reenacted Chernobyl about a dozen times.
And in the morning, as you peel your face off your pillow, your contacts off your eyelids and your 18 month old off your back, you'll feel quite hung over. Ah, just like old times.