Some more, please: Parenthood is a state of being

2011-03-03 11:13

A little bit of luxury goes a long way when you don’t get out much.

My husband and I missed a couple of wedding anniversaries in the confused fug of having a new baby.

Two years on, with the baby morphed into a tantrum-throwing toddler we found an excuse to hand over to granny for the weekend and headed for the nearest posh hotel for an overnight stay.

Free of that day’s chores we sat on our fancy balcony sipping a complimentary bottle of bubbly gazing at the tree-rich vista and talked about … our child, of course.

For five minutes we discussed how neither of us could remember what we did with all the free time we used to have and that it was an easy sacrifice to make (even if we didn’t know what a sacrifice it would end up being).

Two hours into our free time we headed to the posh restaurant and resolved to talk about current affairs, the state of the planet, the plot of The Good Wife (the only TV show we have time to watch) and other such weighty issues.

Of course, nothing was discussed without reference to how it would affect the toddler – how she will find herself in a very different world to us, how a profession will no longer be a defence against unemployment, how we hope sexism will be dead by the time she’s old enough to suffer the effects …

When my Thai fishcake starter arrived we could move on to the much less depressing topic of food – like how much she would have enjoyed the fish though the chilli jelly might have been a little too spicy and we figured she’d have loved the creamy mash that came with my oxtail, which she’d have slurped off the bones.

As we rushed through our eggs and bacon breakfast to get home as quickly as possible we realised that a break might be good for the soul, but once a parent always a parent. And though we might have missed the change, lost in the details of our mad dash lives, our frame of reference on the world is a little girl who loves fishcakes, peas and a woolly sheep called Lambkins.

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