Was a lad (easy). Now a dad to Daisy & Seth (less easy).


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Ditching The Kids

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.

A lot.

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:

Ditching Pie Chart

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.

Seth FaceTime

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!

HIYA MUMMY!

YAY!

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.

Humph.

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!


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Four Puddings & A Kitchen Roll

Not quite as catchy as Four Weddings & A Funeral but an apt description for the past weekend which has contained all the ingredients for a comedy in which Seth has unwittingly ended up being the male lead!

If you sometimes feel embarrassed at your kids’ behaviour or you’ve ever seen parents struggling to contain their can-I-just-be-swallowed-by-a-great-big-hole-style embarrassment, then you’ll appreciate this.

Here’s the little fella. Looks like butter wouldn’t melt…

Seth Butter

Ha!

My wife and I decided to try out a new cafe just down the road from us called The Woods. They’ve got loads of books and toys for kids so we thought it would be the perfect place to grab a coffee.

As we walked in, Seth spotted a cake stand on the floor, just at his eye level, and said ‘cake’. We told him it was too close to tea-time and he couldn’t have any.

What an error!

After 15 minutes or so, he got a bit restless and decided to go for a wander.

At the entrance of The Woods is a staircase and next to that staircase is the wooden cake stand Seth had set his eyes upon, which holds four cakes.

Now, everything I’m about to tell you will probably leave you thinking ‘how did you not see this coming?’

Believe me, I know!

Seth strolled over towards the stairs, stopped, and looked back at us with a smile that troubled me somewhat. I knew something bad was about to happen. It was just that kind of expression.

He placed one foot on the bottom step, glanced back once more and then hauled himself up so he was standing on the first step. (I have since been back to take a picture).

cake satn

Everything began to unravel when his eyes made contact with the cake’s frosting. Seth became Romeo and the cake was his Juliet. He just had to have her.

Romeo began to wobble on the step.

Poor Seth; he did his best to regain his balance but he knew he was falling. Desperate to do anything he could to salvage his chances of a romantic liaison with the cake, he reached out his right arm towards the banister.

Had he been successful, none of the sorry mess that was about to engulf this peaceful cafe would have happened.

Sadly, he wasn’t.

Rather than making contact with the banister, Seth grabbed onto the left hand side of the cake stand. Attempting to use it to gain some leverage, he instead fell backwards, taking with him the cake stand and all of its contents.

CRASH.

The cafe fell silent.

Seth looked whimsically towards us. His facial expression had turned from a cheeky one to an ‘Are you about to bollock me?’ one!

Thankfully he was absolutely fine.

But the same can’t be said for the cake stand, the cakes or the floor, which was now covered in cake.

My wife and I felt awful about the whole thing. We rushed over to the manager to apologise as the eyes of everyone present fixated directly on us.

Staff members darted over with kitchen roll to clear the mess.

We offered to pay.

They looked embarrassed.

We felt embarrassed.

As for Seth?

He simply bent down, dipped his hands in the cake, and started to have a taste.

Romeo & Juliet were united at last…

#lad2dad lesson there is such a thing as ‘cake karma’!

(Feel free to leave your tales of child-induced public humiliation by clicking ‘comment’!)