Even though I work two days a week as a freelance journalist it is rare for me to be out of the house for more than a couple of hours at a time – and even when I am away I think Freya assumes I am just tapping away on my laptop in the next room (for which I am very grateful).
In advance of last week’s holiday I panicked about her lack of warm clothes (the seaside in September? Best to be prepared) and took advantage of a postponed job to leave her in the capable hands of my mum and dad while I popped to the shops for an hour or so (ok, I might have stopped for a little hot chocolate too).
As I put my key in the front door when I returned I heard her squeal in excitement, which made me smile, but when I poked my head into the living room I heard the words: “Daddy home! Yay!” Her face actually fell when she clocked it was only me and she said: “Oh” like I’d given her a really lame Christmas present and she was trying to pretend that she liked it but couldn’t quite muster the enthusiasm to pull it off.
Charming. It wasn’t so long ago that a quick trip to the loo resulted in her hurling herself at my legs like I’d been off on some Arctic adventure for three months. How quickly they forget.
At the end of a hectic week of second birthday celebrations, I rewarded myself with a night out. While I was ridiculously excited to see Dirty Dancing (you MUST go if you get the chance, it was AMAZING), I was a bit worried about Freya getting upset at bedtime when I wasn’t there to tuck her in.
Someone had separation anxiety…but it wasn’t her.
Just as the show was about to start my husband text: “All good. She asked where you were once and I said out. She then had her bath and went to bed.”
GREAT. WONDERFUL. Of course I was pleased that she went to bed happy but does it make me a terrible mother that I was ever-so-slightly put out that she wasn’t just a teeny-tiny bit more bothered by my absence?
She was still sound asleep after I got home but, as I’ve mentioned many times, Freya doesn’t sleep for long and I’d only just closed my eyes, or at least that’s what it felt like, when she woke up for the first time.
I staggered into her room and there she sat in her little bed, illuminated by the blue of the night-light.
“Mummy! You’ve come home,” she said, as if it was the most unexpected and amazing thing she could ever have imagined. “I’ve missed you,” she added, reaching up her arms for a cuddle and then burying her head in my neck when I held her.
Best. Welcome. Home. Ever.
Maybe I need to go out more often?
- I was asked to share my story by Direct Blinds, a family owned and run business based in West Yorkshire. They have launched a competition to find the UK’s best welcome home whether from a furry friend, human face or even a lovely slice of chocolate cake. All you need to do is snap your welcome greeting and post it along with a caption here and you could win a new blind worth up to £200. The competition closes at midnight night on September 21.