#1 You always have PomBears in the house. Excellent hangover food, plus amazing bribery for getting anyone sub-3 to do your bidding. Shoes on, in pram, out the door in seconds, all thanks to savoury snacks. PomBears not your thing? See also raisins (learning pincer grip), chocolate buttons (potty training), and all the sugary cereals you swore not to give them. Shreddies for dinner is absolutely acceptable for parents AND kids.
#2 Eaten all the PomBears and still hung-over? No worries, you have every film ever made by Disney & Pixar, plus a subscription to Netflix AND Amazon Prime. These kiddy-entertainers are gentle diversions when you’ve overdone the Pinot, and you can get the kids to “put mummy to bed” with cushions and pillows on the sofa and watch Aladdin – arguably Robin William’s greatest ever role as the cheeky genie, so it’s cultural too.
#3 Discos in the lounge at 4pm. Hangover over, you hit the supermarket to replace the PomBears. When your toddler breaks into Jessie J in the dairy aisle because you’ve been listening to the Pitch Perfect soundtrack on repeat you know you’ve nailed parenting. “We just want to make the world dance, Mummy.” Only awkward if you’ve included too much early Madonna in your music choices. Nobody should be singing along to Like a Virgin before puberty.
#4 When you are up at 4.23am every morning for 17 weeks, you can ABSOLUTELY have a drink as soon as the pub doors open. And you’ll have made a ton of new parent-mates who will be there with you. Our local even has a soft play area. Ish. (It has a sofa. And we give them the iPad.)
#5 You are allowed to leave the house with scarecrow hair, Crayola on your jeans, and 3 day old mascara. It’s practically expected – if you go out looking decent you are betraying other parents. Traitor.
#6 You have a cast iron excuse for cancelling everything. “Sorry Auntie Edna, can’t come to the annual photo display of your holiday to Swanage, little Sammy is under the weather.” And I want to watch the last episode of The Missing with a stiff gin, but that’s not the point.
#7 Lying is acceptable. “Yes darling, if you’ve been good a perfect stranger comes down our chimney on Christmas Eve and leaves you gifts, so please eat your broccoli. Yes, I know we live in a two-bed flat on the second floor; perhaps he’ll make an exception and take the lift.” I’ve told my toddler that if he catches a squirrel he can keep it as a pet, so he exhausts himself for hours in the park every weekend and we get to snooze during the extra long nap he takes. (NB no animals were harmed during the promotion of this lie.)
See you in the pub as it opens. Unless little Sammy is poorly of course.