On Sunday all 5 of us went to a cafe for lunch. Me, Gregory, Q, The Mitz and Kit.
In short, it was a total farking debacle and confirmed that my Personal Parenting Policy (PPP) of not taking my own children to a cafe is correct.
I don’t have many PPP’s. That, pick your battles and don’t start what you can’t finish are about it. (I instigated the latter when Q was little and I’d attempted to make her arrowroot biscuits from scratch. Get a grip Hart. They cost $1.49 a pack at Woolies. It cost me more than that just in the stupid flour.
I know you’re thinking, ‘it’s a cafe. You didn’t have to go’.
You’re right, we didn’t have to go, but we wanted to. You see, it was the soft opening of Saga Enmore, a new cafe owned and operated by our very dear friends Maddison Howes and Andrew Bowden (better known as Andy Bowdy) and my parents and our babysitters all had lives on a Sunday afternoon. How dare they!
Maddy and Andy became a couple while they worked with us at Hartsyard. My favourite memory of their courtship was when they were still trying to keep it a secret, and one night after service they both said goodnight and Andy headed left, Maddy headed right. A colleague and I sat at the bar facing out towards Enmore Road and sure enough, a couple of minutes later, Andy walked straight back past us on his way to meet Mads.
You’re gonna have to do better than that big fella. You’re dealing with a pro remember. Gregory and I hid our relationship for 6 months at the restaurant where we met in New York, and that was when we worked for the mafia.
So we all walked into Saga on Enmore Road and nabbed the only remaining booth available. Edie, Q and Gregory on one side and me weirdly alone on the other.
Can you see our first mistake, Dear Reader?
We put the girls side by side and not separated by a responsible adult. Or even just an adult – bugger the responsible bit, we just needed some bulk in between them.
Rookie error number 2.
Now, if it all went tits up and we wanted to get the girls out so we could scream at them in the privacy of Enmore Road, we could only do so by asking our manager, head chef and her girlfriend to move first, thereby ensuring that if anyone in the room had miraculously not noticed our wild offspring, they soon would.
I dolled out the coloured pens and paper and settled back in to enjoy my flat white, holding onto an early and dumb hope that all would be ok.
How quickly a dream can be crushed…
Edie is a lefty and Q is a righty so things quickly deteriorated to a game of elbow argy bargy that we all remember with fondness from our own youth. Is there anything more satisfying than elbow jabbing your sibling in the ribs when they can’t escape?
Gregory (who was next to Q) wrapped his arms around her and opted for the tight jawed growl through his teeth; ‘I am telling you young lady you’d better knock this off right now,’ while I went for the more subtle but no more successful; ‘please Q, we’re here for Maddy and Andy.’ We completely ignored Edie who had turned herself sideways and was using the wall for leverage and just made it through the savouries before pulling the pin on dessert.
Which of course, kicked our offspring into an even higher gear.
‘But you promised we could have a treat mama. I love Andy’s desserts mama. Mama, can’t you just buy the treat and we can have it at home, please mama. Mama you promised me banana cream pie!!!!!!!!!!’
We left in a blaze of burning embarrassment and in the car I told the girls that when we got home I intended to sit down and have a hot cup of tea to relax.
And then we got home and I realised we had no milk.
Tea without milk is like sex without foreplay. Sure, technically it’s the same thing, but it isn’t anywhere near as good and you often leave it unfinished and unsatisfied.
We didn’t have any milk but we also didn’t have any bread, cereal, eggs, cheese, fruit, vegetables, meat, olive oil, tinned tomatoes or pasta. We didn’t even have any pepper.
You see, in an effort to save money, Gregory has been applying an extreme version of restaurant style ordering (running down inventory I believe its called) to the home front and I now had less than 24 hours till I was allowed to shop again.
I hate shopping I should tell you, so not shopping wasn’t the problem, having no food in the house was the problem.
Having no food in the house REALLY STRESSES ME OUT. It makes me nervous. When I was performing in the US and I’d head out of town on a gig, the first thing I did when I got there was stake a claim on the best bed I could find and then go shopping and stock up on tinned tuna and cereal. Unlike Gregory, who goes shopping and comes home hours later with $300 worth of cheese and a roll of baking paper, I know how to shop to survive, I can make a chicken last a week.
And so, 24 hours later we dropped Q off at school and headed to Costco to fill the cupboards and lower my anxiety levels because there you can buy even a kitchen sink.
But truly now, don’t let our saga at Saga turn you off.
I was too busy swapping stink eyes with Q to take a pic of my delicious mushroom dish, but it was on point and the desserts we consumed later in the privacy of our own home were, of course, next level. Service is perfectly professional and wonderfully warm and the coffee was just right.
I’ll be there a lot. Just only on days that the girls are both in school and daycare.
And only until Kit is mobile, then it’s goodbye cafes for me, see you in about 5 years…probably 7.
Saga Enmore opens on Friday. It’s opposite from and just up the hill from The Gretz.
Catch you there sometime…