Before I had the Rocket, there was a lot of things I declared I would do as a Modern Parent. I can’t remember most of them now (clearly “forget everything” was on the list), but I do remember insisting that both Teach and I would do fun things away from each other and the Rocket to keep ourselves as People Who Are Not Just Parents. I assumed I would desperately want to do this, because I would frequently get sick of the baby. Turns out, my baby is awesome*, so this never really happened. One of us might take her out for a walk now and then, leaving the other to nap or what have you, and we do our separate things in the same house when she sleeps, but generally the only alone time either of us has is when we are at work, which, while we love our jobs, is not exactly peaceful. Now that she is ten months old and Teach is on holiday, I reinforced this declaration. We were to Do Things Alone, and also Have Dates. So since Christmas, we have seen two movies together (Life of Pi: depressing; Wreck-It Ralph: fun), and this week Teach went off to his pal M’s house to jam on Wednesday, and on Friday I went out with my friend Steph.
I was able to pick our destination, and I chose Laksa King–my dear friend Lian‘s most coveted laksa place–because it’s really inconvenient to get to, because Steph had never been, and because laksa is inconvenient to eat with a kid strapped to your chest, as it is splashy. So away we went to Flemington, whereupon I had my laksa (and got some on my new dress), and some mushroomy-tofu biz (I suspect it was made with egg though, sadface), and lo, it was tasty. The laksa was somehow not as good as my recollection of it from last year, but I would go back. Actually, I probably won’t as it’s the other side of town, but I’d definitely go if I was in Flemington for the races or whatnot (haha I’m kidding horse racing is pretty much the worst thing around.) To everyone’s relief probably, there are no pictures of my food. It was probably because I actually felt a little weird, sitting there eating my food in a relaxed fashion, not worrying if the Rocket was okay or if I’d flicked chili oil in her eye. The feeling of being without her, but not at work, was completely disconcerting. I missed her, but I was having fun. But I was a little lost.
Steph suggested we hop a tram and head to Ascot Vale and Mister Nice Guy’s Bakeshop for dessert. I adore Mister Nice Guy cupcakes–they sell them around the traps, including the cafe at Dymocks 234–but this place reportedly had other options. And again, it was at a location inconvenient when carrying around a baby that, mysteriously, keeps getting heavier over the months. But OH, I think I might make the trip anyway, because SERIOUSLY, yum. The layout is just peachy–a record player cabinet like my grandparents used to have, walls in that excellent retro minty blue that my nails are painted the colour of RIGHT NOW, and all this beautiful space inside and the food is amazing. They have the cupcakes, of course, but because we’ve both tasted a lot of the varieties before, we decided to split a scone (!) and a brownie (!!).
They served up the scone with Nuttelex and jam. I guess they would heat it if you asked, but it was thirty-seven degrees that day, so we did not. It was an excellent scone. The brownie has walnuts and is a fudgy delight. I took one home to Teach, and then I ate it. But to my credit, I let him have a bite.
While I didn’t have the Rocket around to judge the baby-friendliness of the place, other people there conveniently brought their own infants in as examples. There is a huge amount of space for prams, only a tiny lip at the door (which was shut), and they have baby cakes in many flavours. NOT TO MENTION, they also have 3D art on the walls (!!!) and supply you with paper glasses in which to view them in said dimensions. It’s basically great fun. And I want to go back and try the cinnamon buns, or maybe the cheesecake, or maybe just five brownies.
I also went out afterwards and tried on clothes (did you know it is easier to do that without a baby strapped to your chest?) and bought something suitably billowy to cover up the fact that my stomach is a disaster. So, all round, a successful afternoon, I’d say. During our laksa, Teach sent me a picture of the Rocket looking suitably anguished at my absence.
I’m glad we did it, and I’m hoping we will again soon, maybe before the holidays are up. But I am genuinely surprised that I don’t find these individual dates as necessary as I’d thought I would when I was pregnant. Maybe it’s because I have the privilege of a situation in which I have the opportunity to spend time on my own if I asked for some that I feel less inclined to do so. Other parents or guardians–what do you think? Do you spend much time on your own, and do you feel it helps?
6-12 Pin Oak Crescent
Flat entry. Pretty crowded interior, though you could possibly maneuver a pram through. Didn’t see any high chairs, but didn’t ask. Table service.
Mister Nice Guy’s BakeShop
51 Union Rd
completely vegan (though my most carnivorous friend Matt maintains you can’t tell), massively allergy-friendly. Order at a medium counter.
*Disclaimer: god, of course she cries and screams and stresses me out at inappropriate times like 2am or While I Am Driving On The Freeway, or sneezes her pumpkin all over my best clothes when I am feeding her, or pulls my hair to get her balance, and all types of things that aren’t awesome at all. But she has a killer smile.