Over the weekend, we took SB to a Haven site in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire.
When I say “we”, I mean my parents, my brother and sister and I. Yep, that’s right – I’ve been flying solo as a parent this weekend, a long way from home. There’s a long convoluted reason as to why Daf didn’t come with us, which I won’t bore you with, but it worked out easier – we could all fit in one car and one caravan with ease, and it gave Daf a chance to head to his parents’ house and do a few favours for them, as well as to catch up on some much-needed sleep!
Because of the situation we’ve got going – me working full-time, Daf as a stay-at-home dad – I don’t spend a lot of one-on-one time with SB. I’ve spent one solitary night with SB away from Daf before, and that was in a familiar environment – at my parents’ house. This was very different – we were all squished into a caravan together, in an area none of us were familiar with.
It’s fair to say I was more than a little daunted at being left in sole charge of SB for the weekend – which is daft, because she’s my daughter and I’m totally capable of looking after her, and I know this – but I knew it was important to try, and I had my parents on hand to help, so off we went.
The weekend was absolutely fantastic – more on that in a later blog post – and SB, to her credit, was so well-behaved. She has her moments – like any two year old – but in the grand scheme of things, she’s usually very well-behaved. She’s very polite – manners are something we’ve worked hard on – but she doesn’t cope well with being tired.
Her tiredness probably has something to do with being in a strange, unfamiliar environment and being away from her daddy. It probably also has something to do with the volume we were cheering at when Wales won their game against Belgium (semi finalists! How did that happen?!), but I digress. Even despite her exhaustion on the first morning of the holiday, she was so well-behaved.
The last night was the toughest – she woke several times during the night, and each time she was crying at seemingly nothing. After the fourth wake-up call, I asked her if she wanted a cuddle – she miserably nodded, and I brought her under my duvet. It seemed to do the trick – we slept snuggled together for the rest of the night.
I thought my weekend of flying solo would reduce me into a gibbering wreck and I’d never trust myself to do it alone again. It’s actually been a massive confidence boost – I’ve tackled bedtimes, tantrums and mealtimes on my own. I’ve wrestled her into her car seat without giving up and saying “You do it” and letting Daf take over, and didn’t resort to bribery with chocolate buttons at all (now that’s an achievement for me).
Most importantly; we’ve laughed and splashed and played and fed ducks and walked and built sandcastles and snuggled together all weekend. I think some one-on-one time has done wonders for both of us – I’ve not picked up my laptop; my phone has been cast aside, and instead I’ve spent some time appreciating the amazing little girl we have – and she really is something.
I thought I’d come back with a blog post full of tips and tricks to tackle “going it alone” for a holiday – instead, the only piece of advice I have is to trust your instincts, relax, and enjoy the time. It goes so quickly.