Different times of day take on different levels of significance over the years, When I was at school it was all about 3.20pm as that was when it was all done for another day. Not that I hated school particularly but I was certainly very keen for the bell to go at exactly 3.20pm each day, or 12.40pm on a Saturday (yep, 7 years of suit-wearing Saturday school!). Since I was aged 16, Saturday at 3pm has been a big part of my life as that it when Reading games start!
Before uni it was 10.45pm as that was last orders at the bar! At uni it was 1am as that was when our Friday and Saturday nights in the Student Union ended! At work is has always generally been 3pm or 11pm as that’s when our shifts finished. But in the days of parenthood the whole world revolves around 7pm!
7pm is the time when being a Dad temporarily pauses until 6.30am the next morning when little one wakes up again! It’s the time when I can breathe a large sigh of relief even though I have loved spending the day with the little one. It’s when everything stops revolving around the little one for a few hours and goes back to revolving around me, albeit as long as that doesn’t involve doing anything that requires leaving the house or making loud noises! It’s the time when Nick Jr is replaced for a few hours by MTV Dance, X-Factor, Strictly or whatever series we have linked on Tivo! When I can lie down on the sofa without being jumped on or dragged off! Or eat food without it being requisitioned. Or have a wee. Perhaps even have an audience-free shower, shave or shit if I’m feeling reckless and adventurous.
It’s that aspirational time of day when even if you’ve been awake since 5am having got to sleep at 2am you know it’s coming. You might not always think you’re going to make it, but it’s definitely coming.
Sometimes you can even get productive things done after 7pm. Like pairing socks. Or folding pants, I’ve even been known to iron shirts after 7pm, just because I can! On occasions I even write blog entries, especially if my other half is working a late shift!
I’ve always been much more of a night person than a morning person. At uni I would rarely get to sleep before 2am and rarely wake up before 10am (unless there was a football match to be played of course!) – I just generally feel more productive and alive in the evenings.
Without doubt the toughest part of being a parent for me has been the early mornings – I can cope with being pissed / shit / vomited on from time to time, but getting up before 7am every morning is vile! I’m pretty sure that if I didn’t have my other half to share the early starts with I would have lost the plot long ago!
Fortunately it’s a small price to pay for the awesome times we get to share with our little one and however rough we feel, 7pm is always just a few hours away!!