Wish You Were Here

In which our reluctant hero seems to be late. Late. For a very important date. Or something.

Sunday is supposed to be the deadline for the monkeys to finally stop bashing at the room full of typewriters that create my weekly blog post. Sunday. It is Thursday morning, the monkeys are still in bed, and I’m furiously bashing words into my androidpodtunesphone on the train instead. Odd.

Across the course of a normal week, there’s a catalogue of excitement and/or disaster to jog my memory or spark an idea to write about, especially on a Sunday night after two days of “babysitting” the kids. After that it’s easy. Empty my head, insert a few pearls of wisdom (possibly) and pithy remarks (probably) and press “schedule.” Jobs a good ‘un.

So, what has changed this week?

Ah…

You know how normally on a weekend you drag yourself up ten minutes before the necessary transformation into Daderman occurs? All in the vain hope that you may get a shower, and possibly a six-spoonfuls-of-coffee coffee before the “Dad…DAD!” and subsequent twelve hours of chaos? Well, there was none of that last weekend. We went away. Without little people. A brilliant idea in theory, but now I have nothing to write about.

Don’t get me wrong, our mini-break was planned (albeit last minute) but there was no Home Alone scenario here. We booked a B&B and everything. AND we arranged for someone to look after the little people. The cats even successfully fended off the burglars by themselves, bless them.

My memory is a touch hazy (it’s my age rather than parenthood, I suspect) but I think that this is only the second time that we have been anywhere without both little people since the stork dropped off our youngest almost two years ago.

Throwing the temporarily redundant “Wheels on the Bus” cd out of the car window, we nervously headed up the English coast, to a seaside town that they forgot to close down. Three nights to ourselves. Would we still get on? Would we be able to relax? Would the place be nice? Could we manage to communicate for that long without breaking open the emergency conversation starter that is that mammoth nappy from late 2014? The thought of it still makes me shudder…

The answer was, thankfully, a resounding “yes” although I did at one point find myself habitually flicking the remote looking for Noddy on Milkshake while making the pre-breakfast cuppas. We also never left the B&B without baby wipes and a spare pair of pants, but that’s just normal isn’t it?

A couple of days without drama, spillages, breakages, nappies, mess, tantrums, standoffs at mealtimes and the usual routine. And the good stuff, like.. well you know… this and that, too. Stress levels drop. Your muscles untangle. You even find yourself staying up as late as five past ten in a complete act of rock ‘n’ roll defiance which would have seen the B&B room trashed if it wasn’t always me who had to tidy up all of the mess.

While the blog thing is normally meticulously planned (*coughs*) and supposed to be about looking after the little people, this post is – I think – about the importance of the parental unit looking after themselves too. It’s so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of jobs, day-to-day routine and all. Which is important, but so is stopping if only for a bit with a nice brew. And that’s coming from a man who has won gold at many a “forgetting to sit down” competition over the years.

Take a step back. Clear your head. Stay in bed late. Try to remember who you are, both individually and as a couple, single, triple, or whatever your domestic set-up is, again. And most of all have some fun, even if “fun” ends up involving cheating at pool at some point in the proceedings. Ahem.

After a couple of nights, once the earache stops, you’ll miss the little people of course. Although as parents we bang on about how hard it is a times, mostly they’re pretty ace and the effort and self-sacrifice is well worth it. Probably.

That said, within a couple of hours of seeing them again you’ll want to give them back. Normality restored.

I wonder if summer holidays will be as relaxing in a couple of weeks time?

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