I’d done a weekend by myself before with the two children.
But this was different.
This was on location in a log cabin in the middle of nowhere surrounded by fields and hills.
Oh and Harry really wasn’t feeling well.
This oughta be interesting.
Our Austrian holiday “peaked” at 2600m on top of the Wetterkreutz.
Sophie and Harry’s first mountain was certainly a good ‘un.
I’ve always loved mountain walking but always on the condition we get to scale summits and tick them off on my mental list.
So when Andrew suggested we go on a longer walk I jumped at the chance to notch my first Alpine peak.
It was a real excitement to pull on my boots, pack up a chunky picnic and look up at the imposing rock face that stood ahead of us.
The only slight complication was the addition of two small children into the mix.
And there was no question of them staying at home.
We’d come prepared – my wife had a sling for Harry and I had a backpack to carry Sophie up. We were also to hugely benefit from a ski lift taking us 2000m of the way. From there though it was climbing steeply in the heat of the day with the children in tow.
It was hard work if I’m honest but we invented a guessing game to keep us entertained. It essentially involved me shouting animals and Sophie shouting colours. Plenty of blue penguins and yellow meerkats on offer.
Towards the top, a sheet of snow – more like compacted hail – made life even tougher. Andrew picked a way over it carefully and I followed suit. Sophie was hanging out of the backpack, shifting my centre of gravity really unhelpfully but I was able to navigate it.
Next came my wife with Harry and he’d decided to wake up by this point. As she tested the ground, his sling slumped forward putting pressure on the back of her neck and weighing her down. She did marvellously well though and made it across.
From there we could really see the distinctive cross which marked the top of the mountain. Just a short zigzag round the summit, a zip across some more snow and then we were there.
Views from the top were absolutely glorious and we even managed to get a classic shot of us looking like a Christian missionary family. (There would certainly be worse places to work).
For the way down I took Harry and Andrew carried Sophie. The temperature had sunk as we’d ascended but this swiftly changed and it was hot and uncomfortable by the time we made it back to the ski lift.
(Naturally my inner child kicked in as we approached the finish line and I raced away from the others so Harry and I secured a glorious victory. At least in my head we did anyway.)
We’d done it – first mountain for the littlies conquered. Many more to come I hope.
On our recent holiday to Austria, I thought it would be a tremendous idea to nip over the border into Italy and have a pizza.
My wife could have coffee, Sophie could have ice cream, Harry could have…er…bread(?) and everyone would be happy.
After all, it was only about 50km to the border. Simple.
Little did I know what I was letting myself in for…
OK, so we’d survived the night of all of us in one room. Just about.
And we’d had an incredible holiday in Austria (more in future posts).
But we really hit a low point with the security check on the way back. I mean, we’ve only been flying for twenty years…
First with Sophie and now with Harry I have signed myself up to the “dream feed” – a late evening bottle to give them a boost and stop them waking my wife up earlier than she needs on the night shift.
It’s always been a special time of bonding with the children, where I can do my bit to help out and look after them in a way they absolutely need.
Six months in though and the parameters have changed and my body is starting to feel the pace…
It’s been a really special Easter for Sophie this year.
We were determined to make Easter at the very least as memorable as Christmas for her and my wife put in some sterling work to make that happen.
Here’s how it turned out…
Have you ever seen those tiny toddlers who zip down ski slopes as if they haven’t a care in the world?
Well, I’m a Dad who dreams big…and my wish for Sophie is that she could use her tender years to her advantage and be like those daredevil children.
So, just a couple of weeks after her 3rd birthday, armed with a waterproof suit and boundless optimism (from me anyway), Sophie and I headed off at the crack of dawn to Chill Factor…
How would she get on?
I realise that blog title makes me sound like I did a really sacrifical thing for Mothers Day this year.
Conscious of my wife’s incredible mothering, I gave her a day off and looked after the children all day, by myself.
That’s a little misleading…
When I was left in charge of getting both children out of the house today, all was going really well.
Both Sophie and Harry were dressed, fed and watered and were all set for Sophie’s dancing class. We were well ahead of schedule and set to actually be early for an organised event.
(This was made all the more remarkable by the fact my wife – normally our chief family organiser – was out doing Park Run for the first time since Harry was born)
As I put Harry into the car seat in the living room in preparation, I smiled to myself in a congratulatory way.
How overconfident can you get…
When Donald Trump sits down at the end of his first 100 days as US President, he’ll do what countless world leaders have done before him and reflect on his achievements.
He’ll look back at the terror and bigotry he’s inspired and probably think was it worth it? He’ll consider his lowest approval ratings in presidential history and wonder if it’s him or the country that needs to change.
And, just like all those historical leaders, he’ll weigh up if he’s achieved what he wanted to do.
For those of us watching on, his first 30 days have been a car crash. It’s frightening what he might do in the following 70.
Regardless, 100 days seems like a decent time to reflect on what’s happened and as Harry reaches that milestone it’s awe-inspiring to think about what he’s already achieved.
100 days ago he barely opened his eyes, found feeding a trial and did not know anything about the world around him.
Three months on and he’s come a long way.