Saturday, December 28, 2013

Our first steps towards independence

There are lots of milestones around at the moment. Lady P is now an advanced crawler and she cruises from coffee table to footstool with ease, so we're sure first proper steps can't be far away. And she already has her first words, at least if 'dadadadada' and 'mamamama' count.

But there's another milestone, which we anticipate with a mix of eagerness and trepidation. It's a first for me and TLOML: a night away without Lady P. We have booked a mini-mini-break, a night away in Edinburgh.

Our plan for the day time is to leave Lady P at my mum's place. She'll have six other grandchildren there, as my three sisters and their families are all in town, so we can pretty much just pop Lady P in and go, safe in the knowledge she'll be a drop in the ocean of chaos. We've spent quite a bit of time there already this Christmas and the babysitting is basically built in because of the sheer number of people in the house. Lady P roams the long carpeted hallway (ours at home is short and wooden-floored, so this is a corridor of luxury) mthrilled by the fact that there are people in every room - cousins, aunts and uncles and grandparents everywhere.

It's great for me. Lady P crawls towards the door, her little bottom wiggling as she gathers pace, and when she leaves my line of sight I just call out 'Can any one see the baby?' So long as I get an affirmative - even if it is from a three year old - I can relax.
Lady P attempts to get in on some gift opening action
And at night, she'll stay at my sister's house, which is just down the street from our place, so we spend a lot of time there as a rule. She'll fall in step with her rufty-tufty twin cousins who are extremely patient as she trails a Godzilla-like path of destruction across their train tracks and Lego cities. She's eaten plenty of meals with them and will be quite happy to join them for bathtime and a bedtime story.

I sincerely hope she then sleeps for twelve solid hours, as she does at home. But I rather suspect being in a travel cot in a different room will mean any periods of light sleep or vague wakefulness could rapidly deteriorate into angry, 'where the hell am I?' crying. I hope not, or at least I hope that my sister calms her down with her usual ease. To offset my anxiety I've spent hours printing out schedules, laying out bathtime, bedtime and morning stuff at my sister's house, and prepping little dishes of food, so my sister doesn't have to do too much. Lady P is pretty easy, but nonetheless, she does require a bit of looking after.

Three years ago, when the twins were just a few weeks old, my sister and her husband were both getting up every three hours to feed them through the night. One night I stayed over and took a shift with each of them, so they could sleep for a full six hour stretch. She still talks about it with misty eyes, as an incredible gift I gave that she could never repay. Well, now its payback time. And it is a coin I can only spend once.

So I will keep my fingers tightly crossed that Lady P is easy, happy and calm, like she is with us. I'll keep then crossed till that first cocktail. After that, we'll toast to the night I did twin-duty, back in 2010, and determine to forget all about Lady P for the evening.


  1. Ooh enjoy your night of freedom. P.S how chuffing lucky are you to have a child who sleeps through already!? Xx

    1. We are lucky, I must admit I think we got an easy baby. Presumably we'll pay for it down the line - teenage tantrums, or terrible twos, or something. But for now, well, we'll make the most of 12 hours peace each night!

  2. oh how lovely, I do hope you enjoy your night of irresponsible freedom, of course your child will never overcome the trauma of being abandoned at such a young age.

    Seriously, ROCK ON!

  3. It was wonderful and the best thing of all is that she didn't miss us a bit! we returned to find her roaming around my parent's living room as they sat there, peacefully reading the Sunday papers. How soon is too soon to ask them to sit again?!