There are certainly pros and cons with the nurturing and attached style of parenting I have chosen.
Raising a gorgeous, confident and affectionate little being
Knowing where your child is at all times
Never being separated from your little one – not for one moment, so no opportunity for loneliness
Endless warm fuzzy feelings
Never being separated from your little one – not for one moment, so no opportunity for air (even mummies need to breathe occasionally!)
Having to leave weddings at 10pm, before the dancing begins
We went to a wedding this weekend, and I realised that in Elfie’s short time on the planet, she has already been to four weddings and a funeral.
She attended her first wedding tucked into a green hug-a-bub underneath Greg’s suit jacket, and slept through the ceremony. We left around 7pm after speeches and she slept the whole way home.
At the funeral of my grandma, we were fortunate to have Granny Annie staying at the time, so Annie took her for a walk during the service.
At Elfie’s second wedding, she was a celebrity. Dressed in Jacaranda blue, she played with red rose petals on the sand in front of the bridal party, and I am pretty sure everyone took a photo of her that day.
At her third wedding, only a week later, she played with mulch in the Melbourne Botanical Gardens throughout the ceremony, slept in the sling on the way to the service, and then partied on until 9pm, before falling asleep in the sling for the rest of the evening.
And this weekend, at the wedding, we quietly excused ourselves from the church service when Elfie began jumping off the prayer kneeling thingy and yelling “JUMP” very loudly. She ran around the church gardens, her head thrown back, crowing “COCK-A-DOCKLE-DOOOO!”. She clung to my skirt for during the garden party reception, at some point lying down to gaze at the sky with her fingers in her ears. During dinner, she ran between Mum and I, then ate an adult-sized portion, plus dessert. About 10, she started to look pretty exhausted, so I dressed her in her footed jammies, and thought just maybe I could send her on the bus back to the hotel with my Dad, who at 70, was looking just as tired. She adamantly stomped her little jammie-clad feet when the band began, as she wanted to dance. I tried to explain to her that the bride and groom needed to have the first dance, so we waited and then, when she could wait no longer, we made our way to the dance floor, at which time the poor little thing collapsed with exhaustion in a crying heap. The bus back to town had pulled up, and I realised, sadly, that there was no way my little girl was going to peacefully fall asleep in Dad’s arms, so I too left the wedding. Mum came with us to accompany the 70 year-old man home.
Sitting in the hotel room at 10.30pm, my mum and I felt a little cheated, having to leave the wedding early…we weren’t even tipsy! But then, with grace, I accepted my fate. My little girl had partied hard till a good hour, and had allowed me to do the same. Occasionally the fantasy of leaving her with a babysitter, who would put her to bed, crosses my mind. But I know Elfie, and I know it would not go down. After all, a 10.30 curfew isn’t too bad for a mother in my situation. Really, I have made few sacrifices, and the upshot is my Elfie, in all her beauty, who I wouldn’t change in a billion years.