Timing is all relative. The family festive huddle necessitated us all sharing a room. Normally that's not a problem. In fact, I quite like the soothing symphony of snores.
However, Boy One is an early riser, always has been. At home he's banned from getting up before 6am and then he has to sneak downstairs and put the telly on. Same rules worked perfectly well at Granny's house until the Big Day - he'd even brought his big luminous clock so he'd know. The how, when and where of unstuffing the stockings was a hot topic for weeks. The Panther of News and I like to share their fun, but not until we've had at least a couple of hours kip. Then I struck on what I'll admit is one of my best ideas yet. Once the snoring had started, I put his clock back an hour. Worked like a dream - just don't tell him and maybe we can try two hours next year.
Bamm-Bamm had a point. Boy Three's most successful DIY feeding moment came when he shared my barbecue spare ribs. Yummy and useful. It's the tasty food that's also a teething device and a percussion instrument.
It's easy to forget that late nights used to be thrilling. 15 minutes into the new year the phone rang.
"Mummy, Mummy. Happy New Year."
"Happy New Year, Sweetie Pie."
"We stayed up all evening. It's after midnight now. Daddy let us stay up," over excitement and Coca Cola in Boy Two's voice.
Thing is, we couldn't keep the yawning at bay that long. We considered changing all the clocks in the house so we could go: "Five, four, three, two, one, kiss, kiss. Yeah we made it."
But midnight is definitely a late night these days. In the event, we couldn't quite turn in till The Bells just on the off chance we might missed something. But by 12.15 the books were put down, the lights turned off and slumber in our sights.
P.S. The Panther of News also mooted taking the brandy, gin, whisky and weird liqueur stuff up from the kitchen cupboard to the bedroom with us. Slightly shocked, I asked why.
"That way if someone asks we can say we went to bed with a couple of bottles of the hard stuff. We don't have to drink any of it, we'll take it down again in the morning. It's just so going to bed early on New Year's Eve doesn't sound quite so dull."