Rossendale Free Press

Grandparen­ts’ clever move when here

- Richard iRvine

In the days when space was plentiful, relatives would stay with us. Since the twins, though, things have changed significan­tly and they find a hotel, so as not to be disturbed by the dawn call of the Paw Patrol command tower.

They also have space for clothes, no competitio­n for the bathroom and have a bed rather than the thing we’ve crammed into the box room.

This time, it was Victoria’s dad and stepmother visiting and we’d arranged to meet them in the centre of town, view the lights and have a meal.

The twins were excited about gift potential and I, too, was a little giddy about somebody serving me food in a comfortabl­e environmen­t.

We pulled up in the car and

Thomas refused to get out, citing stomach pain, which I dismissed as him ‘being difficult’.

Eventually we dragged him out and met Victoria’s relatives, but he was refusing to say hello – I dismissed it as ‘grumpy’.

His next move was to lie face down on the pavement, so

Victoria stayed with him and bought his happiness with a doughnut, while we saw the lights with Emma. We waved our goodbyes and arranged to meet in half an hour to see if he’d cheered up, while I explained he was trying to show he could make his own decisions and I wasn’t having it.

The next phone call was from Victoria to say Thomas had been sick in the middle of the Christmas market. I felt an immediate sense of shame compounded by Victoria’s dad saying, “I bet you feel guilty”.

Victoria’s stepmother tried to put a brave face on the disaster by saying,

“at least we weren’t in the restaurant”.

We hurried to meet them behind a stall selling wooden reindeer, where we found a very pale child being sick again.

I apologised to him guiltily and then realised we were going to have to drive home in my nice clean car which currently smelt of artificial lavender.

Sensing we had time before the next wave, I insisted we leave now, and loaded the twins in, before driving swiftly but smoothly home, while I explained The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

There were a few coughs from the back seat, increasing the tension, but we made it home without further incident to a house devoid of food with a sick child, anticipati­ng a night of little sleep and lots of changing bedsheets.

On the plus side, Victoria’s family went for a nice steak with wine and home to a comfortabl­e room, so it wasn’t a complete disaster.

I always like to learn a lesson from these incidents and there are a few here, but possibly the most important is to stay in a hotel, if we’re ever grandparen­ts and visiting the twins.

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 ?? ?? I’m not just grumpy
I’m not just grumpy

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