I know some people don't much like their company holiday events, but I have always enjoyed them. An American company holiday party is generally a far less debauched affair than that enjoyed by the typical British employee, but ours have always been fun. Both geekydaddy and I are social creatures and enjoy a party. I like to socialize with coworkers in a different environment, and to meet their spouses. Plus these days it is a rare occasion that we pull out suits, ties, pretty dresses and high heels and go out all gussied up. It took Geekydaddy five attempts to tie his tie, it has been so long!
In fact, the kids have so impacted our social life that I realized, scanning my closet, that I was in that age old dilemma of 'not having a thing to wear'. I can't complain too much about the way my body has recovered from pregnancies, but I am not the hard bodied size 4 (US size, i must add, before I terrify any UK readers into thinking I suffer from anorexia) that I was before the two kids. My slinky bias cut dresses just don't hang right on my muffiny mummy frame, and spaghetti straps don't work with nursing bras. Maybe I watched too much 'what not to wear' while on maternity leave, but I couldn't bring myself to flaunt my 38 year old thighs in a tiny mini skirt, even though my thighs don't look half bad thanks to pushing a double stroller around the hills of San Francisco, and it is a classy wool one from 'Theory'.
So, the day of the party, while both kids were napping and Geekydaddy was in charge, I nipped up to 'Ambiance' in Noe Valley. This is a tiny store that stocks dresses from French Connection and BCBG, and more importantly, cheaper designers of the same ilk. I filled a fitting room with about 20 dresses, sensibly selecting size 6's and mediums, and threw them on one after another. Shopping post kids is a speedier and more decisive process than the lesiurely days I used to spend browsing, trying on, contemplating choices over a nice lunch, then finally returning to select something.
Luckily one dress was a hit, a short shirt dress in ivory and black stripes, made of that knit polyester that hangs elegantly but can also be thrown on the floor after wearing and shakes right back into shape. Even more fantasitic, I had to return the medium, and buy a small! I was so speedy in my selection that I even treated myself to a drop in pedicure, and when I got home only one of the kids had awoken from naptime!
Feeling almost glamorous in the new dress, we were ready to go. Some kind of police action in the neighbourhood delayed our babysitter, but we eventually got out of the house. We go out so rarely that I don't have a regular sitter, but we do have a great network of parents in our neighberhood who share resources. Gloria was a sweet mexican Grandma, who seemed kind and competent. However I think she feels we don't keep our kids warm enough; Geekybaby goes to bed clad only in his fleecy pyjamas, no blankets. He wriggles too much for coverings. When I got home Gloria showed me proudly that she had found several blankets to cover him, surrounded him with stuffed animals, and wrapped a cloth diaper around his head, in the fashion of a cartoon character with toothache!
I unravelled him from her ministrations, and went to bed, hoping that I had drunk enough water during the evening to avoid the dreaded "up at 6.00am with lively kids and pounding hangover" syndrome, that afflicts us reformed party girls, who sometime forget that after two pregnancies and years of breast feeding, we now have the alcohol tolerance of a teenage nun.