This week is half term, so The Girl is not going to nursery. This leaves me with both children for a week unrolling in front of me. Never ending and empty, full of cancelled regular classes and rammed-busy soft play and play parks.
The obvious answer is call in re-inforcements, but they are not always available. So, after a chaotic Musical Bumps class, I pack both small people, plus the dog, up in the car and head 3 hours to my mum’s house. The husband due to join us later in the week. He has 2 days of peace at home before joining us at the end of the week. I am envious of this, until I see his pained expression when we leave. He may have 2 days of relative peace & freedom but it will be awfully quiet at home.
I admit I was apprehensive about the drive. 3 hours or so with both children depending on how kind the moterway is to us is one thing, but add the dog in as well, and stopping for anything becomes very complicated. Even more so because I can’t fit the double buggie in the car with all our stuff, I have two carriers but only one adult and chasing a toddler with a baby in the sling is not perticually easy.
Thankfully, everyone behaves for most to the drive. Apart from my bladder, but with all three asleep in a row behind me I am not letting my bladder ruin this! 15 mins from my mums house the crying starts, but we made it up until then, traffic was relatively good to us and my bladder held out! At least when I get to mum’s there are more pairs of hands.
My mum has experienced living with a baby and a toddler and a dog before, but by the end of that first half a day we are both shattered, and once The Girl (amazingly) goes to sleep we are both done in. No baby or toddler classes here the excitement of being at Grandma’s is enough, and we have adventures planned (for adventures read: errands) which with two of us we will try to make toddler friendly. On my own I would be a bit unsure of what I could manage in order to entertain, but with two of us we can attempt more, even get some stuff done. It’s worth the risk of the drive for the extra pair of hands.
I suspect that once you no longer have little people to take care of 24/7 it is easy to forget how difficult it is. Memory is a funny thing and this week my mum and I regularly look at each other in disbelief as the toddler demonstrates her endless energy. She runs us ragged, refusing to nap the first day because it’s all just too much fun. We enforce car naps after that because at least it’s something.
Still, it’s an adventure, and we are all about adventures right now. I am shattered, but that’s our new normal, so being shattered here isn’t much different to being shattered at home, and at least this way I get to share this funny little toddler with other people who want to see her, or want baby cuddles from The Boy.
I still have the drive back to do so I may yet change my mind about whether it was worth it, but at least there is 2 of us this time. Small mercies.