The husband and I began to unwind with each other. Our relationship seems to be under constant stress at the moment and we’re often relieved to have made it through another day without one of us turning into a dribbling wreck. Regular communication and affection are reserved for another time, a time when the madness has subsided.
We went away with three other couples. It was just what we needed. Lots of laughing, relaxation, good food, drink and most importantly excellent company.
We made several phone calls home to check on the status of the children who were having a ball. A picnic with Auntie K, the park, drawing, baking, shoulder rides with big cousins, swimming, chocolate buttons with Grandma … much more fun than they get on an average weekend. It was reported that they were both behaving beautifully and … well, it seems the 2 year old slept better than ever before, having to actually be woken up one morning. This has never happened at home … EVER. Bitter? Me? Absolutely!
Our last day was spent having a leisurely walk in the sunshine along the river and mooching round shops before heading home. I was excited to be coming home. Despite my grumbling I miss them terribly when I am without them. If I think really hard about it, I even miss plucking dried Cheerios out of the 2 year olds hair and arguing with the 4 year old about which shoes she should wear (pink princess flip flops that are 3 sizes too big will never be appropriate for a muddy dog walk).
They were delighted to see us too … and very tired. After the initial excitement it began; ‘it’ being the punishment. The ‘how dare you leave us, we’ve had a bloody great time, but YOU LEFT US!’ punishment. It was a titanic two pronged tantrum which lasted two hours. They rode the relentless waves of tantrum through tea and bath time before finally falling asleep. I don’t know how it started or what started it but it was definitely designed to cause as much grief and guilt as possible.
When they were asleep I felt a rush of both guilt and desire. Guilt for leaving them and messing up their routine; desperate desire to be back in our lovely cottage with more belly laughter than I know what to do with.