• Belle

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time their lived a Military Spouse, she spent her days picking up kit and wondering when her husband would return. An announcement was heard inviting all across the patch to a Christmas Ball. Belle you shall go to the Ball and dance the night away with your Hero in Uniform. That sounds like a fairytale to me.

3 weeks before T didn’t even know about the Ball or when it was, 2 weeks before T was now away and arriving at 12 hours prior to Ball TOT (time on target), 1 week before and the babysitter cancels. On top of all of this was usual Christmas countdown, nativity plays, present buying and wrapping, school fetes. In the back of my mind there was still hope we might just manage our first actual Christmas Ball.

12 hours to TOT: The day of the actual Ball all the stars started aligning (T home on time, leave not cancelled, babysitter booked, friends arriving). After months of using the spinner of what we are doing each day Military perks are finally here. Something written in pencil was not going to be erased, for once.

3 hours to TOT: In preparation I got the Children the book All in One Piece to explain to them Mummy and Daddy are going out and they should behave. I should have seen the warning signs as the first page was just like my current situation. Baby on lap, 2 children covering selves in porridge and Mummy elephant going out for Mr Elephants Work do in a posh frock. Perhaps I should have read them Cinderella as they seem to see the story more as an instruction manual as to chaos to be caused. I did hide my tights before they had chance to stuff them with toys...

1 hour to TOT: My buttons just fallen off my shirt can you sew it on? “Yes, T dear I am just having my hair done but of course”. I proceed to having my hair done, whilst watching 2 babies and sew button on shirt. Babies somehow find a hole in the beanbag and soon the floor is sprinkled with little white balls. They aren’t eating them at the moment so I watch carefully them carefully in between looking whichever way the hairdresser is telling me to in a cloud of hairspray and not stabbing myself with a needle. My hair is done and tiny white balls of “snow” decorate the carpet. Small victory in spite of some collateral damage.

30 minutes to TOT: “Upstairs kids, get your PJs on while Mummy does her make up”. Why two babies then decide the both want perfume on is beyond me but ok play nicely, they haven’t got the dexterity to spray it. My hair is pretty, my face is sorted. The two babies now smell like a John Lewis perfumery, so turns out their motor skills are better than expected. Something has now broken on Ts uniform so we decide super glue is the quickest option. T fixes the uniform on but also glues his fingers together for good measure. Just as the children decide the “snow” should be thrown at daddy So now there’s a few of the beanbag balls stuck on his hand too. How do we unglue you now? This isn’t in Cinderella.

10 minutes to TOT: Babysitter has finally arrived, and given 3 crying children all in different states of bedtime dress. Spiderman is not classed as a bedtime outfit and she’s left to fight that battle and I can finally hope to squeeze into a dress that I haven’t had chance to try on until now.

5 minutes to TOT: We are coming down the stairs as eldest child says, “Oh Mummy, you look so beautiful have a wonderful time at the Ball”.

And just like that we made it to an actual Ball like Cinderella. For all the Christmases when T’s been away and we don’t get to go, for the tears of departure, for all the events Ts missed, for everything written in pencil and our life juggling the military’s unknown requests, it’s nice to celebrate that small moment of a fairytale coming true.

Merry Christmas to anyone and everyone Married to the Military, we hope you can think of a time your fairytale came true.

Belle x x

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