It's only 9 months... but it feels like Maternity...

Now Known As Postnatal Oppression

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I know, I know. I'm crap at blogging. Where the hell have 2 months gone? But I have been a busy bee and no mistake.

I'm back at work now, and nothing there is any different to how I left it. Apart from all my Stuff being scattered to the four winds and hidden in strange and unusual places, and everyone being just that much more miserable than I remembered, I was dumped straight back into it all. So much so, that despite them changing our entire computer system behind my back, I was given 20 minutes' look at it and then left on my own for the rest of the first week. As in, the no-one-else-in-the-building kind of left on my own. I got the distinct impression that they'd looked up, saw I was back, and thought "Ah good - she's back. We can get on with other stuff now," that I'd carry on where I left off, not that I'd need a gentle downward slope to get me back into it or anything. And of course, I just got on with it.

I do admit to shedding 1 small tear when I left for work the first day, thinking of Spawn being without me for a whole day for the first time in his little life. Spawn, on the other hand, couldn't have given a toss. I don't think he even noticed I wasn't there. He and the Husband were far too busy male-bonding to spare me a second thought.

After a week or so of work, I'd had enough and went off on holiday to Spain.

Actually, I was dreading it. We'd booked it ages ago, when I hadn't really given it much thought. The idea was that we'd go over to my mum's place on the Costa Blanca, with the in-laws, so we'd have some back-up with Spawn. The closer the day got, the more I dreaded it. I kept telling people that it wasn't going to be any kind of holiday for us, but it was something that had to be done, so that we could make all the mistakes and learn from them for the next time, when we might actually enjoy it. When we packed, the Husband and I had our usual modest cases, not weighing a great deal (you don't need much for a week, especially if you're staying in a house that's already got everything there for you). Spawn had the biggest holdall we could buy. It must have been 5 foot long - you could have fitted a body in it - and was rammed full of his stuff, and then I took the Ginormous Change Bag that I normally drag around, as hand luggage, and that was rammed as well. He's about a foot and a half long, so how come he needed so much luggage? And we didn't even need to worry about things like high chairs or baths or toys or playmats as my stepdad (who'd already been out there a couple of weeks) had already bought every single baby item he'd come across in Spain.

Anyway, the day arrived, and off we went. All was going well - Spawn had his breakfast, we'd managed to fit everything in the car, everyone was happy. We'd been driving for about half an hour, chatting cheerfully about how we'd missed the traffic and would have enough time for a nice breakfast at Stansted, when suddenly the Husband looked in the rear view mirror at me and said "Don't go mad - but I've left my driving licence at home." A cold, leaden silence descended on everyone as he turned around. No-one spoke when we arrived back at home, or when we then sat in traffic on the second trip to the airport, watching the time tick away, or when I had to explain to the valet parking man exactly why we were going to be so late. The Husband had stopped looking in the mirror because the expression on my face was scaring him, and the Mum-in-law had had to have one of her antidepressant pills because of the speed he was now driving at. Spawn snoozed through all this blissfully.

Anyway, he was an absolute model child in the airport and on the plane - the take-off and landing didn't bother him in the slightest (I was more worried than he was), and he spent half the flight conked out on the Husband's lap, and the other half chatting cheerfully to the Mum-in-law or blowing loud, rude raspberries at the woman next to her.

When we arrived at the airport, the Husband went to sort out the hire car, with the Stepdad-in-law. Spawn, the Mum-in-law and I were stood over at the other side with trolleys laden with bags. We waited. We watched the Husband discussing things with the woman on the desk. We waited some more. I fed Spawn his lunch. We watched a rather more animated discussion. Finally the Husband looked over his shoulder at me and mouthed something. "What?" I replied. He beckoned me over. "I can't pay with a debit card," he said.
"Pay with your credit card then," I said, wondering why he needed to be told this. He looked at me. "I didn't bring it....I didn't think I'd need it."
I gave him a Look, not dissimilar to the one I'd been giving him this morning on the drive to the airport (the second one). "Well it's a good job I brought mine then, isn't it?" I paid for the car. The woman on the desk gave me a sympathetic Look. We continued on our way.

On the drive to my mum's place, I navigated and the Husband drove, and when we were almost there I told him about the right turn we needed about second after we actually needed it. He began to complain loudly. I asked him if he'd like to reconsider, bearing in mind that the Scales of Blame were rather heavy on his side. He shut up. But I still haven't got that eternity ring.

For the next week, Spawn was as good as gold. He slept for his usual 11-12 hours in the travel cot bubble thingmy on the floor, he ate whatever strange vegetables I bought and mushed up for him (oh yeah - by the way, he's on solids now), he played in his paddling pool, he rolled around on the floor, he happily splashed in the sea or snoozed in his stroller underneath restaurant tables late at night. He smiled broadly at everyone who spoke to him, in English or Spanish. He studied the Spanish landscape with great interest from his strange (rather dangerously crap, and worryingly stained) car seat (yeah thanks for that, Europcar). The Husband observed one day that Spawn seemed to be on holiday too, and was really enjoying himself.

When we got home, he took a look around, thought "Oh yes, home again," and settled straight back into his old routine. The Husband and I told each other that we were extremely lucky and wondered why he had let us off so lightly. I am certain he is storing it up for future use.


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