I met a friend for lunch today. A friend who I've known for years who I used to meet for drinks that went on for hours, for a coffee that turned into dinner and who hosted the best ad hoc new years eve eve party I've ever been to. We used to meet and chat and chill and linger. Then she selfishly decided to live abroad so I'd get a call saying, "I'm in London until Sunday, are you free for coffee tomorrow ?" I always made sure I was available and we maintained a mad friendship that endured her inability to pack until hours before a flight and my inability to finish a hot drink. The main thing we always had was a conversation that never finished. It would just pick up from the last time we met. Today, however, was different. I last saw her a few months ago when the baby was still small so we had tea and cake while he slept. So when she asked if I was free for lunch today I looked forward to seeing her and taking my son out to eat as he sits up now and eats really well. I love taking my son out to eat. He's hilarious and entertaining and actually not a fussy eater so it's not such a big deal. I dug out something clean and almost dry from the airer and managed to get some lip gloss on before I left the house. Once we got there the conversation went something like this:
"So how have you been ? Khushbir sit nicely until your food comes. No you can't have a snack, your food is coming. Oh really ? Where has he been travelling ? Ok you can have one sweetcorn ring. Ok you can have a carrot puff then. Ok stop dropping them on the floor or you can't have any. So is he seeing anyone these days ? What was her name again ? Right, if you keep dropping them on the floor you can go back in your buggy. I mean it. When did you last see her ? Oh she's getting married ? That's wonderful. Look the nice man is bringing your doughballs and salad so sit nicely. Is he much older than her ? Oh that's nice. Can you just eat them please ? (as baby expertly flicks half a cherry tomato making it spin on the table I make a mental note to tell Daddy that his Subbutteo champion status is safe in the hands of his son and heir.) So how are you folks doing ? No you don't need to drop the doughballs on the floor (doughball flies across room and lands under buggy) Ok so you don't want to eat those then Do you see them that often ? No you like pasta, you eat it all the time. Oh you want your own spoon - sorry I'll get your spoon then. Do you think you'll come back to London any time or do you think you'll stay abroad now ? Right, the next thing that you drop on the floor is the end of your lunch young man. Sorry, what were we talking about ? Oh yes, no place to grow old… Yes can I have a cup of tea please and his meal comes with a chocolate cupcake so I'll share that. Oh it's ok he won't have any. Right in your buggy now while Mummy has her tea. No fuss please. Ok, do you want blue bear. No keep your shoes on please. Ok I'll just put blue bear under the buggy then for safety shall I ? Ok I'll put your shoes under the buggy as well. No keep your socks on please. (waitress tells my friend it's the last chocolate cupcake). Do you want this one love, I can get him some gelato or something. Are you sure ? And how is work going ? Ok you can have a little taste of chocolate cake then, but only one tiny bit - here (baby smiles) ok one spoon for Mummy (baby yells) ok one more tiny taste for you then (baby licks lips and puts foot in mouth with sock still on) I don't usually give him chocolate of course. Oh so you like chocolate - great. Ok you can have a little bit more, but no more. (sweeping sense of doom at what I have unleashed on my poor child as he is genetically pre-disposed to chocaholism on my side) Shall we get the bill ? Sorry you still have your coffee - what time is it ? Oh it's only 1.30 - wow that is early isn't it ? Have you done a poo poo ? Oh dear. Is that what all this fuss is about ? Do you need me to change you ? (picks up child and tries to be discreet while sniffing his behind) I'll be back in a minute - just a quick change and we'll all be happier… Well we're going shopping for cotton wool balls, but you're welcome to join us. Is that chocolate on your socks ? Just wait until Daddy sees the state of you later. No I don't blame you. See you soon love.
I have paraphrased, of course, but really this is by way of apology to anyone who has experienced this with me recently. Of course if you have done the same then you may be sympathetic to that realisation a few hours later, when the baby is asleep usually, that you started about 6 different topics of conversation and didn't finish any of them. Apparently this will only last another 18 years, please bear with me :o)