So yesterday my Twinkles were 8 months old. EIGHT MONTHS!! EIGHT MONTHS!!
Where, oh where, has the time gone? That old adage is absolutely true… time certainly flies when you’re having fun.
Talking about time flying… on the weekend we went to visit some of our best friends. And we had LOTS of fun :)
Their first-born — my beautiful goddaughter — is nearly six years old; in a just a months time in fact. I clearly remember when she was born… actually, when it happened, I got so tearful thinking about my lovely friend who (in my eyes) had turned from a giggly girl to a grown up — a MOTHER — in a split second. It was a pivotal moment cos I remember thinking ‘wow — things are never going to be the same ever again’.
I was, as it turned out, totally wrong.
My friends, whilst being excellent parents to both of their children, have never let their parental duties get in the way of a party/festival/gathering of any description so actually, things carried on as usual. Just with the addition of my little goddaughter in tow. Or not; as her grandparents are
unusually extremely obliging and are happy to look after her, for an evening, the weekend, A WEEK, whenever asked.
This has me thinking quite a lot about our own situation. In 8 months, we have been away for a weekend without our babies just once.
Apart from my fantastic sister-in-law, no-one has ever offered to have them. We are totally on our own when it comes to childcare.
So what do people do when they want to go away for a weekend without the kids, but don’t have obliging relatives who will step in and take the reins?
Most of our friends do have built-in family childcare — most people generally have at least one set of grandparents who are willing to babysit for a couple of days, if not two — but we seem to be lacking in that department.
My mother and father-in-law are relatively elderly (in their 80s — doesn’t that count as very elderly?) so they are ruled out of the equation, but my own parents are still fairly young (my father is in his early 70s and my mom in her late 60’s). That said, they have never offered to have the boys and go into a cold sweat at the mere thought of it!!
So what do other people do??
Do they book their kids into a Left Baby Facility? A bit like the places that you can leave your cases in large stations and airports… I don’t think these actually exist, so I’m guessing no to this one…
Do they hire an unknown au pair for a weekend, from a reputable website? No matter how reputable, I would really struggle to leave my babies for more than a couple of hours with a total stranger.
Do they drop their offspring (plus all their relevant paraphernalia) with a note saying ‘see you on Sunday night!’ on the doorstep of a good friend, ring the bell and run away?
I just don’t know. I think, ultimately, unless someone offers — and a genuine offer, not a flippant suggestion when they’ve had too much wine — to look after your children, you are pretty much on your own.
Maybe I should start up a Left Baby Facility? I can see that going down very well on Dragon’s Den ;)