I have left Miss Rose in the evening on a tiny handful of occasions. Partly due to a distinct lack of enthusiasm for venturing out (call it laziness… call it a tendency towards the hermit lifestyle… whatever), and partly because there are very few people I am confident leaving her with.

I need to know that, should she wake, she will feel safe. Whoever is babysitting her will be her surrogate mummy until I am back with her. If she is frightened, or sick, or just needs a mummy cuddle, that person will have to provide it until I get home. Therefore I need it to be a person who she feels a close connection to.

Miss Rose is suspicious of many people. She will be friendly with a lot, shy with many, but really connects with just a few.

The people who I, currently, feel safe leaving her with after dark are:

My Mum. Miss Rose adores her Ahgi. Will usually prefer to go to her Ahgi over me given half a chance. They have a great relationship and I know that should Miss Rose need me, Ahgi will be a perfectly good substitute.

Aimee. Miss Rose’s Aunty MeeMee has been celebrating her existence from the moment she was conceived. She was there at her birth. I am pretty sure Miss Rose recognises this in her because she adores her. Regular shrieks of “MeeMee! MeeMee!” can be heard when Aimee strays from her line of sight.

Abi (and fiancĂ©). Abi and her family came into our lives when Miss Rose was a few months old, and she has guided me since then. She’s the reason we go to playgroups, and why we know about various child friendly activities. “ABI ABI ABI ABI!” is one of Miss Rose’s war cries. Along with “Moo!” and “Bot!” which she calls Abi’s children.

But that’s it. There are other people she loves, and some of whom I probably could leave in charge in the night, but so far I haven’t gone there.

It does make dating and socialising tricky. Being dependent on other people’s schedules.

It’s a common problem for single parents, especially when they don’t have the “nights off” that happen when father’s have children for the weekend or whatever.

I don’t resent it, and I don’t begrudge it. Most of me considers having to stay home with my little person to be both a blessing (because she’s a brilliant little person) and an amazing excuse to get out of the things I don’t want to do. But then there are social situations I’m missing out on that I would love to do, potential dates with men I would love to go on.

It’s tricky. It does somewhat limit evening socialising to my living room sofa. In the case of The Gymnast that was no bad thing, indeed, something I would have preferred over any alternative. In the case of most people however it is rather limiting.

However, as I always say, I wouldn’t change it for the world. No social gathering, no date, is worth more than having my little monster with me.


About J.J. Barnes

Author of The Lilly Prospero Series Writer and Podcaster at Blogger at Rose And Mum And More Contributor to The Huffington Post
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