Taking a break without Baby
There comes a time in every parent’s life when you need to have a short break with your significant other, without your little one in tow. For us that break was on the August bank holiday weekend.
A family wedding in Hungary gave us the perfect excuse to plan our escape. The first question we asked ourselves was: Who is going to be the lucky person to look after Baby while we are away? As most of our UK-based family would be at the wedding, this list was pretty short: Grandma and Grandad, come on down! It’s at times like these that we could be grateful that James’ parents are divorced and we have multiple sets of grandparents to call on in a bind.
They were really up for it, but I think that they looked at it as the equivalent of climbing Kilimanjaro. I half expected them to start a Just Giving page to raise money for charity in return for looking after a two-year-old for 4 days. They even trained for the event; they came down to stay with us in July to do a dry run. They learned about what she likes to eat, the art of changing a poopy nappy, and how to navigate our 4 remotes to make the Little Princess happen on our Apple TV before Baby’s head implodes while shouting “Little Princess! Little Princess!” After that weekend, they looked shaken, but still willing to take on the task. After all, our flights were booked.
As the big trip approached, we were fielding a phone call a day from Grandad asking something about the Tao of Baby. Eventually, James decided to write a 20-page manual on how to work her, including schedules, a phrase book, and a guide to her behavioural peccadilloes. They could not have been more prepared.
Too bad she caught a nasty bug from nursery on their second day in charge.
So how did it go? Well, everyone is alive, so that’s good. Baby spent about 36 hours feeling rotten with temperature, which meant no sleep for Grandma and Grandad. The list of activities that Grandad had meticulously compiled ended up being as useful as my birth plan. In an altruistic act, they didn’t tell us any of this was going on, so when we arrived home on Sunday night, we were surprised to find them looking…well, like we usually look on a Sunday night: exhausted and ready for bed. That night, poor Grandad got the bug and they extended their trip with us for a day while he routinely emptied himself out in one way or another.
When I asked if we could book them again for next year, the answer I received was, “Maybe when she’s ten.” Perhaps they should have set up that Just Giving page after all.