So, last night I went to farewell drinks for one of the true legends of magazines – Beryl Giles. Beryl has been in the business FOREVER. I just caught her tail end, when she was my chief sub-editor at Woman’s Day.
I love Beryl. She rocks.
So I was particularly keen to raise a glass to her.
Her nearest and dearest colleagues were having a dinner at an inner city Greek restaurant, with drinkies at a dodgy bar beforehand. As the mother of two children who require $20 an hour babysitting, I chose to only attend the pre-dinner part of the evening.
My parents – who are off on another cruise today – had offered to babysit for two hours at their hotel.
Until I got a message from my mother saying: “Running a little late … had a bit of a mishap and it put us behind. Depending on traffic should be there by 5.15 sorry.”
Now the caring daughter response should have been “oh dear! what happened?”
But the selfish “I want to go to Beryl’s drinks” response was “Do you think def? I need to get to drinks by 5.30.”
The short of it was that my parents were NOT going to be there to babysit by 5.15. So they suggested I park the Sprogs in the hotel lobby and they would call the hotel and ask the desk staff to keep an eye on them until they arrived.
My mother is the sort of person who is besties with EVERYONE, particularly – in this case – the staff of her favourite hotel, the Harbour View, so she assured me this wouldn’t be a problem.
Being ultra-keen to attend Beryl’s drinks, I went with it.
And that’s how I ended up leaving my children in the lobby of a hotel unattended while I caught a train to a pub.
The desk staff pretended to be OK with it, but I could tell they were slightly WTF.
They asked if they should sit with the kids and I said it wasn’t necessary, just be aware of their location and ensure they weren’t abducted before my folks arrived, so the police didn’t charge me with abandonment.
It was astonishingly easy to flit out of the hotel and catch a train to the city, leaving my children in the line of sight of strangers.
About three quarters of my way through my first pinot grigio, I thought, hang on, my mother hasn’t texted to acknowledge receipt of the children.
So I called. Thankfully the children were eating pizza and drinking fizzy and all was well in the world.
Around 7.15pm I met my mother for drinkies in the hotel bar. She handed me some sleeping tablets and 100 American dollars (as a bon voyage gift for my trip to NY)
How cool is that?
So my evening ended with a text message to her saying: “Thx for the money and the pills!”
That’s mother-daughter love for you, right there.