Whining, Dining & Finding Waldo


The days between Christmas and mid-January feel like time has been frozen still. Which used to be fitting in Glasgow where it was actually freezing but a bit odd in 30ºC Sydney heat.

We fall into a comfortable bubble of eating, drinking and being merry. A parallel universe in which the weekly timetable does not include 6 different scheduled sporting activities, there is no set time for the preparation/eating of morning tea and childcare cannot be outsourced. It’s as if someone hit the Pause button, and I love it.

The days become all about family, holidays, family holidays, magical moments, friends, an excessive amount of chocolate, the perfect amount of cheese, a fair bit of whining, a fair bit of wondering when the daycare reopens and therefore inevitably: wine.

Along with all the whining, there are opportunities for discovery. With the gift of a fluid calendar and those beautiful words, Let’s play it by ear, there are limitless chances to create and wallow in magic.

The 3 year old’s new favourite book is Where’s Waldo. In the ‘normal’ world, this would be a nightmare of a bedtime story because there is no scheduled end. You can’t say The End – Night night! until you find all those elusive Waldos (Wally in most countries).

But in this period of limbo, as we sit snuggled up on the sofa searching for bespectacled Waldo, I find that I don’t want to spot him too quickly. I want us to take our time. Giggle over the decoys on the page. Swap places so we can each try the other half of the book. Pretend I haven’t already spotted him so we can prolong this bliss. Enjoy the 3 year old’s delight at my lack of needing to be somewhere else. Let’s do it again, Mummy! 

So as it turns out, I don’t just find Waldo. I find a reason to hit the Pause button. Even post- January.

© 2017 Seetha Dodd

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