This weekend we were free-range parents, let out of the kid coup for the very first time with a wee romantic night away.
I'd been looking forward to it and dreading it in equal measure, one minute I couldn't wait, the next suggesting that we wait until she's a wee bit older (like 18 or something).
But, of course, it was fine, she was fine and, in fact, I strongly suspect barely even noticed that we'd gone!
We are out and nothing can stop us (apart from needing to be in bed by 10)!
This was a milestone for me, almost as important as the smiling, crawling and walking ones.
I'm not sure leaving her will ever get easy but having swapped milk bottles for wine bottle(s) and bathtime or spa-time, this is what I learnt ...
1.) You will become convinced that there is some reason you cannot go at the very last minute.
"I am 100 per cent sure she has Dengue Fever, or it could be teething. Either way, WE CANNOT GO! Can we?"
2.) Your goodbye will rival that of 'the speech' in a Hollywood RomCom.
"Mummy loves you so much, with all her heart, now and forever. Even when I'm not holding your hand, I';m holding your heart."
All said with a tear rolling down your cheek and perfect lippy.
3.) You will leave a detailed for-page itinerary for the baby-sitter, with DEFCON level four contingencies.
You will find it chewed up behind the sofa on your return.
4.) You will leave ... and be, surprisingly, fine. What was all the fuss about?
5.) You will have a moment when you forget you ever had a baby, then suddenly remember and panic that you've left her somewhere.
Stand down parent, Grandma's got this!
6.) You will go to the toilet and, momentarily, think it's nice to be alone, then use the time to have a wee cry at videos of kiddo on your phone.
How you wish she was here…
7.) You will feel the need to tell everyone that you have left your small child for the first time. And it will usually be followed by a nervous laugh.
8.) Every time you hear another baby cry you will think it is yours. A second later you’ll smugly realise it's not ... then feel kind of sad that it's not your kid howling the house down.
Ah, the paradox of parenting!
9.) Your handbag will feel far too small and you'll feel weirdly naked without a nappy change-bag (not because of the impractical skirt you're wearing)
10.) You promise each other that you will not talk about the baby. Then spend the whole time talking about them including 'how much they would love it here’ - even if it's a really inappropriate fancy restaurant.
11.) You want an early night but have one more drink because you can have a lie-in tomorrow...
12.) You wake earlier than bub gets you up (in my case 4am) and wonder whether it's; A) too early to go and get breakfast or B) go home and get your kid.
But you’ll survive … and so will they and, by the time you’re home, you’ll already be planning your next escape!