Paddy and I have had a week off work this week. We booked it back at the beginning of January after discovering that the last time we had a quiet year was back in 2009…and the last time we actually had any proper quality time together was our honeymoon in May 2013. So we decided to take some action and book a week off to spend together, festering. Festering February Paddy likes to call it. We still took Ava to nursery on Monday and Tuesday and on Wednesday and Thursday she spent the day with my Nan, just like normal. I know it may seem a bit weird and people may think “but wouldn’t you want to use that to have extra time with your child” – of course, but having extra time with Ava isn’t an issue, us having time together as a couple, as individuals is. That is what was needed. I think sometimes it’s very easy as parents to forget how important time for you is. You can spend so much time making sure little one has everything they need and that they have as much of your time as possible but to hell with taking time for yourself. Well, we took that time and boy was it weird.
I am one of those people who always finds it hard to relax. I always have to be doing something. I think I get this from my Nan who views it like this “if I’m not doing something then I am just wasting time”. I don’t exactly view it like that but I do find it hard to just switch off and just be. Paddy has no trouble doing this and never has done in all the years I’ve known him. I am envious of this trait. Tuesday I spent the day wondering what to do with myself and looking back now I can’t actually remember what we did on Tuesday…Oh that’s right we watched a film called The Judge with Robert Downey Junior and after dropping Ava off to Nursery I rearranged the living room while Paddy had a well deserved lie in. Again, I can’t lie in – I have never been able to, once I’m up I am up – another curse for the “can’t rest won’t rest”. Tuesday was actually a really nice day, we relaxed and watched a film together. Wednesday was great as we spent the whole day at the cinema – we saw 3 films back to back (blog posts to follow) and then yesterday another day of total relaxing. Paddy watched a load of The Walking Dead, a series he has been meaning to catch up on for months. I watched Grease 2, started Modern Family and had a 2 hour nap. Today we spent with Ava, like I do any Friday. This week off sort of reminded us what we did pre-child in a way, except it feels more alien to us now that that was our lives. We’ve always been super busy socially, either doing things together, separately, with friends, with family, doing bits in doors, cinema or sometimes doing nothing, but when we don’t have Ava and we are just us, it is really and I mean really hard to think of what our lives were like before and what we actually did when not at work. This neatly brings me onto section two of this post…
We now have a 2-year-old! I just stopped for five minutes to stare at the screen blankly. Yes so, a 2-year-old! Everyone says the classic “where does the time go?” Well where does it blooming go? I would really like to know because I have no idea where the last two years have gone. We no longer see a little baby we see a little girl and that is both so amazing and sad at the same time. As children grow from newborns to babies to 1-year-old etc you say goodbye to so many stages and hello to new ones but major changes in independence still feel a long way off. Then they start walking, then they start talking and suddenly telling you that “they’ll do it” and “No, me don’t want it”. They’ll know what you mean by getting dressed, brushed your teeth, tidy up and why we say please and thank you. They want to do more and more alone and while you’re bursting with pride, a little piece of you is dying on the inside.
I look at Ava now and see the little girl she is becoming and I still, to this day, cannot believe she is ours, that we made something so incredible. You feel they’re incredible as soon as you meet for the first time in the delivery room and every moment since, but this next stage, this next growing up section is something I couldn’t prepare myself for because now I am seeing her grow in new ways, bigger ways, ways that will shape her life going forward and the responsibility is overwhelming. I dare say Paddy and I don’t get everything right every time. We have no manual, no textbook and goodness knows these Toddler years should come with a manual. Suddenly trying to understand what’s causing the meltdown when they’ve asked for a toy, you give them the toy then they cry because you’ve given them exactly what they wanted – who are these little people? They’re demanding in a whole new way, a way that we are still learning about because we’ve just sussed all the other previous stages and of course they know that once you have it sussed it’s time to shake it up again! Lordy!
We’ve kept it quite low-key for her birthday this year ( it was on Sunday 21st Feb). We visited Pooh Corner in East Sussex and then tomorrow she has a little park visit happening and a trip to the Chinese which will be nice. We’ve had a lovely family day today and she has certainly kept Mummy and Daddy in stitches with her talking and funny little ways. All in all you could say this has been a completely marvellous week for our family. Let’s hope we survive Toddlerdom over the next few months, otherwise we might need another week off to recover (teehee)