Our groundbreaking evening out on Thursday went extremely well. Somehow hypnotised Rose into dropping off the second she went into her cot, and M’s babysitting duties were confined to watching the telly. We got back and found M flattened beneath the considerable combined weight of our two attention deprived cats so at least everyone was happy in the W household while the mortagees were out partying in Mayfair. Speaking of cats, as I write this Jason has just tried to get me to fetch him a glass of port to drink while watching Match of the Day, because he has a cat on his lap and therefore can’t move. I gently refused as it’s good to encourage him to shuffle from the couch to the drinks cabinet now and again, to help his circulation. He however then politely declined to fetch me a glass of water from the kitchen, despite the fact that he was getting up anyway. The trouble with being a feminist is it makes you thirsty. On the other hand I am getting nervous looks from the sofa so maybe I did win after all. Still thirsty though.
Rose has developed a cute kind of cough she does when she isn’t getting the right level of attention from her staff. I try not to respond too quickly as having two people in the house who try to summon me in the manner of impatient customers would be intolerable.
Our meal out (at The Square on Bruton St) was stunning – it was the kind of place where all the sauces have been turned into foams or varnished onto the plate, and you get loads of canapes to eat between all the courses. I love all that. Awkward moment when Jason’s souffle for pudding turned up while he was in the loo and I got the wrath of the waiter who complained it was going down. Sorry mate I’m not a psycho sexual counsellor, can’t you go and bang on the gents and get a man to help you? Is what I should have said. All the food was in autumnal shades with lots of oranges browns and reds, pumpkin and game. I had hare which was so sweet, soft and spicy, laid over slivers of pear on a wispy base of ethereal and buttery puff pastry god it was GREAT. Jason’s main course was like a tribute to Mayan architecture, entirely made from beef and related trimmings. The sweeties you got with your coffee were totally divine. Lots of different fruit preserves, jellies and tiny cakes, plus a dish of slightly salty chocolate truffles. I had to restrain myself from nicking the uneaten ones on the table next to us where two portly chaps were more intent on drinking many glasses of eighty year old rum and whisky. Strangely our coffee was very average and embarassingly when the nice maitre d asked us how our meal went and I mentioned the coffee, we got some more exactly the same but had to drink it to be polite. Strange to cock up such an elementary thing when you can serve up a perfect bunny and transform peas into a corinthian column.
We got back at nearly 1am, after distilling six months of average evenings out into a single four hour slot. I managed not to think about Rose more than about once every three minutes and once it seemed that my mobile wasn’t going to ring I settled down to some proper drinking and we really enjoyed ourselves. Top marks to Jason for conceiving and executing a flawless evening on the town, complete with cocktails at Claridges Bar. What a strange bunch of folk, entirely dressed in black like a rich goth’s convention.
Just watched the BBC 4 ‘Growing Babies’ programme about baby brain development. Well worth watching if only for the endless footage of ludicrously cute babies. Apparently there is evidence that babies taste many of the flavours of the mother’s food via amniotic fluid and later on in breast milk. This could explain why Rose so far seems to prefer the purees containing garlic and onions, over plain fruit and unflavoured veggies. When pregnant I couldn’t eat anything sweet but I did go through bags and bags of Sainsbury’s mini garlic breads, and so much hummous the world chickpea stocks ran low. I do remember clearly that before birth she would always kick when I was cooking, especially when frying onions and garlic. Maybe it’s a bit crazy to think something I smelled could get to the baby though.
I’m starting to enjoy the weaning process now I’ve found something Rose seems to go for. Today she wrapped her jaws round a juicy apple core and decimated it all over the carpet. I am getting used to picking particles of rice cake off my socks every night, and taking pride in the specks of differently coloured juices around her neckline, which announce the exciting range of new taste experiences she has had that week. I mean day. I am so looking forward to taking a tiny little tub and plastic spoon to my next ante natal group meetup and nonchalantly spooning exotic food into the eager face of my infant. I’ll see your mango and raise you a chicken korma, fellow mums.