Saturday, 6 April 2013

Of of THOSE parenting moments

Those of us with kids, or with nieces and nephews, or friends with kids know they grow up so quickly.
Sometimes the changes are subtle and sometimes they are so blatant, blink and you miss!

We copped one right between the eyes on Wednesday night and I’m still not sure how I feel about it.

We went into London for a few days of sightseeing. MissM had other ideas of a sleepover with her god brother (don’t you love that term) and his girlfriend who have recently leased an apartment in London after travelling Europe these past 12 months.

They've stayed with us on several occasions, in between touring Europe and we've loved their company. They help out with MissM's homework, and joined us on a few really memorable outings.

Looking for fairies with E in Furzey Gardens

Always room for one more on the couch!

Enjoying rare sunshine and a coffee

Finally! Someone to actually play with me

Furzey Gardens 

It’s a very special relationship, one that would never have eventuated if not for their travels. When we visit Sydney they are around but popping in and out, socialising with friends rather than spending time with us, which is how it should be. The relationship between all of us has evolved into something very special.

In fact, B is the only person, other than mum and G's parents who has stayed with us in ALL our homes - Dublin, Yokohama and now here. We've got lovely memories of all his visits.

Waiting for sushi at World Porters

Just a few plates of sushi

No better place than high up in B's arms for Chinese New Year Parade,
Chinatown Yokohama

They had said to MissM that once they were settled in London she was very welcome to do sleepovers. In theory it sounded fine – “yes of course you can have a sleepover at their place when they are settled”

B popped over to collect a few things and MissM and he had a private tête-à-tête about a sleep over. She asked him all sorts of questions about their new place  - how many bedrooms, where would she sleep, how do they get there, what’s there to do, can she help cook, does she need to bring anything.

All we heard when we told her we were going into London for two nights to do some more sightseeing was ‘can I please have a sleepover with B&E?’. She even went so far as to suggest to G that ‘you need time alone with mummy as I’m always around’.

B&E met us at the Science Museum and MissM ran into his arms saying ‘I can’t wait to sleep over tonight’ and he replied ‘us too’.

I thought OMG, she’s actually going on a grown up sleep over.

Now, this is not her first sleep over! Think she was about a year old when she did her first one at mums. She’s done lots of sleepovers, especially when we are in Sydney (we hardly see her) with grandparents, cousins and friends. She’s started to do a few here with school friends, which is delightful.

In fact, when we were in Dublin I took ill and spent a week in hospital. MissM spent the time with friends so that G could be with me so she’s no stranger to being without us. She would have been 4 years old – very brave young lady.

So I knew it had nothing to do with her having a sleep over. Heck, we welcome the time that she’s invited to sleep over as it does give G and I time alone, even if it’s only to sleep in and enjoy a late breakfast together.

It’s the fact that she’s going to spend the night with a young couple because they want to have her company and she wants theirs.

Mum and Dad had friends Nikki and Horst (she was French, he was German) and I used to stay with them as a young teenager for the weekend. Not sure why – guess I liked their company and they liked mine – Nikki and I would sit and chat and I’d be all grown up. In fact, she might have been the first person to offer me a cigarette (ssssh don’t tell mum). Then they had a baby and I’d sleep over and help with the bub. Mum and Dad and my brother would come for lunch or dinner, and I’d stay overnight. 

Funny the things we remember …………

My godson (technically he’s someone else’s godson, but as the god mother to his middle sister, it’s just as easy to call him my godson) and his sisters came to me as little people. I was single and childless. We laughed and had such fun – we went to McDonalds (oh naughty) and stayed up late watching movies (video’s in those days), went to the park, did craft. We had a ball together.

Babysitting is so different to a sleep over.

Babysitting is easy cos the child’s in their own home, and you, the sitter sit, then go home when the parents come back.

This sleep over was different for so many reasons, tho G thinks I’m a complete nutter when I tried to explain.  

So now, this gorgeous young man who I’ve known since they day he was born, looked after when sisters were being born, who’s slept over at my place, who I’ve babysat, taken to school, watched graduate University is now entertaining my daughter in much the same way.
With B and his mum on his graduation day. He was allowed to invite 4 people to the
 Ceremony and I (still) feel so honored to have been included.

The thing that this sleep over represents is as much about the relationship between our families continuing thru out kids despite their age difference, as it is about MissM being old enough to go for a sleep over on her own.

I am still yet to work out why THIS sleep over is any different to any other sleep over, other than the people she stayed with – but it was. That feeling that I had on Wednesday as we waved them goodbye was weird but one that I’m guessing we’ll have to get used to very quickly.

I didn’t cry, but I came close to it.


  1. Wow, I think they are an awesome couple for having Miss M overnight, and it sounds like your families have a very special relationship. I do hope you enjoyed the time with G, you probably forgot what it's like to be alone together! I think this sleepover is infinitely preferable to having 16 small children sleepover at yours, like when they are in Girl Scouts... One step forward, my dear, one step at a time

  2. I'm so touched the closeness of our two families was understood, Margarita. I was so caught up in the moment, I wasn't sure I was expressing myself clearly. OMG I'd never ever agree to 16 children sleeping over at once - unless there was some dire need!
    G and I had a lovely night, tho sadly he didn't enjoy the theatre as much as I did.
    It was nice to sleep in the next morning, and tour Westminster (next blog)
    Thanks for stopping by and having a chat