Four and a Dog

A blog about family life


I am lucky that there are many places that I get to call home. This week I have been staying in the home I grew up in. My very kind parents offered to take me in while Hubby was cruising away under the Northern Lights. We have managed to pack a lot in to this week and although we are very excited to be returning to Hubby tomorrow, we are very sad to be leaving.

Here is a synopsis of our week.

Drive one and a half hours while Bruiser sleeps and Diva asks, “Why?”, a lot. Unload car and exchange greetings with parents. Spend day organising huge amount of stuff brought ‘just in case’ most of which will return home unused. Visit supermarket and try not to make eye contact with anyone just in case they know me but I don’t remember them. Eat lovely food prepared by lovely Grandma. Convince Diva that there are no monsters in bedroom and that Grandad will still be available for games in the morning. Bath. Stories. Songs. Diva down. Pace with Bruiser until he falls asleep.

Drive through to brothers house to visit. Try to explain to Diva that she really does not need to tell her cousins what to do all the time. Entertain cousins by reading the same book fourteen times until it is conveniently lost. Try to avoid eye contact with Bruiser to stop strange grunting noise he has developed whenever he sees me. Eventually convince Diva it is time to leave with bribery. Repeat nighttime routine. Get interrupted mid lullaby by Diva with request that I leave.

Try to convince Bruiser to go back to sleep during early morning wake up. Try to convince Diva to use a whisper voice during early morning wake up. Try to convince Uncle M not to bark during early morning wake up. Return to town centre to buy clothes for children that have suddenly grown overnight. Be amazed that Bruiser has rolled over and can sit independently for a few seconds. Who is this child? Sneak off and leave Grandad to entertain Diva. Let Uncle M off of his lead in a field and instantly regret it. Return from field covered in mud. Repeat nighttime routine. Juggle baby feeding and toddler nightmares at uncivilised hour.

Visit Community Farm where I used to work as a teenager. Try to stop Diva putting whole hand in to the mouths of every animal. Stop Diva from stealing a guinea pig. Take it in turns to walk screaming Bruiser around until he falls asleep. Enjoy sunshine for the first time in months. Visit friend where eldest daughter looks after Diva and youngest daughter entertains Bruiser. Drink whole cup of tea. Probably out stay welcome. Repeat nighttime routine with additional Bruiser pacing.

Work up energy to get dressed. Go for walk around boating lake that seems much smaller than when a child. Push Diva on her scooter for five minutes and then carry it for the duration of visit. Allow Diva to have ice cream. Use several wipes to remove ice cream from Diva’s hair and face. Meet cousins and swap scooter for trike. Convince Diva that cousins are coming back to Grandma and Grandad’s house too and therefore meltdown is unnecessary. Entertain with puppets until puppet is conveniently lost. Attempt nighttime routine with four children including hair washing.

Take Bruiser swimming for first time. Bruiser screams entire car journey until removed from car. Watch Cousin T walking in pool unaided (Cousin T has Cerebral Palsy so this was amazing). Both children sleep on way home. Visit school where I used to work and marvel that children also grow in my absence. Enjoy catch up with friends. Somehow Diva acquires a monster costume which she won’t take off. Try, without any luck, to keep children awake on journey home with songs and inane chatter. Much later nighttime routine followed by exhausted collapse.

Visit friend who provides lunch and toys. Diva plays nicely with E while I chat and pace with Bruiser. I become jealous that friends baby (month older than Bruiser) sleeps and plays without being attached to her mummy. Briefly fall asleep on sofa during Bruiser’s nap with Diva and Uncle M on top of me. Try to convince Diva she wants to watch CBeebies. Provide voices for selection of playmobil toys, He-man figures and farm animals. All are in need of being rescued. Get to drink another cup of tea while Grandma walks around the street with children- bliss! Nighttime routine including re-enactment of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

Unsuccessful visit to town. Diva discusses tadpoles in the pond and tells Grandad how to rake up leaves in the garden. Return visit to cousins. Aunty C very much the favourite. Lovely walk in sunshine to collect Cousin T from school. Quick Bear Hunt and dinner. Spend return car journey trying to keep Diva awake. Nighttime routine including additional Bruiser pacing and tag team eating.

Pack up car and try to convince Uncle M and Diva to leave. Resort to bribery. Very happy reunion with Hubby who is immediately required to provide voices for selection of animals and trains.

I have a great family and fabulous friends. Thank you all for making our holiday home so much fun.


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4 thoughts on “Home

  1. Claire on said:

    It was lovely to see you and to meet ‘Bruiser’! R can’t wait to meet Diva agan! Hope to see you soon…x

    • Four and a Dog on said:

      Lovely to see you too. Your girls were fabulous hosts and we had a lovely time. Maybe we’ll make it to story time next time. I have it on good authority that you are very good.

  2. I feel your pain – but also your enjoyment xxx

  3. Four and a Dog on said:

    I only hope my parents have recovered and/or forgotten how exhausting we all our by our next visit.

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