Last week we went on our holidays. At one point, we thought this would be a week in Barbados. But with me still technically unemployed and some unknowns at the Other Half’s place of work, we decided for a week in Surrey instead.
The in-laws’ were away for half term so we took the opportunity for a ‘free’ country get away. For us, the aim of the week was to have some family time, to relax & recharge with pub lunches, country walks, roaring evening fires & three dogs. Wait, what!?
Yes. Three dogs. Three.
I am a cat person. I don’t do dogs.
There’s Tinker & Mimi, two Spannerdoodles… Cockerpoos… whatever they’re called, who aren’t particularly obedient. (Though they don’t wee all over the house anymore which is an improvement on last year!) And then there’s good old Jack, the OH’s twelve year old calm, faithful, giant black Labrador. (I like Jack, he doesn’t count in my ‘don’t do dogs’.)
At Christmas, Baby Girl’s first meeting with the doggies didn’t go so well as Tinker attempted to ‘assert her dominance’ & barked in her face. Cue crying.
And last week didn’t get off to the best start, with Baby Girl sobbing whenever she saw the doggies, giving them a wide birth or simply crawling in the opposite direction. But with a whole week at the house, slowly but surely they got used to each other. And by Thursday, we were regularly finding Baby Girl staring at the dogs through the glass door to their room, squealing in delight.
By Tuesday, however, Baby Girl was sitting on the kitchen floor babbling, “doh’ie,” “doh’ie,” which as far as we’re concerned is a definite word. And we were very excited.
We only attempted one long country walk with Baby Girl and the dogs. Tinker & Mimi combined were about as strong as me and it wasn’t entirely clear who was walking who. Jack also wandered off & in his old age couldn’t hear us calling his name. Meanwhile we were struggling with a huge, off-roading buggy (huge because I am tiny & used to the rather nippy Bugaboo Bee)…
After that, we just took them to the field at the bottom of the garden for a run around.
On our next walk, we opted for the baby backpack instead, leaving said huge buggy at home. This was great. At just a few weeks shy of 1 year, Baby Girl still fit in it perfectly even with her massive snowsuit on.
The OH plodded up to Leith Hill Tower without much complaint while Baby Girl took in the view quite happily from on high. If you’re ever in the area, I’d recommend it. The panoramic view was spectacular & there were various different paths up to the tower for different levels – we took the easy ascent.
But it wasn’t all long country walks & coffees. (Though there was quite a lot of coffee thanks to Baby Girl starting Leap 8 & waking up at 4:30am, 5:30 if she was feeling generous, most mornings. Seriously. We need to start consulting The Wonder Weeks app before booking holidays!)
We also took Baby Girl swimming at Spectrum Leisure Centre. Sadly, as novice parents who are yet to have our lives ruled by school holidays, we forgot it was half term or what that meant for places such as this.
It was like a nightmare with the Ghost of Childhood Past – the OH used to come to Spectrum as a kid for swimming lessons & in the holidays for slides & wave pool fun – & Ghost of Childhood Yet to Come. And my God the future looks bleak.
The OH was horrified & swore right there on the spot in our family changing cubical (which by the way, was brilliantly thought out with enough space for two parents and two kids, with a baby changing table and a plastic seat with a strap to basically tie your kid down with while you got changed. Brilliant. I digress…) that no matter how far down the parenting rabbit hole we have fallen, he will never leave the house in tracky-B’s, Crocs & a dorky backpack. No matter how comfortable Crocs may in fact be, we will never own a pair. And that is that.
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