Jill and I will set off on Friday afternoon for our first weekend away from Elsa in her nearly 21-month life. Where do you think we have chosen for this momentous trip, this opportunity to indulge in the luxuries of life that pass you by when you have a small person around (ie. sleep), this giant leap for mankind?
For the Americans that read this blog, Swindon is well known as the Las Vegas of Britain. For the Brits…shhhh.
We’re off to see some roller derby in Swindon. No offence to any readers from Swindon (hello Mark Lamarr, various members of XTC and the yappy one from Steve Wright in the Afternoon’s ‘zoo’), but it ain’t exactly the Seychelles. In fact, I saw a programme about a man with a face full of tattoos, whose ambition was to be the most tattooed person in Swindon. Not even the most tattooed person in Wiltshire – just the most tattooed person in Swindon. Ambition not a big thing down in the West Country, apparently.
The fact is, it doesn’t matter where we’re going, it just matters that we are going. We’ve worked bloody hard at being parents for 21 months, it will be fun have a couple of nights off.
As much as I’d like to think that as soon as we leave our village we’ll instantly switch off, I’m well aware that it certainly isn’t that easy – I’m already starting to worry about our daughter and we’re still two days away from the big road trip.
What if my parents can’t get her to sleep? What if she won’t eat? What if they don’t understand that when she demands a “big girl cup”, that just means taking the top off her tippy cup? What if they don’t realise that she regularly misses a key letter from the word “clock” and always runs the phrase “catch it” together too quickly and we arrive back on Sunday to a stern talking to from Social Services?
I know I’m being ridiculous; for a start, they look after her once or twice a week already, they’ve done breakfast with her, lunch, tea, bathtime and bedtime before and, most importantly, she thinks the world of them. However, a large part of parenting is worrying (as discussed earlier this week in this article about scare stories), and we’ll just have to hope that my over-active brain doesn’t get in the way of what I am already billing in my head as the two best lie-ins…ever!™
I didn’t know if we’d left this adventure a bit late, but on asking the Dad Bloggers Facebook group about their experiences, the responses were mainly along the lines of, “a weekend with no kids? Is that like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow or something?”, so I realise we’re lucky to have the opportunity to go.
Jeremy from the ThirstyDaddy blog wrote a piece about his two days away from the kids with his wife. He pretty much seems to have experienced what I am expecting to take from the weekend – fun (including, in his case, Jameson’s whiskey and pickles – yikes), but the realisation that there’s no place like home.
I love Elsa to bits and I’ll certainly miss her while we’re away, but it just feels right for us to have a short break right now.
Even if it is…