Once upon a time a holiday meant not only time off work, but a last minute, usually long-haul flight to sunnier climes. A small suitcase with a small number of outfits appropriate for the 30+ degree heat we would be invariably flying in to. A peaceful flight and a relaxing time guaranteed. Late nights, late mornings and long lies. Pure unadulterated bliss. We’ve all been there and now we look back on the rose tinted memories that only time provides, the alcohol induced blur and confabulated stories of holidays past.
Holidays presently are a whole different proposition. And I say this a couple of days into one. Admittedly this is a stay-cation for work purposes. Surgical Dad – yes that’s right I am one half of what the Americans call MD-squared – has his first consultant interview next week. A task not to be undertaken lightly with Government frameworks, local HEAT targets, population demographics, root cause analysis of incident reporting to be read and to some degree committed to memory. None of this makes for good reading as I’m sure you can imagine, yet the answers need to be on the tip of his tongue.
This is one of the reasons for staying at home and the second being the transition of Big Son from a cot to a bed. We felt, OK I felt, this should be done during holiday time as neither one of us can function well with interrupted sleep. And so Saturday was Big Son’s D-day. With Surgical Dad doing a post on-call ward round I took the plunge, allen key and screwdriver at the ready. Dismantling the bed with astonishing speed and DIY prowess thanks to the one line I’ve always remembered from the 90’s sitcom Saved By The Bell; “Righty-tighty, lefty-loosey”. It works every time. So cot down, Bella and Big Son running amok but I was not in anyway deterred. Reassembling the pieces into a bed would be a comparable breeze.. Or not. In my defence I assembled the cot in 2008 and in doing so I can only assume threw away the instructions and the spare parts.
I’ll spare you the details but suffice to say 3 hours, several choice words, and one bruised foot later a bed was built! A quick unexpected trip to the shops with Bella and Big Son as I’d forgotten to buy the actual duvet and pillow. Just I was putting the finishing touches to the room Surgical Dad called, “Have you got a present for this afternoon’s party?”. The forgotten duvet incident had come up trumps, the trip to the shops doubling up as a present buying exercise put me back in the day’s driving seat. “Yes, everything’s sorted” I reply, I almost fool myself I’m in control rather than having actually spent 3 hours grappling with 5 pieces of wood.
Party over, a very good party for both kids and parents alike. A very cute two-year-old in gracious receipt of his present, and his parents striking the tone perfectly for an adult St. Patrick’s Day soiree. With two sleepy heads we head home, ready for Big Son to have a 12 hour sleep in his new bed. Dinner, bath, milk, book; the scene is set for him as it has been every other night for the last 20 months. He runs into his room, looks at his bed and runs straight back out saying, “don’t like”. Thankfully sleep is fast closing in on him and he doesn’t put up any resistance to my coercion and praise for being such a “clever boy” and he gets into bed falling mercifully straight to sleep.
Night one went well, he fell the 30 cm out of bed about 2am and stayed asleep whilst I scooped him quickly back in. Then waking around 7.45am looking mighty pleased with himself. Success! Night two, he fell out of bed around 4am and took a good 30 minutes to fall back to sleep. He shouted for us at 5am, Surgical Dad attended thrilled by Big Son’s “bed” declaration on his arrival. He then appeared in our room at 6am ready for the day. Night three, bed guard in place, and no falls. A lost toy at 3am and another early rise.
I’m not holding my breath for a relaxing and restful stay-cation. But you know what they say, a change is as good as a rest, and for that I am grateful.