I did it! I made it through 10 nights with my three kids without Daddy as he jetted off to join Team Ireland in Sochi for the Winter Olympics.
Add the fact that my kids were going to be off all week due to mid-term break and it was a 10 days I had not been looking forward to. He is back since last week but I think the tiredness of it all has only been hitting so I have been a little neglectful of the blog but am finally getting a chance to give you a quick (okay, not so quick) run down of how I survived:
Friday 14th February
This was D-day. The day Daddy was leaving us for 10 days. It was also Valentine’s Day. You don’t really get much more romantic than your husband packing his bags and leaving on Valentine’s Day! It was a normal school day but of course my oldest woke up with a barking cough. I knew it. If the kids were to be sick it would be when Daddy was away. It happened the last time he went to the Winter Olympics 4 years ago so I should have predicted it this time too.
She insisted on going to school so I dosed her with a spoon of Calpol to ensure the cough didn’t cause any pain and she didn’t feel unwell.
Hubby had to work from home for the morning. So I left him to it and did my normal Friday morning thing and did the grocery shopping. At least I would have food in! It was a manky day – very windy and rainy but there were school runs to do.
Hubby was still around for the first one so he picked little man up while I waited in the car. There is a quick turnaround from home to back out again for school run number two and with the weather we decided to drive. We headed off knowing that when we got back Daddy would be gone so there were hugs and kisses.
We got soaked doing the school run and my oldest looked less than well when I picked her up. Once we got home we all changed out of our wet clothes . Little man decided that it would be a great idea to get into his pyjamas at 3pm which was followed by an echo of requests from the two girls. Well I thought it was a super idea as I was going nowhere for the afternoon.
They all jumped into their pjs, grabbed their duvets and pillows and headed down to the lounge to chill out with a movie on Netflix. “Tangled” was the chosen movie and it passed a couple of miserable hours.
An easy, junky dinner of sausages, beans and potato waffles and then it was bedtime! First afternoon complete!
Saturday 15th February
Overnight my oldest had been coughing a bit but by morning was feeling and looking a little better – nothing a little more calpol and TLC wouldn’t fix – but little man awoke with the same barking cough. Great. They were dropping like flies. We set up a sick bay in the lounge.
By lunchtime my oldest was feeling okay and she headed off to her hurling training. As I was on my own I had to drag the other two and little man was beginning to fade.
He had been invited to a party in N-Zone that evening so I suggested he skip it but that went down like a lead balloon and he miraculously made a great recovery (although helped along by a dose of nurofen). He went to the party and had a ball but by bedtime was shattered. As was I, but nothing a glass of wine and a bit of feet up wouldn’t cure.
Sunday 16th February
Sunday little man woke in a bad way. Completely lethargic and just wanted to lie on the couch. Oldest lady had a hurling match but my in-laws had arranged to bring her so I stayed at home and sat with him. The littlest lady, who had prepared herself for going with Granny and Grandad, backed out when she realised Mammy wasn’t coming too and wanted to chill out at home with me and big brother.
We had already arranged to go to my mums for dinner and sleep over once my oldest arrived home. We did that anyway and little man chilled out on their couch rather than mine. My sister was there too so they all had a blast and we had a lovely dinner.
Monday 17th February
There was the perfect plan for Monday morning. I would bring my son to speech therapy (one of the reasons for the sleep over was that my mum had offered to babysit the girls while I was at speech therapy and it seemed silly to drive home after dinner only to drive down again first thing).
The car also needed to be dropped to the garage to be fixed (a few weeks ago someone decided to pull across my husband and scrape the whole side of our car) so I decided that I could drop it in after speech therapy and then my dad would pick me and the little man up from the garage and we would chill with Nana and Grandad for the day.
Of course the best laid plans and all that! Little man woke up and I knew he was in no fit state to go to speech therapy but as it was his last one I felt I better go myself and get any notes and instructions for follow-up which I did. It meant I got the car to the garage faster and my dad was on the way when the garage offered me a replacement car which I thought would be good to have so when my Dad arrived to collect me I sent him straight back!
Now that I had a car I decided to bring little man home and we chilled at home for the day.
That night my littlest lady wasn’t settling. Eventually she asked to come to my bed which I let her. I had barely laid her down when she told me she was going to be sick. I sat her up and told her to get to the bathroom but it was too late. Full on vomit all over my duvet. Why do they do that just after putting clean covers on? Number 3 had hit the deck. I got her to the bathroom but she proudly announced that “the sick is all gone”. I didn’t hold my breath!
After an hour of cleaning and changing covers mammy deserved a drink! I fell into my bed.
Tuesday 18th February
Next morning I needed to collect the car and drop back the replacement. Littlest lady goes to pre-school on a Tuesday morning and after the previous nights vomit session I didn’t think she would be going but she bounced out of bed. She ate her breakfast and was in great form.
I drove her to preschool where she had the most almighty tantrum. It seemed she thought she was bringing the car back with me and was none to pleased that the other two were sitting in the car not in school but she had to go in.
Eventually I left her, collected my car and rang the crèche where she goes. She was fine. No problem at all. Little man still wasn’t feeling great but wasn’t any worse so my plan was to get home with the car, do some jobs that needed doing, make everyone lunch, pick up little lady and head to Newbridge House and Farm.
Again, the best laid plans! My oldest got an invite to go off with a friend to the library and the playground and have a hot chocolate in a cafe and I was dumped. So once picking up little lady I headed to the farm with the other two.
They loved it and little man seemed well. It was quiet and we had brought bread for the ducks so took our time wandering around. I brought them to the tea room for a treat afterwards but little man just crawled up on me and almost fell asleep. Ok, he wasn’t well and I decided that if he wasn’t better by morning we would visit Doctor.
Wednesday 19th February
Next morning little man wasn’t great. He was making it through the night without need for pain relief but waking up at his worst until I got a dose of something into him. He declared he needed to see a Doctor which I assured him he would. I made an appointment for later that day and in the meantime I had promised them a trip to the cinema. We went to see an early showing of Mr Peabody and Sherman while little lady was at pre-school.
After lunch we headed to the doctor. Again, as I was on my own it was a family trip. I was with the doctor about 5 minutes. He had a chest infection. It’s that moment of mother guilt – why didn’t I bring him yesterday. How did I make him walk around a farm or sit in a cinema? At least I was getting him sorted.
Thursday 20th February
Little man woke up much brighter on Thursday and we spent the morning beading. Some lovely little St Patrick’s Day creations and little minions from Despicable Me.
I told the girls we were not going anywhere that day as we needed little man to rest and get better. They were fine with that and my oldest ended up spending the afternoon with her friend – one of our neighbours who is almost her age.
Friday 21st February
By Friday I was seeing the light. Daddy would be back Monday and I just had to get through the weekend. My oldest was invited to a party on Friday in Blanchardstown Centre but one of the other mums offered to bring her there and back! God send! I did nip out to do my shopping more locally and as my oldest was getting McDonald’s for lunch at the party I treated my other two to a Happy Meal each. We had actually planned that for Friday even before the invitation came in – think Daddy had been going on about how he would be getting McDonald’s in the Olympic Village so we decided we would have some too. As it happens the Olympic McDonald’s was only in the lower resort and hubby was in the Mountain resort so didn’t get any!!
We went to visit my mum and dad on Friday afternoon as my weekend was shaping up to be quite busy and I knew we wouldn’t get to see them.
Saturday 22nd February
By Saturday the antibiotics had really kicked in and my little man was back! Of course he was, Daddy would be home in 48 hours. Everyone was back. Mammy was a wreckage! We have a Tayto Park membership, the weather forecast looked reasonable and so we decided to head for Tayto Park. They had a ball. There are such great playgrounds and to see all the animals and look inside the factory was a great morning out.
We made it home with just enough time to grab a sandwich and head to hurling training after which I treated them to a drink and slice of cake in the little cafe nearby.
We got home about 4pm and we decided it was movie time! Saturday night chill out after a big bowl of spaghetti bolognaise.
Sunday 23rd February
Daddy is home tomorrow! The first words out of my kids on Sunday morning! We had a full day ahead of us and I was really looking forward to getting to bed that night (not that I wasn’t looking forward to the days activities but it would mean hubby was in a plane and enroute back to us!).
We had a lazy morning but by 12 noon it was all systems go for a hectic day ahead. First we headed north bound to Gormanstown College for the last day of what has been a six week indoor hurling blitz for my oldest girl. She is the only girl on the team and with a hurler dad seems to have inherited his sporty genes. She scored a couple of goals and the team won the match. There was a lovely little medal presentation afterwards and they headed away on a high. It was a great end to the tournament which ended with two wins, two absolute beatings and two matches they should have won but I think the score card shows a 2-1 and 4-3 loss respectively. It wasn’t about the winning – it was about the taking part! Although scary how competitive 6 and 7 year old boys are!
We jumped in the car and drove south again in what was almost an hours drive to UCD where I made it out to the Babytalk festival. I got to catch up with a couple of my fellow Irish Parenting Bloggers (IPBers), visit a few of the exhibitor stands, my daughters got their face painted with Jojo’s Party time and I managed to catch part of one of the talks which featured IPBers Mind the Baby and Mama.ie on the panel. I will post separately on my impressions of the festival.
After the festival we hot footed it to my in laws house for dinner before driving home. It was after 8pm by the time I got home. They were dunked in a candle lit bath (the bulb blew on Friday night) and hit the hay. I stayed up to get lunches, bags and uniforms ready and eventually got to bed just after midnight. A long day!
Monday 24th February
10 sleeps complete! We made it. We may have been battered and bruised along the way but I think we did well. Daddy landed at 11.22am into Dublin airport and given we live 10mins drive from the airport he was back to us by 12.30pm. He looked wreaked. He had travelled most of the night and with a 4 hour time difference was a little jet lagged. He had come straight out of the closing ceremony to begin his journey from his Sochi experience.
One of his first sentences out of his mouth was “Sorry, I didn’t get you anything!” WHAT! I just spent 10 days minding the kids while you were off living the dream and I get nothing! He said he will get me something. To be honest, it doesn’t bother me. Let me have a couple of lie ins. Let me go shopping and buy a nice new pair of jeans or a top. I am going for a girlie spa day on 8th March – mind the kids for the weekend. All will be gratefully accepted.
He did hand me a complementary chocolate from the airline! And later produced a bottle of vodka (my favourite tipple when added to a glass of coke).
We headed out to the local pub for some dinner and wine – very non Monday night!
I am now readjusting to having him back. Is it just me or does anyone else find they are more organised when their other half goes away? I don’t know what it is but when he is not here I become superwoman. The kids are asleep on time, the kitchen sparkling, the beds made. Maybe because I know I am in charge of everything and am not waiting for someone else to do it I just get on with it. It is probably not sustainable for me to work at that pace long term so I’ll just conclude with I’m very glad to have him back.