It turns out that one week is the perfect amount of time to spend in Essex to be treated like royalty. When you have 5 siblings, 2 sets of parents and friends to catch up with, no one gets sick of you and no one gets mad at you thinking you haven't spent enough time with them.
Things not to do when you attend a wedding:
1. Only give yourself 2 hours to complete a 1 hour trip. Apparently that is a ludicrously small buffer when you're dealing with traffic getting out of London. Ten minutes into our trip, we were in gridlock, and I was sweating balls.
When do we learn fear of being separated from our parents? I can tell you that Wolfie has definitely not developed it yet. The little chicken gets scared going too high on a swing sometimes, but worry about whether his mummy and daddy have abandoned him at a park? Nope. Give that kid a slide and he forgets he even has parents.
Before we had barely enough time to bid farewell to the family en masse, our next visitors landed on our doorstep: my father in law and his girlfriend. He asked us to book a "fancy" restaurant for dinner one night, so we opted for Bennelong at the Opera House.
I used to have dreams of travelling to this place or that, of learning Italian, or writing a book. Now one of my top five dreams, along with sleeping in until 8am, is for a place like The Greens or The Grounds to open within a 15 minute drive of where we live. I mean, a 15 minute walk would be even better, but I don't want my dreams to be pure fantasy.
Dinners with the girls are something I used to take for granted. Just like eating with both hands and dinner conversation which didn't consist entirely of me answering the question "mummy, what are we doing tomorrow?" over and over and over and overrrrr again. Don't get me wrong, dinner as a family is one (of the many, according to the CG) things I won't budge on - it's something I remember doing growing up, and it's the one point in the day when the whole family sits and shares together which I love. But I'm not gonna lie, damn those dinners with just the girls are nice these days.
When family is in town, it means lots of adventuring. Which usually suits me fine, since I start to get nervous if my calendar isn't booked out at least a month in advance (it's a weakness I'm working on with the CG's encouragement to enjoy just "being" with the family at home - read: stop booking his schedule out).
But here's what I've learnt about adventuring with a newborn:
Can we all just agree now that I must actually be Wonder Woman? I mean, not to blow my own trumpet or anything (ok, ok, to blow my own trumpet a lot) but I'm pretty proud of the fact that I managed to juggle up to nine additional house guests for weeks, cater Christmas for twenty two while the CG was on his deathbed (more on that later), and organise groups of up to seventeen people on day trips, all while juggling Wolfie and Wilder (6 weeks old and breastfed, might I add). I seriously amaze myself sometimes (ok, putting away my trumpet now).