The big one went to her cousin's for a "sleepover" last weekend.
I say "sleepover" as by all accounts, not a great deal of sleep was had due to her waking in the night and demanding Peppa Pig. Wouldn't get away with that at home, young lady (sorry guys).
Daddy dropped her off at his brother and sister-in-law's on Sunday morning while I stayed at home with the small one.
Without her constant chatter, the house was really quiet; it was pretty strange actually. I don't know the small one as an only child, he has never existed as 'just him'. He is part of a duo, a double act. On his own he's Ant without Dec, Mel without Sue. Weird.
He was bereft and decided the only way to deal with it was to whinge and be sad.
The next day, I was to drive the sixty odd miles to collect her at lunchtime.
If I was hoping that having their shared room to himself would somehow miraculously cause the small one to have a lie in, I would have been sorely disappointed. I think the he was possibly still feeling a bit poorly because after falling over or off something (a standard occurrence) he started crying like the world was ending. I gave him a cuddle and he soon fell asleep on top of me, which was very unlike him and, frankly, a bit of an arseache as I was hoping he would have a nap in the car, which obviously, he decided not to.
Had I brought spare clothes down? Of course I bloody hadn't. I had, however, envisaged we might be late returning home and so had come prepared with
The small one and I then set off to pick the big one up from their other grandparents where, far from being ecstatic to see us she didn't even say a sodding hello, being far too concerned with following her cousin (who is a very cool 4.5yrs older than her) round like a lovesick puppy dog.
The small one meanwhile perfected his 'clingiest child in the world' routine and refused to be held by either of his grandparents or in fact be put down, at all. Each time I attempted to remove him from my person it resulted in a a very unpleasant experience for everyone.
Eventually the time came that I had been dreading; peeling the big one away from her beloved cousin. This actually didn't go as badly as I was expecting it to. Her cousin told her not to cry, and she didn't. Smugly, I thought we had got away with it.
The plan was to call in at my parents' and then call in on my Grandad, maybe go for fish and chips.
Sadly, this was not to be. It seems that rather than bringing my delightful daughter back with me in her vomit-stained car seat, I had instead brought home with me the kid from the exorcist.
After half an hour of her screaming straight into my face we decided to put on CBeebies. Thank the lord: this was acceptable to her. She wasn't happy but she wasn't aurally assaulting us all either. Then came dinner; fish fingers (not fish and chips. Boo). It was OK.
She did not want bath time. We decided to skip the bath. She did not want to brush her teeth. She did not want to put her pyjamas on.
When I say did not want, at this point she was in full-on scary, possessed-child tantrum mode. Tears were streaming down her red face and anyone who came into contact with her was at risk of being pummelled. She might be small but man, she can pack a punch. It put me in mind of a very unhappy cat at the vets, but louder.
It took me and both of my parents to get her into a t-shirt which she then pulled off screaming "I DON'T WANT TO WEAR A T SHIRT" and "I DON'T WANT TO BE A GOOD GIRL!".
It was pretty nippy outside so we persisted and somehow managed to get her pyjamas trousers on to her thrashing limbs.
She tore them straight off.
Sod it, thought I, you can go home in the buff.
Again, it took two of us to pin her, writhing and naked, into her slightly vomity car seat. I wished my parents an exasperated farewell and off I drove.
They were both asleep before I'd reached the end of my parent's road and the next day she did not remember a thing.
This is not making Nanny and Grandad want to babysit you, children.