Didsbury Son, year 7 and therefore the font of sound bite malapropisms and mistruths, is going on a school trip next week. He has five days in France and the potential for calamity with two dozen pre-pubescent Kevin &. Perry know-nothings is sick. Like y’know basically, sorta, kinda massive.
Five days and although I’ll miss him, it will be in a dad way. The odd shrug, no one to blame for anything and having to go upstairs to get the things I have left there by myself.
Up to five months ago I would have been anxiously trying not to overplay my excitement at having no parental duties for fear of incurring maternal guilt and separation wrath; it is very powerful. This time, I assumed would be Yin and Yang. The yin of the not picking anything off the floor or having to watch Top Gear versus the Yang of a distraught mother whose only solace to assuage the heartache can be found at John Lewis. The yin wins but…
I had not thought this through. Now there are baby twins. Five months old, beautiful, smiling bundles of happiness. Squealing, laughing, dribbling, nappy-filling time thieves. The hours I spend gazing, gurgling, stroking and sniffing them uses up all my non-work non sterilising time. Their arrival has taken Didsbury Wife from proud protective mother to being a lioness of the Focaccia Velt where we live.
Now I have five days of Didsbury Wife worrying about Didsbury Son and I have no one to make stupid jokes about the babies with. No one to laugh when I dress them upside down or waft their fruitier nappies like a pomander. Most worryingly, no one to keep an eye on them during my shift when I need to make a brew/have a wee or look in the mirror to stare at the 50 Shades of Grey under my eyes.
I am left to pray for specific help. I hope it warms up. I wince at the thought of turning on the news to see Didsbury Son waving from the top of the Eiffel Tower and more than all this – please let delicate baby girl and The Mighty Headed Baby Boy gives up the hourly fight and sleep between News at Ten and CBeebies.