Every six weeks or so I wake up with a 'Nan-over'.
A curious condition consisting of sticky eyes, dry mouth, discombobulated thinking and an overriding feeling of being an inadequate parent.
The result of over exposure to the nipper's Grandparents (also known as the 'Poppyrazzi'), my parental responsibilities have been relinquished from the hours of Friday night through to this afternoon.
In that time I have had: two lie-ins, ten hot cups of tea, an early night and, something quite alien, time to myself.
Meanwhile the nipper has taken delivery of a pink tricycle, a scooter, several rides on those kiddie-bait car rides outside supermarkets, as well as dining on pain au chocolat for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The remedy for a Nan-over is the following:
- Stay alert, try not to be tricked into catching up on hours of lost sleep, you will probably feel worse for it. Plus, this gives them time to put washing on - yes, that means rifling through your dirty undercrackers.
- Try not to be defensive - so what if your nipper runs to them for comfort for a day? It's their job to spoil their grandchildren and if it gives you time to absorb celebrity gossip, who is to complain?
- When your child looks at you as though Jeremy Paxman has suddenly joined their tea party, know that you will soon be back to your tried and tested parenting routine. That includes letting your toddler play with the contents of the recycling bin/tool box/car cleaning kit if it buys you five mummy minutes to shove a creme egg in your mouth without sharing.