It was with great excitement last weekend that we all travelled back to my folks in Stratford Upon Avon as it was the last chance to spend some time with my sister, her husband and my two gorgeous nephews before they returned to Canada.
We had a great day. The kids played wildly. My Mum made an awesome Xmas dinner, far better than my somewhat pathetic attempt on Xmas day. We drank some fine wine, some fizz, pulled some crackers, and generally had a lovely time. The boy was ecstatic to have his cousins to play with and my smallest nephew simply doted on Little Miss.
Come half past six the kids were starting to get a little tired so Mr B and I gathered up their things and we headed off to a nearby hotel for the night, and looked forward to seeing them all again the next day.
Earlier that week I had booked us a family room and had visions of the kids sleeping soundly, tucked up in their beds, while Mr B and I snuggled up with a glass of wine, some nibbles and watched that night’s Sherlock on TV.
How wrong I was.
Little Miss, despite virtually ALWAYS falling asleep soundly at 7pm went POSTAL.
“RAH, WHAT IS THIS? A TRAVEL COT? RAH. ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR TINY MIND? RAH. DO YOU REALLY THINK I AM SLEEPING IN THAT? RAH! RAH! RAAHHHHHHHH!”
The boy, on the other hand, was so excited about the fact that his single bed was right next to ours, proceeded to spend the first half an hour racing about the room, jumping between beds, and laughing like a maniac.
By half past seven we had managed to wrestle them both into their pyjamas, and ourselves into ours and all four of us were piled on our bed. Little Miss was no longer roaring, instead giving me frequent accusing glares as she lay in my arms with the occasional accompanying outraged sniff.
Mr B was half buried by the boy who sat gleefully bouncing atop him, and giving us a running commentary of everything that had happened that day, everything that would happen tomorrow, and anything else that happened to pop in and out of his head as and when it did so.
We exchanged glances. Glances that silently uttered, “Only an hour left until Sherlock.”
Eventually Little Miss began to drift off. Too scared to move too quickly I allowed an extra ten minutes, not moving, barely even breathing for fear the roaring would commence, before tip-toeing across to her cot and gently placing her down. I imagine this is perhaps how bomb-disposal experts feel. I was in luck and made it back to our bed unscathed.
The boy, however, was going nowhere. Attempts to put him in his own bed were met by tears and tantrums which, to be honest, neither Mr B or I really had the energy left to deal with and, with just ten minutes left until Sherlock began we struck a deal. He could stay in our bed for one more hour provided that he remained quiet. We were sure he was bound to drop off in that time having spent all day running around like a wild thing. He HAD to be tired, no?
He wriggled, he jiggled, he elbowed and fidgeted. He chattered, he muttered, he sniffed and he sneezed and Sherlock came and went with neither myself or Mr B really any the wiser as to what had happened.
It was not until almost midnight that everyone was in their correct bed…and quiet.
And could I get to sleep? Could I hell. Now I know co-sleeping works for some parents but they are clearly stronger folk than me. The kids weren’t even in my bed but still I heard every twitch, sniff, cough, kick, wriggle and yawn like they were right next to me with a microphone attached.
I think I finally drifted off around 2am.
SCUFFLES….LAUGHTER….DOORS SLAMMING….MORE SCUFFLES.
WTF? I reached for my mobile and ascertained it was about 5am. With no idea what was happening outside in the corridor, and no wish to, I buried my head deep under the covers thankful that at least it had not woken the kids.
“Mummy what was that noise?”
And so it began again.
At 8am I stumbled wearily downstairs with the kids while Mr B packed away a few things. On his way down to meet us he was stopped by a staff member who asked if we had been disturbed at all. It transpired that in the early hours of the morning some bouncers accompanied by a load of ‘exotic dancers’ from a nearby club had let themselves in and demanded more booze. On being refused and escorted out they then decided to break back in and throw a little room-trashing party in the room right next door to ours.
” I was going to get up and have a look, but I figured it was just kids.” Mr B mumbled, and with a distinct look of disappointment at having missed the drunken strippers, slumped off to the car.
On learning that they had been offering £100 cash for a bottle of wine I did the same. We never did get around to drinking ours.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you in collaboration with Tesco however all words are my own, and this is actually a true story. In Shakespeare’s Stratford too. Who would have thought it could be quite so exciting eh?