You don’t stop worrying about your kids from the moment they’re born until the moment you die.
My mum always says this to me.
And with that in mind, it took my wife & I a good few weeks of toing & froing before finally settling on the RADICAL PARENTAL DECISION that we would go away to Spain for a few days sans kids.
Actually, I lie. It took my wife a few weeks of wrangling with her conscience; I was sold on the idea immediately.
It was the moment we booked the flights and hotel that the worrying began, just as my mum (whose house they’d be relocating to for a few days) had foreseen.
Fretting about how the kids would get to nursery, what they’d eat for tea, if they’d be put to bed with exactly the correct amount of their fave teddies, whether their teeth would be brushed for the allotted two minutes daily, if their clothes would match perfectly, if Daisy’s hair would be half up half down or in a top knot, if Seth would satisfactorily complete his lunchtime nap, how many breaths of air they’d consume per minute…
And this was still three months before the trip!
My wife packed a case for the kids so heavy it would make a RyanAir check-in assistant hyperventilate. We trekked round to my folks, handed over a list of instructions that was more detailed than the Magna Carta, tucked them both in and returned home.
It was so quiet.
I turned the volume on the TV up a notch or two. Not because it needed to be louder. Just because I could.
For the next 72 hours it was going to be bye-bye routine, hello sunscreen.
We rocked up at the airport, early Wednesday morning, and strolled through the departure lounge watching the throngs of parents travelling with young kids. Poor buggers.
We’ve taken the kids away before and to successfully get through the check-in desks with all your luggage and travel documents both parents require at least four extra eyes and three extra arms.
Security is a total nightmare; lugging the nippers through a metal detector whilst simultaneously collapsing a buggy and taste-testing your kid’s bottle of milk formula because obviously you’ve decided that travelling with two tiny kids would be the most convenient time to smuggle anthrax!
This time we walked through without a care in the world, positively oozing smugness.
Flight, baggage reclaim, transfer, hotel check in, sunscreen, pool, sangria. It was all too easy.
I can’t lie though; I missed the kids.
Despite knowing that they were fine, in perfectly good hands and probably having a great time themselves, I thought about them constantly.
Here’s a handy little pie-chart to demonstrate:
You get the drift…
Even when I went for a relaxing swim in the pool I ended up chatting to a Swiss couple with a 9 month old baby in tow about the hazardous nature of teething.
What’s happened to me?!
We decided to FaceTime the kids whilst we were away and our first opportunity presented itself whilst Daisy was at nursery so we began by ringing my mum’s iPad to speak to Seth.
After around 5 minutes of me trying to explain to my mum (bless her) that she’d knocked the mute button so we couldn’t hear anything and there was something you could press to flip the camera so that we could actually see our son rather than a view of the kitchen cabinets, we eventually saw the little fella.
He pulled the iPad as close to him as he could, stared us both in the eyes and belted out the following words:
MUMMY! YAY! MUMMY! HIYA! MUMMY! MUMMY!
Didn’t mention me. Not once. Thanks a bunch kiddo!
Three days passed and we returned home to Daisy and Seth, both as happy as when we left them. Well, slightly happier in fact as we lavished them with gifts upon our return.
As for us? Refreshed, relaxed and reminded that there’s more to life than worrying about the kids’ routines.
Hell, the only argument we had was strolling down the main piazza when my wife decided she preferred my toffee ice-cream to her chocolate one and therefore I should swap. I’d specifically double checked with her about flavour choice upon purchasing them and she’d assured me that she wanted chocolate.
So we’re back.
Bath, bed & songs have just finished, life returns to normal and our little break (which ended less than 24 hours ago) seems like a distant memory.
Ask me what the best part of the holiday was? Easy. Having a break from the kids.
Ask me what the worst part of the holiday was? Also easy. Having a break from the kids.
#lad2dad lesson Mums DO know best. Unless it involves technology!