It was only the ONE occasion
Don't have, borrow, babysit or even think about making an eight year old.
If you ever thought that a three year old was a dodgy choice to take with you on public transport, with literal questions such as, 'Why does that man only have one leg?' or 'It smells in here. Who pooed their pants?', it doesn't seem to get any better when that child is now old enough to be more aware of the social conventions we live by.
Sapphire may no longer get the 'front bottom' and 'back bottom' confused, nor announce in front of the Coles dairy case that "My Mum has hair on her bottom" in a voice only slightly less ear-piercing than the Mr Bankrupt advertisements, but it doesn't end at eight.
On Tuesday night, I was asked by my (now ex) workmates to go out for dinner and drinks. After a particularly hectic and hellish year at the coalface, they were very kindly showing their support for my situation and wanted to catch up and celebrate our mutual survival without the presence of my ex-bosses 'Bulldog' and 'Skeletor'.
Love Chunks was away in Melbourne doing head office weather bureau meterological stuff, so I asked my mates Jill and Kent if they'd mind looking after Sapphire for the evening. Seeing as they already have three kids, an extra one would hardly be noticed. "Sure," they said, "No worries at all. Why don't you make a night of it and let her sleep over?"
I accepted gladly. Realistically, these days 'making a night of it' means going crazy on three glasses of sparkling shiraz over an eight hour period, so I was in no danger of waking up with my head resting on Sapphire's scooter handles and leaves blowing in my mouth.
Since being a parent (and therefore having forty weeks of total abstinence from alcohol) I've lost my drinking stamina and never regained it. All that hard-won spirit-sipping and cider-sampling over two years of back-packing in the UK is now laid to waste. These days, one sniff of a beer mat and I'm flushing redder than a babboon's butt.
Anyhow, it was a nice opportunity to have a late night and a sleep in the next morning without being tapped on the forehead at 7am with 'Mum? M-u-m? I've set up the Trouble game for us - you said you'd play it with me todaaaaay,' greeting I am accustomed to.
The night was great. Fantastic, even. It's been a real honour and pleasure to call those intellectual icons and academics my friends as well as colleagues. I miss them already and know that we'll all stay in touch somehow, even if via some lame email jokes. We have too much in common and too much passion about social justice, bad clothing and even worse management techniques to NOT remain mates. I got to bed, tired but relatively sober, by a little after midnight and was around at JnK's by 9am to pick up Sapph the next morning.
As I walked through the door, two Maccas cappuccinos in hand (one for the parent-in-charge, Kent and one for moi), I hear 'ol Foghorn Leghorn, unaware that her mother had arrived, call out, "Hey Kent, do you think I should stay here today and again tonight, because Mum might still be REALLY DRUNK."
Charming. She'll be getting a homemade cardigan and a jigsaw puzzle for Christmas this year.
Sapphire's nativity scene for 2007. It's amazing how Barbie and Ken can be transformed with a wad of sticky tape and some clean hankies!