Trade offs

Today, RB is very excited because her Slighty-Obsessed Auntie has come to stay and also to babysit for the evening. Thanks to a busy day out, it is already two hours past RB’s bedtime when she hits the sack. Mummy and Daddy waste no time at all – they have never yet had a proper babysitter for the evening and are practically falling over themselves to get out the door, throwing bottles and food in the direction of the sofa and shouting TV-working instructions as they go. Mummy feels momentarily guilty that she should have left a detailed list of instructions related to The Baby, lots of useful equipment, a proper meal for the babysitter, and should be phoning to check on The Baby every five minutes like Proper Mummies do. But she reasons that the Ocado delivery is coming at nine so SOA can rifle through the bags for food, and also that SOA is a nurse with two degrees, so RB is probably in better hands than when Mummy looks after her.

Slightly-Obsessed Auntie is one of RB’s most favourite people in the whole world. This is because SOA plays with The Baby for hours on end, lets her get up when she’s supposed to be napping, feeds her extra pudding and buys her presents. SOA is like a celebrity in RB’s eyes.

Daddy takes Mummy to a posh steak restaurant and buys her fizzy wine. It is very nice indeed and Mummy has a delicious meal with chips and then salad on the side to cancel them out, because that works.

“Do you think we should text to check that Auntie is OK?” says Mummy, “Just to show we care?”

“No,” says Daddy.

“Me neither,” says Mummy, conscious that if things weren’t OK she would have to at least offer to go home and help which she really doesn’t want to do. Instead, Mummy and Daddy decide to go to the pub for a drink on the way home. No news is good news, thinks Mummy.

Mummy and Daddy have a lovely night out, and wake up late the next morning. The Baby has slept well! thinks Mummy. But no, The Baby is awake. SOA has got The Baby up early to play with her. Mummy comes downstairs in her dressing gown to thank SOA for being The Best Auntie in the World.

There is no-one in the living room but a wreckage of toys is strewn across the carpet, indicative that a good time has been had before the day has even begun. An excited squeal comes from the kitchen, so Mummy ventures there next.

Rebel Baby is in her high chair, wearing her pyjamas and a massive grin. She has been up since 6:00 am and is now enjoying biscuits and two helpings of pudding for breakfast.

“I couldn’t find the baby porridge,” says SOA.

“It is right there in front of the biscuits,” says Mummy. “In fact, you seem to have moved it to get to them.”

“Ah…” says SOA vaguely, “I wasn’t sure what that was.”

Mummy puts the large tin clearly labelled ‘Baby Porridge’ back on the shelf. Two degrees, thinks Mummy.  Rebel Baby is grinning from ear to ear as she merrily gums her biscuit. SOA and The Baby exchange a knowing look whilst Mummy mutters something about having “proper breakfast now.”

If this is the cost of a steak dinner with chips and fizzy wine, thinks Mummy, I can live with biscuits for breakfast.

Yes, Slightly-Obsessed Auntie is one of RB’s very favourite people in the whole world. It is not hard to work out why.