Where is that child’s off button? says a lady who’d been watching Q hoon around without stopping the entire time we were out to dinner.
We don’t go out to dinner with Q as a general rule. Because generally, it means we spend the entire time chasing after her, as at 14.5 months the concept of sitting at the table for the duration of the meal is thus far beyond her comprehension.
On the upside, it also means you drink less as your champagne goes flat while it sits waiting for you, and chasing her up the street is almost a guarantee you’ll miss dessert.
Dinner out the cheap, low-cal way.
Q is quite a social being. The result, I suspect, of us having spent the first 4 months of her life at my parents’ home while we waited for our apartment to be ready. A home that was also housing one brother and his girlfriend who had recently moved back from overseas.
Two parents, two grandparents, an aunt, an uncle and an endless supply of visitors means Q is conditioned to think everyone on the universe wants to play with her, and is, in fact, one of her greatest fans.
Come the beginning of next month, we hope to be the owners of a space that is soon to become our restaurant. Following a refit that will no doubt take longer than we hope, we will then launch ourselves into the culinary world, five nights a week and both days of the weekend.
Initially I will be working all those shifts.
And doing the books.
And writing this blog and another one for the restaurant.
And hanging out with my favourite girl during the day.
And signing up for an anxiety attack by August I suspect.
Am I insane?
Do I always try to do too much?
Will this cause the remaining hair that didn’t fall out from breastfeeding to leave my head forever?
The answer to all of the above is likely a resounding yes.
So what to do?
Whenever Q and I are out in public, (which is most of the time because our apartment is really tiny and she gets cabin fever by 7.30am) she is constantly stalking other kids, making friends with strangers and flirting with old men. She loves ‘em. Particularly if they’re wearing calf-length socks.
Like I said, she’s a social being.
And now that she’s got a few words in her repertoire, punctuated by several yells and a couple of grunts, she can generally make herself understood.
She loves an adventure, she loves new things and she adores putzing around discovering.
In short, she would probably quite like day-care.
For a couple of hours, once a week anyway.
But can her mother let her go?
It’s quite a juggling act to plan a restaurant opening when you only do work when your baby sleeps. Given that somewhere in that time you have to sleep too, (not to mention do the laundry and make countless vegemite sandwiches) it is obvious to see where the holes in the plan are.
I’m definitely not ready to leave her all day. Call me what you will, but that fact isn’t changing.
As it is, I would be that neurotic mother who handed the carers (all trained professionals I am well aware) a list of Q-isms to help them better understand my girl.
That list would include but not be limited to:
· when she wakes from her nap, she usually wants to snug for 15 minutes at least
· she’s currently off banana but a huge fan of plums
· she’s taken to pulling off one side of her nappy and walking around like John Wayne
· she likes to whisper in your ear and tell you secrets
· she doesn’t like to hold your hand when she walks, even when she’s crossing the road, which (by the way) I don’t want you to do.
· She’s never had juice. Can that remain the case please?
· She likes to play dress-ups. Don’t be alarmed if she puts something on her head, entirely blocks her vision and walks around. You can’t really tell the difference between her vision impaired walk and her regular one anyway, but don’t worry, she’s only run into a wall once.
· She is an Atkins hater. Give her carbs and she’s happy.
· Her mother will have you on speed dial and is likely to ring every four and a half minutes to inform you of other completely incidental information that she will think is absolutely crucial to her child’s welfare and well-being.
Mostly, I'm aware no one can love her like I do, which automatically makes this mother think no one could care for her as much as I do. Likely that's true, but it doesn't mean she wouldn't be cared for.
If child-care centres could, I’m sure they’d screen the parents before accepting the child. I bet an anxious mother is way more work than a 14 month old.
I’ve been thinking about this for quite some time, particularly as I watch friends with similar aged children suffer the guilt and withdrawals as they return to paid work.
Gregory and I are determined to give Q a happy and relaxed childhood.
While that may not mean the best of (or even most of) the latest everything, it does mean her parents need to be happy and relaxed too.
|I went to primary school with him. |
I like to think that makes us friends.
Opening a restaurant doesn’t sound like a particularly relaxing activity to anyone, (except perhaps Cadel Evans who rides up European alps for a living) but it will make Q’s father happy.
Happy husband, happy wife, happy mama, happy life.
But can I do it?
Can I give my darling girl to strangers, even for a few hours a week, so I can help get my husband happy?
The battle in my heart and mind rages fiercely.
Think I’ll delay it again and make myself another cup of coffee.