As every parent knows, the concept of a "chilled weekend" takes on a new dimension once you have a baby. Before having a baby, M and I would spend uninterrupted time doing anything we wanted during the weekend. If we wanted to read the paper all morning, we could; if we wanted to lie in bed until late, we could; if we wanted to go into town and spend all day long drifting from one art exhibition to another, we could; if we wanted to watch a movie all afternoon, we could.
Now that Little Planet has graced our lives, we can still have such chilled moments but, unless she is sleeping, then they are just that - "moments". For example, we can still read the paper, but we read it in bursts; we can visit shop after shop, or exhibition after exhibition, but only if Little Planet does not become tired, cranky and bored; we can watch a movie from beginning to end, but only after she has gone to bed at night; we can have a lie in... but really only until 7 or 7.30am and even then only if we are lucky.
In short, we can do many of the things we used to do but in short bursts of time. With babies, you are always being interrupted. Sometimes these are glorious interruptions; other times, not so wonderful ;-).
This weekend, we spent a leisurely Saturday morning in Islington. Little Planet had her first taste of panettone at Carluccio's. Her response? "Hmmmm yum!" She is also beginning to say "Tanku" (Thank you) when you pass her something and has also begun to say "Na" (No) repeatedly while shaking her head furiously (the toddler years have begun!).
We also took her to the delightful After Noah toy shop where we bought some presents for her 1st birthday next week - a wooden shape sorter, plus a basket full of miniature play food (similar to the photo above) such as canned plum tomatoes, milk cartons, mineral water, baked beans and butter. She fell asleep in the pushchair, so M and I browsed the magazines and books in Borders and in Waterstone's.
We spent the afternoon at home. While Little Planet napped, M and I sat out in the garden and lunched on pitta sandwiches stuffed with hummus and tomatoes. Then we played with Little Planet when she woke up. We gave her a long bath and then spent a good hour before her dinner rolling around our bed with her - we chatted with each other and with her, while she clambered all over us or tried to bite us with her five sharp teeth... ouch.
After she went to bed, at 7pm, M and I had a barbecue in our garden of lamb chops, chorizo and tabbouleh. We stayed outside eating, drinking and chatting until 10.30pm.
On Sunday morning, we took Little Planet to have her hair cut (her third in her short life!) in Crouch End. She was fine and enjoyed playing with the toy cars the hairdresser provided to distract her. Afterwards, we bought some oranges and raspberries and visited M's sister nearby. There, we made fruit smoothies.
We returned home to give Little Planet her lunch and to put her down for her afternoon nap. While she slept, M and I sat in the garden again and lunched on grilled sardines and capers on toast. We then spent the rest of the afternoon playing in the garden with Little Planet in her Wendy house and reading the weekend papers when she was content to play on her own. M had made refreshing ginger and lemon drinks which we sipped.
Later on, before her bath, I took Little Planet out around our neighbourhood on her smart trike while M pruned the front garden. After putting Little Planet to bed at 7pm, M and I ate roast chicken with homemade potato salad and broad bean salad. I don't think we had the TV on at all this weekend, so lovely was the weather.
I wish the weekend could have lasted at least another day...