Sidling up to me with a conspiratorial grin, I ignored the implied “early night” he was referring to and imagined an evening of no cooking, a romantic film and candlelight. I nodded enthusiastically.
Later that day, the (self-confessed) Northern Love Machine came home with a bottle of prosecco and two large bottles of posh beer. At 7.30pm we dimmed the lights, cracked open the booze and toasted the future.
And then my toddler woke up.
As the NLM poured ice cold beer down his throat I battled with an angsty two year old, who was intent on spreading the contents of her nappy all over the carpet. The candles continued to flicker downstairs.
Twenty minutes later, undeterred, I rediscovered my abandoned glass of prosecco, now slightly warm to the touch, and sank into a chair in the garden.
Looking up at the orange sky, I reached out for my husband’s hand, as I reminisced over the many memories we would be leaving behind in this garden. “I hope you’ve washed your bloody hands!” He replied, “I don’t want any of that poo on me thank you very much.”
Then I remembered I hadn’t yet disposed of the dirty nappy.
Putting the nappy in the bin, I ambled down the garden, determined to remind my husband of the young beauty he married just two years ago. “This house will always be special to me,” I sniffed. “It’s the place where I put on my wedding dress and went to marry you…”
“Gosh you’ll bib about anything, you,” He snorted in his dulcet Rochdalian tones, refusing to acknowledge my attempt at romantic nostalgia.
And so our Night of Love continued.
We ordered a chinese takeaway.
I thought the act of sharing some crispy duck pancakes would trigger forgotten stolen moments in our old favourite restaurant. The place where we used to go pre-parenthood, locked in deep conversations and whisperings of devotion. But then the NLM tried to steal the last pancake, quashing my feelings of tenderness. I am territorial when it comes to my food.
It turns out the choice of gourmet fayre was a bad one. As we snuggled in bed a couple of hours later, making one last desperate attempt at some form of romance, the husband got a bad case of indigestion.
“Bloody crispy duck”, he rolled over, muttering.
“Shouldn’t have stolen that last pancake then,” I retorted knowingly.
Romance is not dead.
Thank you to Money Supermarket who provided £50 to spend on our night in.