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Sunday, January 06, 2013

Here's a random bit of information from

It seems that almost 10% of people who do an internet search for the phrase 'four days to go till the weekend' end up here. Frankly I'm knocking The Guardian into a cocked hat, but I'm being totally owned by Seb Coe. Thank god the Olympics are over.

One event in which I'm definitely medalling, however, is the challenging sport of childcare. It's been the annual Brighton AA Convention this weekend, which in previous years has meant Lisa and I putting on our glad-rags, partying through the night, and trashing a hotel room whilst off our heads on coke. The cola variety, that is.

Unfortunately things have changed a lot in the past couple of years. Not only do we now have two children, but people have got to know Amelie and refuse to babysit. So I haven't attended myself since 2010, and this time last year Lisa just went for an afternoon. Since Toby was born, however, things have become even more restrictive, and Lisa's opportunities to attend AA meetings have been about as numerous as my Christmas presents. Frankly the only way she can continue with the twelve steps is if they install an escalator.

So after our stressful week at the hands of the neighbour's washing machine, I considered the old adage 'If you love someone, set them free', and promptly shoved Lisa out of the door with her bus fare and a printout from Google Maps. Before locking it and putting the chain across, just in case she came back.

The result is that I've spent the weekend being a cross between Nicola Horlick and Clark Kent, taking sole charge of two children, one insurance claim and a cat, while Lisa has spent her time being entirely conventional at the Brighton Metropole. And I think it's done her a power of good. Not only has she been reinvigorated by seeing all her old friends from AA and hearing some life-affirming testimony, but she's also learnt that looking after two kids is essentially a piece of cake. Although in this case, we made shortbread.

In the time it took Lisa to attend two seminars and a Saturday lunch, I fed Toby two bottles of breast milk and two bowls of baby porridge, wrote a blog post while he napped, catalogued and photographed all our water-damaged belongings, cleared the hallway, made a beef casserole for tea, did all the washing up, and entertained Amelie by turning her into The Little Princess on the computer...

After which I got both children dressed, and took them out for a two hour outing to Asda to do the entire weekly shop.

When Lisa got home, she asked if I'd had my Mum round.

So to prove a point, when she returned to the conference this morning I changed all the bedding, did three loads of washing, two loads of washing up, sorted out all the rubbish, dehumidified the bedrooms, continued weaning Toby, made Katy's Shortbread with Amelie, then got us all lunch, changed Toby's clothes, and persuaded Amelie to let me watch what I wanted on TV.

When Lisa returned home, I was reclining on the bed with a chuckling baby and the second Hunger Games book, while Amelie played quietly on the living room floor in front of an episode of QI on the telly.

My Mum was climbing down a rope from the balcony at the time.


Phil's Mum said...

Your Mum is actually feeling VERY guilty for forgetting - yet again - to offer help this weekend.  Not that you needed it obviously!  Back to work for a rest tomorrow?

Lisa said...

You have turned into some sort of child whisperer this weekend. I'm more of a shouter.