Yesterday’s casual breakfast conversation went something like this:
Me: You know that day spa voucher I got for my birthday?
Me: I’d like to use it.
Rob: Will you be back in time for lunch? (Note: the man dislikes doing solo meals with the girl… something about the time it takes and the mess it makes.)
Rob: Will you be back in time for dinner?
Now that’s just the answer any girl wants to hear and positions my husband one step closer to sainthood. I love spontaneity; not least of all because it doesn’t leave you time to overthink matters, but rather propels you to just get on with it. Thankfully it also doesn’t leave Rob time to ponder the implications of looking after little monkey all day while mummy goes splashing in the hot tub. So before anyone can change their mind, I grab a few essentials, mainly a swimming costume and a travel magazine, and head for the train.
Turns out I need not have bothered with the swimwear as the brochure proclaims the Covent Garden spa’s apparent tradition of swimming naked. Nobody does, of course, except ‘a few of our older members’ as the lovely pedicurist reveals while painting my toenails the same shade of bright pink as my flip flops. In the absence of those trend-setting seniors on a quiet Wednesday, I frolic in the water and coyly flirt with the famous Atrium pool swing before deciding to get up close and personal for a bit of that playground feeling. I jacuzzi and steam room and lounge and lunch and daydream. On my own. For a whole day. It’s heaven.
Now of course we all want to believe that one day out is enough to leave you feeling recharged for, say, the next six months. I know Rob does. Turns out though that the girl is a bit miserable today. Bad night’s sleep, streaming nose and just a wee bit sorry for herself. I empathise and cuddle but there’s only so much constant clinging to I can take over the course of the day so inevitably I lose my cool once or twice. Ok, twice. Never my proudest moments.
But even so, I’m sufficiently refreshed not to beat myself up about it for hours afterwards. Instead more hugs, cuddles and letting her know that I wish I hadn’t scared her by taking my frustrations out on the potatoes and chopping board while she was balanced on my hip.
A friend on Facebook posted about a similar challenge, and I duly commiserated, only to be delighted by someone else’s comment:
‘I haven’t seen any wings around lately, perhaps that means none of us are angels’
Exactly. Not a carte blanche to be impatient all the time but a timely reminder that even mothers are only human. So I again thank my daughter’s self-proclaimed fairy godmothers for an amazing day out, and look forward to the next time.
At which point I might just follow that tradition of dispensing with the swimwear. And get on that swing in the buff, C-section scar and all. I mean really – why wait until you’re over 60 to drop those inhibitions and have some fun?
I may be German, after all.