Last weekend Janet took the boys up to Edinburgh to surprise her sister on her birthday.
Whether having Sonny and Luca arrive unannounced qualifies as a nice surprise only their Auntie Jackie can say but still, a surprise all the same.
Anyway what did I care …
I was home alone!
It was like winning the lottery but knowing you’ll blow the lot in two days.
Not wanting to waste this rare opportunity I decided to draw up a schedule, and by schedule I mean sleep diary.
Early night/lie in/afternoon nap. The holy trinity of the sleep-deprived parent; and it was every bit as good as I’d expected.
It also turned out to be a weekend of self discovery … of sorts.
A kind of weekend retreat where you don’t leave the sofa and everyone around you does the retreating … and yoga.
I discovered that contrary to what Luca would have you believe my natural wake-up time is far closer to 11am than it is to 5.
That the best coffee of the day isn’t necessarily the first, but any that doesn’t include UFOs (unidentified floating objects).
That the Saturday Guardian comes with supplements I didn’t even know existed, and that there’s such a thing as men’s designer fabric conditioner?
The irony wasn’t lost on me having just taken a shower with Mr. Matey followed by a blast from Janet’s deodorant. Clearly I’m not their target market.
That when I’m in the shower at least 50% of the screams, cries, and yelps emanating from downstairs can be attributed to next doors dogs, which is a relief.
That having full weekend access to my phone is no guarantee I’ll beat Luca’s high score on Temple Run.
And that I really need to start taking responsibility for some of the smells in the house I’d previously blamed on the kids … and Janet.
I also discovered something altogether more sinister and troubling. Something that’s left me a little disturbed. Something I’m calling Parental Institutionalisation. (This may already be a thing but I’m far too lazy to google it let alone try spelling it again.)
Let me explain….
I can’t pick up a TV remote without instantly typing in 615. Nick Jnr.
I watched Ben & Holly. A double bill!
Worse still, I also watched Dora, albeit taking the opportunity during one of her extenuated pauses to tell her a few home truths. Like why, in my humble opinion, she only has imaginary friends (I’m not having it that Boots exists anywhere but in her head).
Lets face it, if you had a bilingual friend who flitted between languages and constantly asked you to repeat what she’d just said you’d also find someone else to play with.
For lunch I cut off my own crusts?
My afternoon nap was interrupted by my alarm going off at 3pm, at which point I jumped off the sofa to find my shoes for the school run. (Yes I set a reminder on my phone to pick my own kids up from school every day.)
But most troubling of all was leaving the bathroom light on when I went to bed. This wasn’t an oversight, oh no, I went to turn it off but decided against it? I’m thirty-bloody-nine!
I’ll not lie, I really enjoyed my weekend if for no other reason than I managed to watch two games of football without missing any crucial goals due to the flailing limbs of a four-year old launching himself from the arm of the sofa I’m sat on.
However possibly my greatest discovery of the weekend, and I can’t quite believe I’m saying this, is that sometimes the house can be … too quiet.
That what makes our house a home is the incessant background noise of,
“Stop pouting at me Sonny!”
And from the bathroom,
“Luca, you don’t have teeth in your bum!”
I’m reserving the right to change my opinions depending on how these next two weeks of school holidays go, but in the meantime, well, I’d better go and buy some new toothbrushes …