There was a time not so long ago when I’d be booing the DJ as he announced he was playing his last track.
I won’t mention names but it’s a wonder some of my colleagues and I remember one work Christmas function where the leftover bottles of wine on the dinner tables were fair game.
Then there were the numerous lavish wedding receptions where afterwards I’d track down the nearest bar. For. More. Drinks.
I was a guest at my cousin Christopher’s wedding on Saturday at The Briars, a beautiful historic homestead and farm in Mt Martha. I was stone cold sober. I didn’t set foot on the dance floor. And I was heading home at 11pm.
What has happened to me? It’s simple. It is the chubby pink bundle of joy staring back at me from her pram. What has happened has a name: Millie.
Now just about every event I attend I have a plus one-and-a-half.
We stood behind the hay bales set up to watch the wedding on the weekend, pram positioned to make a quick push away in case of grizzles. It turns out Millie didn’t make a peep, only a couple of quiet giggles when somebody said hello to her.
The happy couple had a ‘no children’ policy, but said their rule referred to older kids who were able to run around and weren’t relying on their mums for a feed. Millie, the three littlies belonging to the groom’s sister (two of whom were in the bridal party) and another newborn baby boy were the only tiny guests.
I must say it was nice that Millie was able to be part of the day. Apart from my own wedding, this was only the second of the nieces and nephews on dad’s side of the family to get married, so it will be nice to tell her she was there.
The reception is the tricky part. It’s when mum and dad want to enjoy their meal but it’s baby’s bed time. Again, we need not have worried. Millie Moo sat in her pram at the end of our long table and cooed, shook her rattle and ate a whole jar of Heinz Organic puréed baby mush. Happy as Larry.
Set inside a chandelier-lit barn, the reception space offered plenty for Millie to look at. She was so busy sticky-beaking I think she forgot she was supposed to be tired and hungry.
I came prepared with a supply of rusks too, although messy they kept Miss M distracted and offered her gums some relief (I suspect she’s teething, but haven’t seen toothy pegs yet).
Not wanting to sacrifice my wedding style because of my breastfeeding status, I wore a dress but sat in the car to discreetly feed Millie after dinner.
I popped her back in the pram, gave her a jiggle just outside the barn so I could still hear the speeches and she was asleep by the bridal waltz.
We stayed overnight in the nearby ArtiZen cottage with family. It was ideal not to have to drive all the way back to Melbourne afterwards and also meant we were all refreshed upon arrival at the wedding, rather than grumpy and tired after an hour in the car.
It was all relatively easy with baby in tow. There’s just a lot more to remember now. It used to be all I had to remember was the wedding present and a lippy. I did feel so grown up and responsible, especially watching other guests tottering around in sky-high heels, drinks in hand.
Just like the bubbly would help introduce you to fellow guests, you build a rapport with fellow pram-pushers at a wedding. Sympathetic glances and baby wipes were exchanged.
It was a lovely day. All the more so I was able to share it with my little family and wake up Sunday morning hangover-free.