As a dad of two daughters with all the fun, craziness and noise they produce, I often find myself looking forward to the silence. A time when there are no loud toys, sibling arguments or stomping feet up and down the stairs – just peace and quiet.
Then, when the silence arrives and all I can hear is the occasional whirring of a helicopter overhead or a car driving past outside, I start to miss the noise that comes with having a four and six-year-old as my housemates. It’s strange.
This is why I spend most of my spare time with my two daughters. I just love their company. Well, I suppose it would be odd if I didn’t.
My girlfriend Serena and I spend most of our time being parents and not a lot of time being a couple.
Recently, we put a date in the diary to do something that doesn’t happen often: to go out as a couple, without our children.
These days, it’s got a trendy name that you’ll often see posted on Facebook or Twitter by one of your fellow parent friends.
It’s called a ‘date night’ where, as a couple, you can break away from the routine of work, school and kids and take your relationship off the back burner.
Caitlin and Alyssa were shipped off to their grandparents for the night with their pyjamas and favourite teddy, which meant Serena and I had a night free from responsibility to look forward to.
Who wants to cook on a date night? Well, not us. So we went to the best smelling place in the city that can instantly make your mouth water and cause your belly to rumble: Albert Road in Southsea.
It’s a unique place with interesting shops and many restaurants that produce the beautiful smell I’m talking about.
We went to my favourite Indian restaurant, the Akash, for some onion bhajis and a delicious chicken pasanda.
With our taste buds satisfied and our bellies full, we made our way to the stunning Kings Theatre to watch Footloose the Musical which starred Gareth Gates and Maureen Nolan. It was a triumph.
And can you guess what happened when we got home?
Yes, that’s right, sleep!
There’s an unwritten parenting rule: sleep when you can and while you can.
It shouldn’t be the case, but a good and undisturbed sleep can become a luxury for parents.
It was odd to wake up the next morning with no children and no noise.
It was great to have them back, noise and all, but it didn’t take too long for the cycle to restart and now I’m missing the silence again.