This is my latest blog post for the Emma’s Diary blog –
Last week was a big milestone for us; it was our first whole night with J being looked after by someone else other than Loz and me. He’s five and a half months now and I’ve only spent one night without him. Loz hasn’t spent any without him. I must admit, I was feeling very relaxed with it all. G, my 9 year old, lives with her Mum for the majority of the time and whilst it still pulls at me every time she goes back, I’ve got use to it. G is a fairly self-sufficient nine year old and just does her thing. J is obviously not, and needs pretty much constant attention.
Loz and I were to spend a night at Alton Towers Hotel, with a day either side for the theme park. We’d travel up with J and meet Loz’s Mum, and she’d take J back to her house for the night. We had to ensure we had everything packed. Whilst the Mother in Law has a cot, toys, buggy, feeding chair etc, we still needed to sort out suitable amounts of clothes, food, milk, bottles, blankets and bibs. We’d managed to get it all crammed down into his changing bag, a holdall and a cool bag. This, combined with our suitcase, camera bag and our travel buggy, left the boot of the car pretty full!
I must admit I do dread long car journeys with J. G is so easy to entertain – put a few films on her tablet, ensure the music on there is up to date, give her headphones and she’s happy for hundreds of miles. J, to be fair, is pretty good for a baby. He’ll usually sleep, wake up, sqwark a bit and then either fall asleep again or we’ll have to stop and feed him. J actually slept for about 120 miles of the journey. He woke up and started winging, and we both noticed there was a hideous smell from the back of the car. He had timed it beautifully though as we were just a few miles away from Leicester Forest Services on the M1! After a quick change and feed we got on our way. Little man dozed for the rest of the journey, waking when we were about 15 minutes from Alton Towers. Loz entertained him with a bit of ‘Baby Mozart’ on YouTube and soon the cries were replaced with coos and giggles.
We arrived at Alton Towers Hotel to find Loz’s mum waiting for us. I put the car seat in her car and explained how it all worked and we went inside for a drink to do ‘the handover’. Loz’s Mum, despite being 250 miles away from us, knows her Grandson pretty well. She was at his birth and helped us through the first few weeks after; she also comes to visit at least once a month for a few days so thankfully we didn’t have to throw too much information at her as she’s watched him grow up.
Loz went through his latest routine, which actually is roughly ‘three meals a day, milk in between, and a full bottle of milk in the night’. Loz’s Mum insisted we were worrying too much and she knew how to look after him, and to be fair, she does. J isn’t a difficult baby really; when he’s hungry – he’ll tell you, when he’s tired – he’ll tell you, anything other than that, he’s pretty happy and easy to entertain. We did point out that he is now tending to grab things close by and stick them in his mouth. It’s scary the speed he’ll grab whatever is infront of him. Phones, coasters, papers, hair – you name it, it’s in his fist – then in his mouth in the blink of an eye. He obviously knew we were discussing his new-found talent as he swiped for my latte which was (thankfully) just out of his reach. Bloody child! 🙂
It was time for J to go with Grandma and for us to say goodbye to him until the following day. We went back to her car and transferred his luggage over, loaded him in and said goodbye. J was pretty oblivious to be honest; he was in his car seat with his toys and he was happy. I actually felt okay, I knew I’d miss him, but I knew he was in good hands and would be back tomorrow. Loz bless her, was close to tears. She’s never left him before and it was hard for her. Rather than let her dwell, I dragged her off in search of the monorail to the theme park.
It was very surreal walking around Alton Towers without either of the children. We could hold hands, go on rides together and we didn’t have to stop for bottles or nappies – it was weird that the only thing we had to think about was ‘what ride do we go on next?!’. Weird, but also very enjoyable! We’d actually done most of the park by the afternoon, some of the rides several times over too! We took a stroll back to the Hotel down the Woodland Walk and contemplated the evening ahead. The general idea was to eat an obscene amount, drink a moderate amount and get a damn-good night’s sleep! Thankfully we achieved all three! No waking in the night to make a bottle, just over eight hours of rest. It was marvellous.
We actually awoke fairly early and had a lovely breakfast before packing up the room and heading back to the theme park to have a few quick rides before we visited the water-park in the afternoon. Before we knew it, the evening was upon us and Loz’s Mum returned with little man. Their journey had been a little longer than she anticipated as the traffic was bad, and little man had a rather explosive nappy that needed tending to. She gave J an excellent report; he’d slept well and only cried a few times in the car. Aside from that, he’d been a dream. It was nice to hear. I’d have felt awful having a lovely relaxing time while MiL was tearing her hair out. Thankfully though everyone seemed to have had an amazing time!
Whilst it was very, very strange not having G or J there to look after and enjoy the break with us, it really was blissful having a few days ‘off’ and I think J enjoyed his time with Grandma!
How did you find leaving your baby for the first time?