I now hang out with them at our children’s birthday parties.
We’ve swapped pints for cups of tea. Dry roasted peanuts for slices of number-shaped cake.
At my daughter’s recent birthday party, I attempted to bridge the two worlds by holding it in the back room of a pub. But it’s not really the same, having a beer when twenty little people are chasing each other around, screaming so loudly that you feel like your ears are going to bleed.
See, my birthday is three days after my daughter's.
I’ve always made a big fuss of birthdays. I like everyone to know that mine’s coming up weeks if not months in advance.
I obviously knew that, as time went on, my daughter’s birthday would hold more significance than mine. But, for the last two years we’ve organised something that could encompass both celebrations, and given that most of her mates are children of ours, that worked out pretty well.
But at three years old she is quite self-aware.
She knew the food she wanted to have (sausage rolls and cake), the games she wanted to play (What’s the time Mr Wolf? and pass the parcel) and who she wanted to come (everyone she’s ever met, including someone from a one-off gymnastics class we attended who I doubt we will ever see again).
So, when Ben suggested I stay on after the party and have a drink with friends as he would take the children home to bed, I didn’t ask twice.
I can now confirm, without a shadow of a doubt, that if you want to have a cracking night out, go with parents of young children. It’s probably because we don’t know when the next opportunity will arise, along with the fact that we virtually never get to spend time with just adults.
The evening, which started as a pint and a bit of food, ended with us dancing on the tables and miming to Michael Jackson.
The recovery period isn’t as gentle as it used to be, mind.
Gone are the days of a fry-up and the Hollyoaks omnibus. The first morning of my 36th year was spent expressing milk like a human cow for fear of breastfeeding my son neat gin and tonic.
So maybe it’s not the end of the world that my social life mainly takes place in community centres dominated by three year olds.
It turns out I don’t have the stamina to go out more than once a year.