And here we are in Canada. Although, when I say ‘we’, I’m really just talking about me and the spud as the frog, having spent 5 days in France doing Frog things without us is now back in London working. This means that I have been a single Mum for nearly two weeks now and it’s good that I’m on holiday because it’s the easiest way to explain all those extra bags. Under my eyes.
The spud has missed his Dad, rather sweetly, although this has taken the form of waking up several times in the night hoping that THIS time, Daddy will come. While this was bearable when we were at home and he was sleeping in his own bed, now that we’re on holiday in a cot-free zone he is sleeping in MY bed, meaning that he is looking for Daddy in my ears and on the ends of my nerves and while the Frog is sometimes to be found in those zones, sadly for us all he is currently otherwise disposed
The flight to Vancouver was a marathon 12 hours including a stopover in Calgary. There were other children his age on the plane and they all spent considerable amounts of time sleeping. Considering that we got up at 5am to catch the plane and it didn’t land until the equivalent of 9:30pm, the journey encompassed several times in which the spud might usefully have been expected to nap. This was not to be however as clearly aeroplanes are remarkable things and need to be explored on fairly exhaustive basis. So, we had aisle crawling. Relentless aisle crawling. And some aisle cruising as well, as he pulled himself up by the hair of sleeping passengers and uttered sweet nothings into their ears at fairly substantial volumes. We had a lot of exploration in the stewards area which is usefully full of metal things on wheels, lights, levers and various exciting, not to mention boiling hot and sharp things. We didn’t have much screaming but there was some substantial struggling.
The good part was that his ticket was only £25 return and he had his own seat – my lap. We got onto the plane rather late in the boarding process and our hapless seat-mate was comfortably ensconced with his i-pod and his legs stretched languidly into the aisle. As we walked down the length of the cabin, me clutching my bag, his bag and him, gaily slapping me about the face and repeating ‘Ah’ very loudly ever second or so, every eye on the plane attached to someone sitting beside an empty seat was riveted on us nervously. ‘Hello!’ I said gaily. ‘You drew the short straw’ as we pulled up alongside our hapless victim. Very sweetly, however, he turned out to be a British policeman now working on the force in Calgary and possessed of enough useful charm to get the stewards to move him to a new seat allowing the spud and I to have both seats to ourselves, without even HINTING that perhaps this was for his own benefit. I could nearly have believed that he would have been happy to share his seat with a 28-pound octopus and it’s woebegone mother for 12 hours if it wasn’t for the alacrity with which his i-pod went back on his head once he moved seats. That and the fact that he never looked us in the eye again.
Never mind. What’s 12 hours in the great scheme of our lives? Nothing, that’s what. Nothing at all. Although, it has taken us 5 days to get over it and have a full night of sleep and to celebrate we’re doing it again in 48 hours but never mind, it was, I swear, nothing.
We’ve been here 5 days now and have successfully managed to terrorise practically the entirety of our Canadian family either in person or over the telephone and, while I am certain they have all enjoyed parts of it, I am equally sure that they are all rather relieved to be seeing the back of us. We have been royally entertained and the spud has even consented to be babysat while I had a whole 2 hours of extra sleep. We’ve seen my 99 year old Grandmother successfully discharged from hospital, we’ve seen both of my parents and my uncle and aunt and the spud's uncle and aunt and the spud has been spoiled royally rotten by all concerned. It is, however time to go home.
For my part, I have never missed the Frog so much in all our days. I dearly, dearly hope he is ready for us.