In a weird, unexplained occurrence we are now the proud owners of three broken internal windows. These are not the sorts of things you factor in when writing a budget.
The reason we have written a budget – well, jotted down some figures on the back of a grocery receipt – is because I unexpectedly lost some of my teaching hours and my husband gave notice at his high paying, high profile chef job to work in a café so he has the time and creative energy to pursue his dream of his own restaurant…eleven weeks before our first child is due.
Now there are those of you who might argue that this was a foolish time to undertake such an endeavour, (and when I’m back to eating ketchup soup like I did when I lived in New York I’m sure I’ll agree with you) but when is it actually a good time to have a child? Or open a business?
My grandma always said that ‘if you waited until you had enough money for a child, you’d never have one,’ and I’ve applied this theory to my entire life…moving to NYC to pursue musical theatre, volunteering (I don’t have money so I give time instead), getting married (in NYC which isn’t cheap, but we had herbs instead of flowers so we saved money there), travelling (it is a non-negotiable expense if you spend nearly eight years living overseas), growing a human (although that part is pretty cheap if you’re happy to embrace the public health system), and following your dream (ie Gregory opening his restaurant and me running the front of house with a baby in a papoose around my neck with easy access to its food source whenever that becomes necessary).
Luckily we’re through winter now, so the draft from the poorly enclosed back verandah isn’t biting at my slightly swollen pregnant ankles, and I would consider leaving fixing them until next winter, but our landlord is a family friend and prone to unannounced visits and since he spent over a year looking for the correct type of wallpaper, I don’t think he’d consider the Picasso style holes in his windows a compliment to his decor.
So when the peanut is ten and asks why it spent its first few months sleeping in a wine box (Gregory gets them free from work) and wearing an old t-shirt of mine that I cut and stitched with all the skill of a dexterously challenged left-hander, I’ll just smile and say; ‘priorities darling.’ And so the lessons begin.