Well, it turns out that it is actually quite hard to find even twenty minutes these days. Most of last week was taken up dealing with our first wedding related panic. We discovered, quite by chance, that there is a major international golf tournament and a big rock concert in the locality that weekend; hence most of the accommodation in town is already getting booked up and many places were already full. Being high season, things are busy anyway. I felt like an idiot for not checking what might be on over those particular dates- an easy mistake to make, I suppose but still...
My mother pointed out that it's not really our responsibility to make sure people have somewhere to stay, which I quite agree with in principle- but I thought it a bit rich to expect folk to come from a considerable distance on a weekend when we know there is nowhere for them to spend the night.
This is exactly the kind of thing that sends me into a complete tizz.
"Gaaahhhh!" I said to Knox, by phone, text, email and instant messaging.
"Stop fretting," replied Knox, "I don't want to marry someone whose forehead is all creased up."
After breathing into a paper bag for a few minutes, I decided that before doing anything drastic like changing the date, we would make enquiries at every single goddamn guesthouse and B&B in the area to find out if there was really going to be a problem. Since I am not all that familiar with the town and relative distances between the venue and the options on offer, this meant a lot of time googling mapping my way into a stupor. In the end, we realised that there are probably enough places to stay nearby, but our guests are going to have to book sooner rather than later soon. And that means getting the invitations out pronto and oh look, there goes another bunch of hours of time sorting that out.
Anyway, yes- about E. Honestly, I don't know if he ever reads this but I remain a little uncomfortable writing too much about the situation despite there being so much I could say. He is around, in the sense that he comes to see Botany, give her dinner and spend a bit of time with her before she goes to bed a couple of times during the week. One morning every weekend, he takes her out (without me). I reached the point roughly around November where I realised that although I still had some reservations about trust issues, I was going to go nuts if I didn't get some respite from 24/7 solo parenting at least once a week.
I'm actually open to the idea of him spending a longer time with Botany at the weekend (for example, the whole day if not quite yet a night) but there is a problem in that he doesn't really have suitable accommodation set up in terms of somewhere to take her (for example, where she can have meals, a nap and a warm safe place to play). Sure, I occasionally take her out for an extended outing but I don't think it's a good idea for Botany to be schlepped around outdoors, in and out of the car and buggy all day on a regular basis.
So the situation is by turns adequate and unsatisfactory- adequate in that he's putting in an appearance and under the circumstances, it's probably as much as he can offer at this point. Botany clearly loves him and I am glad she gets the chance to spend some time with her daddy. But it's unsatisfactory in that I don't think it really offers any sort of real substance in terms of parenting. At least from where I am sitting, there's also a certain amount of crazy-making behaviour on his part and if I could get into it, I am pretty sure some of it would make your eyes bug out at the lunacy. My rule of thumb, though, is that unless there is something I really need to worry about for Botany's sake, I try not to give E. too much headspace or energy. I will say that he was quite gracious about the news of my engagement to Knox, and that at least is not a source of conflict.
And now off to deal with other interesting and important matters, such as where to buy appropriate binding undergarments for under my dress. Despite having long ago lost the baby weight, my tummy has never really been quite the same, having expanded alarmingly during my pregnancy (all my own doing- too many goddamn chocolate muffins). To say nothing of my lopsided boobs. I need upholstering.