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Is Going Out Tonight Worth It?: A Statistical Analysis

This evening H and I are supposed to go out. Out of the house, together, without May Blossom. Not to the compost bin, or the rubbish bin, or the recycling bin. Not even further afield to the video shop, the supermarket or the petrol station. Tonight we have tickets to see Bonnie Prince Billy at the Sydney Opera House.

I bought the tickets a few months ago on a whim, because H loves Bonnie Prince Billy, who is a grumpy-looking, balding, blond bearded alt-folk-country musician. I like him too, I think, but I can’t actually remember any of his songs. Whenever I try to summon one up in my head I get a Bon Iver song. Nevertheless, I am excited to be going out. Or I was until I looked at the tickets to see what time the show starts.

Nine o’clock. Nine pm. In the night. That means he won’t be finished until 11. We won’t be home until midnight. Let’s look at the stats for how much sleep I am likely to get: May Blossom has been alive for 498 days. She has slept through the night (7 or 8 pm to at least 5 am) three times. According to my maths, which is admittedly not my strong suit, that means she has a 0.6 per cent chance of sleeping until 5 tomorrow. Not great odds. Better, though, if we take into account the fact that all three of those times have been within the last seven days. That brings us up to a 42.8 per cent chance.

I think I’m going to risk it. We might even try to have dinner out before the show. The plan will be this:

At 6.30, my father, known as ‘GRANDDADGRANDDADGRANDDAD!’ to May Blossom, will come to our flat. May Blossom will have been stuffed with a sleep-inducing, tummy-filling meal of chicken, pasta and cheese. She will not be permitted to fill up on vegetables (more on that un-childlike food obsession another time). She will be given a bath by her father, while I remove my going-out clothes, shoes and make-up from our bedroom, which adjoins her room. Once she is nappied, pyjamaed and combed of hair, I will breastfeed her in the living room, read a book (97 per cent probability of Good Night Gorilla), and put her to bed. Judging by the last week, she will be asleep within ten minutes.

Then I will sneak out to the bathroom, dress, put on a face full of slap and then H and I will run like blazes out to a cab. We will eat something, somewhere, near Circular Quay. (Suggestions, please? We will have about an hour, a pocket full of cash, and the reckless and huge appetites of those who no longer dine out often.)

There is a good chance, based on the past week, that she will not wake up while we are gone. She has only woken before 2 am once in the past ten days. Please, please, please let this continue tonight.

But if she does wake, it won’t be the end of the world. She may not go back to sleep for Granddad, but she will probably be reasonably happy to hang out with him until we get home.

Considering the last time H and I went out alone together in the evening was after his father’s funeral, which I think even the most desperate-for-time-without-the-baby new parents would be hard-pressed to classify as a date, going out tonight will be worth it. I want to wear a pretty dress and lipstick and high heels. I want to carry a bag without a nappy and a small container of grapes in it. I want to look up at the sky and the buildings of our amazing city instead of down to make sure my small person isn’t running onto the road. I want to have a conversation with my husband (not in a scary, ‘We need to have a conversation, H’ way, just in a ‘Remember how we married each other because we liked hanging out and talking? Let’s try that again, without the world’s most talkative one-year-old shouting ‘Drawing!’, ‘Up!’, ‘Down!’, ‘Raining’, ‘Woofwoof Lady!’ way).

I want to drink champagne on the steps of the Opera House, while looking at photos of May Blossom on our iPhones, because who are we kidding? You know that’s what we’ll do. We are such fools for that kid.

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