What a rare year. If I had managed to win Sports Personality of the Year for the Headless Chicken dash around the Maternity Suite kissing anyone who moved in a 100 yard radius it would have capped it but Paul Weller deserved it.
Didsbury Son has ascended the plateau, smashed through the barrier and completed the first term at high school. The two little Didsburyites weighing less than a Christmas Turkey have turned our lives inside out and sleep deprivation has sent me so cross-eyed my eyes are straight again. What a fantastic year.
Didsbury Wife and I took the only option available. We smuggled Didsbury Son out of school the day before the cost of flights doubled and have headed south, far enough south to be guaranteed sun.
Today has been an hilarious and invigorating experience. Just as the joy of the whole delivery has (almost) blotted out the hormonal implications of pregnancy which you forget about over time, so today’s packaged trip has re-affirmed all that is good about Britain, anything all inclusive and just cutting off from your usual world. The chance to reconnect with the people who, although you love most, you split your time between shepherding, sniping at, being exasperated by and washing up after is a necessity. It can be tough being a Didsbury Dad; but not in a real way.
So… This much I have learned flying Thomson Holidays with 10 week old twins.
1. Never underestimate the balsamic infused good manners with which we have marinated our precious progeny. Didsbury Son carried his new sister on and off the plane, hung out with the pilot and made me look as though I had an approach to parenting rather than a reactive trigger.
2. If I had a pound for every troll who piped up “Double Trouble” as they invaded my personal space I could almost afford nursery fees next year.
3. Ask politely and ye shall receive. Didsbury Son, the new darling of the turquoise uniforms stretched out across 3 luxury seats. The twin Churchills were cooed over mercilessly leaving Didsbury Wife and I the opportunity to drain the duty free.
4. Everything looks better in sunshine, even me. Pushing a shrieking and shocked munchkin through the pool in swimming nappy and bizarre flippered ring I metamorphed into a Beckham like figure modelling 2004 trunks with panache and verve.
5. Drinking all day is great. But only whilst Didsbury Son’s attention span holds.
6. The further south you go the more strangers show an absolute delight in your babies that is genuine and makes you feel slightly disappointed in your cynicism. Whatever the Spanish is for “Double Trouble”, no one has used it.
7. Changing two nappies simultaneously in a plane toilet makes joining the mile high club seem like getting a kiss at a Christmas Party.
8. And most importantly. When your taken away from the grind of working through the winter in Britain I have time to see what makes Didsbury Son the first apple in my eye and how having two little beauties who absorb all the attention must be more daunting than a Christmas Eve queue at Axons and Evans.
Now, for what seems like the first time in eons, the room is quiet, there are 3 sets of chests moving rhythmically and dreaming and it’s time to catch up on all the conversations we haven’t had time for since the summer.