I didn’t see him in action at Beervana – just the aftermath. He started sampling around midday – and got home around midnight. To my texts he did not reply. My oldest daughter and her friend saw him stumble in (they were having a raucous sleep over). I hadn’t heard him get home – but woke around 3am wondering why he wasn’t in bed. I started to worry, I sent a text. Nothing.
I went downstairs to see if he’d collapsed on the couch. I walked into the sight of him fully dressed, arms crossed (in economy-class airplane sleep position), with his feet (still in trainers) hanging off the edge of the couch and resting on the doll house. The television was blaring (I was surprised it wasn’t sport – but a crime channel instead) and a half eaten kebab lay on the table next to him (there was a trail of lettuce in the kitchen too). I switched on the lights fully (I just had to take a photograph) and he didn’t twitch a single nerve. I went back to bed, hoping – for his sake – the beer was worth it!
The next morning he was a real survivor. He didn’t retreat to the comfort of bed when his youngest daughter asked him to play phones. He even roused himself (after a respectable half hour or so) from the couch – and then found a comfy place to rest on the floor. His second daughter was awake by this time and decided Daddy made a good seat for watching the TV (until the act of sitting on him caused a toxic, hop infused, trump!). The action got him moving (and his daughter’s retreated momentarily).
He responded with amazing stamina to the request for pancakes from his children and our neighbour’s daughter (who’d slept over). I cruelly took a photo of him flippin pancakes in his hoodie. “You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?” he said with a defeated half smile. I couldn’t lie – I’ve forgotten what a hangover feels like. I daren’t go there. I have no sympathy. I can only manage a single drink at most (friends of my Uni days and pre-children days will not believe this about me at all). A decade of making babies and breastfeeding is what my thirties have mostly been about. I suspect I might relearn to party a little in my forties 😉
He was such a trooper that he even made me a coffee (he’d already sweetened me up with a bouquet of flowers, the day before Beervana – he’s a smart man!). He then surrendered to his youngest daughter (aka Doctor Alice) and lay down (with gratitude) to allow himself to be treated with her various hangover cures (including hair tweezing, ear checks and the force feeding of frozen blueberries).
After being given the all clear from Doctor Alice he was enlisted as a dance instructor for his three girls, with ‘River Dance’ suddenly beating out of the stereo with leg flinging, spectacular energy. I tried not to laugh, truly!
By midday fresh air treatment was definitely required.
Scorching Bay. I sat on a bench watching him partake in running races up and down the beach with Miss 6 and 9. I did feel a little guilty to just be sitting, and watching, but Alice was asleep next to me in the buggy.
I don’t know what hops were in the beer he drank at Beervana last night – but they must have been good. He masked the pain well, only once admitting his true state of well being when he said, “I’m going dry for a month – after I’ve finished the couple of beers in the fridge”.
To the man of the house, ‘Thank you for being a real family man and standing strong, when your head must have been splitting all day!”