Not only are Ali and I full time with the kids we are also full time together. So when Ali had a client this evening the realisation hit that I would be solo with the three kids at dinner time for the first time in a long time. With F&G that would be no concern but with D it's quite another story. Particularly as we'd promised pizza out and I wouldn't be able to put her down all night as high chairs are unheard of in Bali.
There is definitely a difference even at this age compared with our first two. Even though I've been much more around with D, I was much more of an equal parent with the other two since I was able to bottle feed. There is something immensely satisfying/connecting of having a baby calmly lying on you guzzling milk and studying your face with their young/old eyes.
While I do on occasion manage to get D to fall asleep on me, most of my time with her is while she is doing an impression of the cartoon Tasmanian devil; spinning, dribbling, grabbing, drooling, blowing raspberries, falling, standing, kicking, dancing and spitting food everywhere. Not the most emotionally connecting time.
She is particularly difficult around meal times. She is now on solids and generally Ali will feed her since she tends to eat better with her (or Ali is more patient so D eats better with her).
So with some trepidation I set out with the kids with 60 long minutes ahead of me. To kill some time we ambled up and and down our road looking at the construction boom in the paddy fields.
I managed to coax two laps out of F&G killing about half an hour before we entered the restaurant.
It was one of those moments when you really appreciate being in Asia; the staff were super friendly, and went giddy with excitement at the sight of D. I set F&G up with a movie and checked the menu while Darcy was being cooed and prodded in the buggy.
With a pizza ordered for the kids and a large Bintang for me I rescued D from being pinched and tickled to death, she clung to me with all her might.
All in all the dinner passed very uneventfully, the food arrived quickly, the kids were starving so ate really well, D got whisked away on a couple of occasions for a tour of the kitchens which meant I got to enjoy my beer and whenever she returned was delighted to see me, ate well from my hand and was continually entertained by passing waitresses. Before long Ali arrived. Even with with her favourite person back I seemed to be favoured for that night - heart warming.
Since pizza is a definite low carb diet no no, Ali went out in the monsoon downpour that the cooling evening had set off and picked up some take away burgers for us to have at home, while F&G finished off their second pizza. Ever since our travel restricted diet in the Villa, Ali and have been dreaming of a good burger, the ones she picked up were London prices, soggy with drippings but absolutely amazing! Their taste, our chaotic race home in the downpour and evening where I bonded with my youngest will live long in my memory.