Romance is tricky when you become a parent. I think people assume the word romance is synonymous with sex, but i'd like to be clear that i'm not talking about sex, i'm talking about romance.
Not so much with the flowers, as i'm a hayfever sufferer but romance in the form of dinner, and wine and talking, maybe watching a movie together, cuddling, holding hands...all stuff that makes single people want to vomit all over themselves basically.
When you're a parent you already have vomit all over yourself (probably) but it's unlikely to be your own (unless you caught your child's pre-school tummy bug that is) and dinner can be a fraught and hurried affair, one of the day's final hurdles in the race towards bedtime. Wine is encouraged, but best saved until the children are actually in bed for maximum enjoyment and minimum social services involvement. You can talk all day but no one is actually listening and there's constant interruption and questioning and likewise, movies are totally permitted but only U/PG rated, maybe a 12 at tops if you're a liberal family (as we are). So, you see, romance has to be orchestrated.
We've never really celebrated Valentines Day if i'm honest. I think the first couple of years we were together we may have exchanged cards/token gifts in a nod to the occasion but it was never really our 'thing'. Then in 2009 i woke up on Valentines Day covered in blood and discovered i was miscarrying our first pregnancy. And let's be honest, that kind of thing inevitably puts a dampener on anybody's mood.
I'm pretty philosophical about my miscarriages these days, i feel i have to be as if they hadn't happened then we wouldn't have our two beautiful sons. Their existence would be impossible had i not miscarried just before getting pregnant with each of them. So it's virtually impossible to mourn something that lead to, well, this:
But if Valentines Day wasn't our 'thing' before that year, then it DEFINITELY wasn't from then on. So it usually goes un-celebrated, un-observed, un-noticed.
This year i saw it coming on the calendar and thought..."why not?"
Only this year i'm working. Ah. So we re-scheduled and had our very own fakeplastic Valentines Day last night instead!
We usually eat as a family at around 5pm ish, sometimes a little later but rarely after 6, but yesterday the boys ate at the usual time but we didn't. They had fish pie and vegetables, well they were served fish pie and vegetables anyway, what happens after that i can't be held accountable for, apparently neither boy can see the appeal of broccoli or cauliflower, even after being given the news that "they're good for you". I also dislike cauliflower so really, who am i to judge?! They had some carrots, so i don't have too much guilt.
Anyway, i digress, they had their dinner, and later, once they were fast asleep in their beds we changed out of our snot-stained, chocolate-smeared, dog-hair-covered joggers and into something a little smarter, and sat and had dinner all by ourselves, on our own. Fancy pants Tesco finest meal deal dinner. We went with salmon en croute as a main, and it both looked and tasted like salmon so i'm almost 100% certain it didn't contain horse ;) We also had these cute little chocolate cheesecakes in the shape of hearts (i can hear the single people retching already) and washed it down with some of this:
Yes those are (gasp) presents in the background too! I totally cheated and bought us both mugs from the Disney store when they were on an offer a while back, so all i had to do was dig them out of their (very good) hiding place last night and pop them in matching gift bags, knowing full well that Chris wouldn't have bought me anything (That isn't a dig at him by the way, like i say, we don't usually bother, so really, why would he?!)
We even watched a romantic comedy, all snuggled up on the sofa. Take that romance!
So being in danger of totally grossing even ourselves out, tonight we're having the antidote to our fakeplastic Valentines Day- an Un-Valentines night with beer, nachos and playing House of the Dead on the Wii, because romance is all well and good, but there's nothing like shooting zombies and downing beers together to bring a couple closer ;)
Who says Romance is (un) dead?!