Further to Mum’s period of short release from the shackles of the kitchen sink, the clock had been reset and the points had begun clocking up again for…. ooh, all of about 36 days. 1,642 lie-ins and countless curry nights/football matches/boys’ nights later, his time had come.
Sold on the premise of a “work trip” [oh & the promise of a not-quite-100%-kosher “designer” handbag], I selflessly agreed to let him loose in Dubai: Sumptuous city of gold. Sensational city of dreams. Sky-scraping city of “The Future”.
And Far Cry.
From the fleeting flirtation with all things Dutch, in the pissing rain and gale force 9 winds, to which I had been party.
No sooner had the briefest mention of “work + trip + Dubai” almost accidentally slipped out in conversation, the reverse psychological build-up of denial began. A build-up which lasted almost accidentally until take-off.
I couldn’t possibly leave you.
For five days.
With two kids. [?]
It’s just not fair. [You got that right]
But this was a trip not to be missed.
And [more to the point] I was not missing out on that deliciously non-kosher Marc Jacobs special. So, with all reservations left-behind at check-in and laden with a half-empty suitcase and a tonne of emotional guilt [for good measure], I made sure he boarded that g’ddam plane, well and truly in the direction of the Arabian Gulf.
Thank Goodness for that.
Peace. At last.
Well, for now anyway. Deserted at home with one fractious four year old and a bolshy baby to occupy for 120 hours, peace was going to be at a premium. But faced with the prospect of four whole nights of greasy TV dinners and bed exclusivity of the super-deluxe-king-size, there was just no competition. And who could blame me for being just an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny bit excited?
I did try to miss him. Really I did. But courtesy of a permanently-on-charge iPhone 5 and 5* complimentary wi-fi [an added perk on his all-inclusive, all-expenses-paid Jumeirah jolly], the chance would have been a fine thing! Given the modern hi-tech family that we are and one that has become largely accustomed to conversing up and down the stairs by SMS or WhatsApp, the frequent flow of conversation really was a novelty. And fortunately for me, I was unsparingly subjected to 360 degree rotational views of balcony/sea/lobby/bar/restaurant/bedroom/minibar and bathroom. Yes, bathroom. [With floor to floor marble no less.] I was even privy to the textured imprint on his cushioned toilet tissue. What on earth did I do to deserve this?
Evidently Skype and FaceTime have a lot to answer for in this relationship.
But before I’d even had chance to wear in my Sunday slippers or make an indelible imprint on the corner couch, it was time for Dad to bid a dusty farewell to the sky-scrapers and sand-dunes that commandeer the Golden City and get right back to reality. A reality that [may I remind you] consists of responsibilities, routines, copious amounts of red bull, oh and a bucket-full of rain.
Nonetheless, the kids were delighted to see Dad again. Especially when presented with a stuffed camel and stacks of smarties.
I, on the other hand, made do with some fancy shower-caps and a packet of complimentary candied dates.
And what of my Marc Jacobs? It looks like he’ll be saving up.