Tuesday 19 June 2012


The King has added a whole new dimension to the experience of staying with friends. For some people, visiting others can be a tricky beast; entering into a home that is not your own, especially if you are attached to your routine or a big fat control freak – ahem…I’ve realized that travel is very good to challenge these behaviors. But by this age, I’ve surrounded myself with likeminded people (who wants to challenge themselves too much), so assimilation into another household is pretty painless.

At the moment we are on a bit of a road trip – although I suppose that would require a car, hence in this case we are plane tripping [Trapping the King in a car for more than an hour would require tranquilizers or a ton of food]. We are currently in the Pacific Northwest – it is stunning, but it almost makes England look like Hawaii on the weather front....almost. We are staying with a very good friend of mine and the King is in absolute heaven as she has three children (and I am in absolute heaven because she is a dear friend who shares my love of all things, especially dark chocolate). What’s more, the house is very spacious and he finds this altogether thrilling, especially the four flights of stairs; me, not so much, but my backside is thanking me as it means more chocolate with every step that I climb.

Knowingly, my friend and I are very in sync in our day to day habits which makes for smooth living; more importantly, neither of us looks surprised when the other says they’re retiring for the night at 8pm. We have kids; this is the reality and neither of us has the energy to pretend clubbing is on the agenda. The other bonus is that as my friend has children, she has been 'broken in' – as they say – considerably well. Noise, dirt and chaos do not scare her - in fact, she seems impervious to all three. Even small trucks whizzing by her head seem almost commonplace – although we are both trying hard to impart to the King that throwing things at people is baaaad.

So in truth, the only tricky part of the visit is the fact that this is a new space for the King and this new space contains a whole load of things to discover, destroy and dissect. Things that are NOT mine. You can imagine the exhausting possibilities. No longer is it my rug that I have to worry about him spilling on, it is someone else’s rug (remember, they have children which bodes well for flying spaghetti; in fact, my advice, don’t go see anyone who doesn’t have children if you have one). The King’s current fixation: one single drawer. It is exactly at his level and it contains food. Not just any food, but his favorites: crackers, dried fruit and little nibbly bits that are just his paw size. Of course from the moment he wakes up until the moment he goes to sleep he tries to get to that drawer and open it. There is a lot of toddler chasing around the kitchen island to try and prevent this from happening. Some days I surrender and let him taste victory, other days it means I am carrying the King across the room like a squirming flounder trying to get him away from inhaling 300 dried apricots. As I said, other people’s homes have their challenges.

But on the positive side, the King thinks he has momentarily (he better not think it’s permanent cause I can’t handle any more kids) gained two sisters and a brother and that notion fills him with extreme glee (today he even tried on one of his pseudo sister's dresses; he thought it was pretty cool and breezy). Although something tells me that considering he is ALWAYS the loudest one in the car (singing, hollering and jabbering at the top of his lungs as the three year old plugs her ears and yells for him to stop) they may be happy when our trip comes to a close.

On to the next destination….

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