It’s amazing isn’t it? You know, how having children makes your brain go a bit weird. Logic has no place in the thought processes of The Mother, or so goes my experience. This weekend heralded a bit of a watershed for us. It was the date in my mind that we would be officially moving out of the new little baby phase of our lives and into the world of two toddlers. This weekend was the first we left Wilbur overnight and in my mind it was the time that he would hopefully be sleeping better and definitely not be breastfed any more.
Needless to say, I had been looking forward to it. The idea of time with Chris, alone and with other people (at a friend’s wedding) and a night in a room with no children to wake us up … bliss. I had been aiming for it for months, in June I joked that I was looking forward to a good sleep in 5 months time. And it was bliss. It was lovely. My Mum came over early in the morning and Joni and Wilbs were very excited to see her. I’m so lucky to have so much family so close by – it means that when we leave the children we don’t have to worry about them; we know they are with people who love them nearly as much as we do!
We went off, grabbed a coffee and drove to our hotel. I curled my hair in the car on the way and it was pleasant to do so without the never ending chorus of ‘what you doing Mummy?’, we checked in, went out for lunch, got ready and then went to the wedding. It was great. We talked to adults and drunk a lot of champagne. We then went and had a good night sleep and after breakfast this morning I had an undisturbed bath. It may as well have been a morning in a spa – it was blissful to be uninterrupted and without a bath toy in sight.
It was wonderful. Really. But, there was the nagging draw. The little thoughts, wondering where they were and what they were doing. Wondering if Wilbur had turned his 5 or 6 steps into 10 or 12. Wondering what they had eaten and if they missed us. Wondering if I should text my Mum to remind her that Wilbur wears a sleeping bag to bed and Joni has a new nightlight. Then it dawned on me: life has changed forever. I’m not stupid, I already knew this – of course I did. But I was just reminded that no matter what you are doing you can’t switch off from being a parent. You can’t, regardless of who your children are, their age, their proximity or the relationship you have with them deny that you made a child. You have a child, or in our case children. They are always there. They are always in your mind because they are you.
We left the hotel a full hour before we had planned to – as Chris was a bit ‘tired’ I had to drive home but I was glad. I was driving us home to our little ones. After the thought of a night away was an absolute lifeline at 4am a few months ago I was now glad it was over. I nearly ran up the path to the front door to see them. It was an absolute pleasure to see their little faces and hear the story of their weekend with Mam from Joni. They had gone to Waitrose and sat in the cafe at a table next to five Maasai Warriors and they had not been to Ikea. Wilbur gave me some massive kisses and showed us his new tricks. Joni is now trying to involve Wilbur in a complex game of supermarkets and its as if we never went away. The undeniable truth is that they are always there, physically or otherwise.