Welcome back. Hands up whose had a busy month? Ours was berserk.
We’ve had our family’s first birthday, celebrated in style with a jolly wander down to Pizza Express followed by a terrific disco back at home in our kitchen; Dad got Grandma Audrey’s disco lights down from the loft and I manned the decks, well, actually my old phone plugged into a really loud 5.1 PC speaker set. Sounds like the world’s crappiest disco but actually the affect in our darkened kitchen was most impressive. Despite my efforts to introduce Lyall and Rich to some classic 90s dance music (JX – Son of a Gun, anyone?), the boys performed an endless Gangnam Style dance, much to Dad and Daddy’s entertainment/irritation, respectively. We all ended up joining in, Gangnam Styling hilariously fast to trance music. A perfect end to our first year together.
Then came the Easter Holidays (far too soon after the last bloody holidays – I’ve barely had a chance to breath out). Second week of the Easter hols booked off, not enough annual leave for the first week. We couldn’t afford to pay the local leisure centre my whole fortnightly income for one week of over-priced havoc, so instead we decided to attempt a mix of working-from-home and Grandparents. As the dreaded week approached, Tom found out that he was going to be involved in a whole week away with work at an important conference, so I was going in alone. Working from home with the boys was a challenge. I mean, not completely horrendous, although I doubt that the management team were expecting a five year old with his t-shirt pulled up over his face to appear in the background during a webcam team meeting on Skype.
After a couple of days of WFH in controlled mayhem at home, it was time to take the boys with me into the office (deep breath/big gulp). Much to my surprise, Lyall and Richard were charming little angels, sitting silently at two hot-desks with their computer games and huge headphones on like a pair of nerdy office workers. Every time one of my lovely colleagues wandered past they would smile politely and say hello. Proud Daddy.
My Mum and Dad in Warwickshire looked after the boys for the rest of the week (*phew); bringing relief for me and to top things off, Tom arrived home a day early so we nipped down to London for a night of fancy wine and a visit to the Shangri-la hotel.
Last week we took the boys on holiday. Having learned (the hard way) from our Butlin’s experience we decided to posh it up a notch and go for a week in a cottage in Cornwall. I won’t go into too much detail, but it was fabulous; a pretty holiday park in the woods a few miles inland from Padstow. The weather was beautiful – warm and sunny all week so the boys were in their element, scootering around and playing in the garden. Naturally I didn’t think of packing sun-cream on a UK holiday in April, so I returned with a striking sunburned head and arms, looking a bit like a scorched Brit after a week in a Benidorm condo.
Lyall made friends with a little boy from the villa across the path called Leo. Leo’s a friendly lad, mixed Chinese/British heritage with a soft West-country accent. They played football together every afternoon and said a sniffly goodbye at the end of the week – Lyall’s first holiday buddy!
Back at home after a six hour drive (we did stop briefly in Weston-Super-Mare – the Super is clearly subjective although it was a total Mare), we were plopped straight back into reality with the boys’ first proper football match. Lyall was the star player, putting in some convincing tackles (or attackles as he calls them) and saved at least one opposing goal, however Richard earned the proverbial boobie prize and stole our hearts after spending the duration of the match right in the middle of the pitch, waving happily at the frustrated parents along the edge despite their over-zealous shouting and indignant pointing in return. Of course, Dad and I stood cheerfully by the goal with our haggle of lovely mums, giggling and cheering enthusiastically to our adorable little waver. Not a natural footballer but happy to be on show with a big smile and a wave, I think I might sign Richard up for the city’s street dance crew or theatre club instead.