Up for the bells

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Cara McKee, a writer and mother-of-three living in Largs, welcomes in the new year…

This new year was the first time we let our kids stay up for the bells. To be honest it didn’t seem like the best plan. We know our kids, there’s only one who might occasionally be tempted into a long lie in, the other two will still be up at half past six and a late night will only render them grumpy. We had no visitors for Hogmanay this year and I was envisaging a peaceful evening, possibly even getting to my bed before the bells, but at bedtime the kids listed all the thousands of their friends that had got permission to stay up and I just couldn’t be bothered to argue. So I agreed.

Our Sky box has taken it upon itself to record various random programmes over the holidays, including all of E4, so we snuggled on the sofa and I found Home Alone and Disney’s special holiday animation Prep & Landing – which none of us had seen – so we ate snacks and watched them.

After that we were all a bit restive. I suggested a game of Cluedo, but that, Pokemon, Perudo, Trivial Pursuit and chess were all deemed boring so we played bingo, which is tricky with a six- year-old moving the counters and an eleven-year-old constantly complaining about how people are doing things. I won the first game and then declared it time to watch TV again (mainly because I couldn’t face another game). It was a quarter to twelve and Jackie Bird was partying. I tried to get everyone a drink to toast the bells, but the kids refused. “But you have to have a drink for the bells!” I argued. “No!”

I shouted. I know it was grumpy of me, but I was awfully tired, and they were awfully annoying. One child ran upstairs and started dramatically wailing on the bed, while the other two huddled together for safety and took their blasted drinks. The wailing went on for a bit and I eventually cracked. I had, after all, made a little kid cry over a drink. I went and said sorry, and promised the drink would be teensy.

And so it was we charged three small glasses of milk, and me my first glass of wine, (which I should probably have had earlier) and we were ready for the countdown, shouting out the numbers and “HAPPY NEW YEAR!”. We joined hands across our bodies and pogoed to an interminable version of Auld Lang Syne, hugging and kissing and bidding a happy farewell to 2016. The kids loved the fireworks, but we were all grateful to go to our beds.

We were up at half past six in the morning – tired and grumpy – but at least we were all tired and grumpy together, the kids buzzing about their hopes for 2017. We’ll definitely be staying up again, although next year I might sneak in a nap.

Happy New Year! Let’s hope it’s going to be brilliant. 

Congratulations to Cara who has been shortlisted in the Great British Write Off poetry competition. You can read Cara’s poetry on her blog at caralmckee.blogspot.co.uk

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