• Caitlin Kennedy

Sprog Season Round 4

Notes from the Nursery Slope as Al and Abi Nasmyth navigate season life with a wee one.

Al: Free time, I mean real free time (not just time when you’re not working or looking after your child; that’s called sleep) is precious as a parent. So when Abi went home to see her parents recently I thought this was my chance to enjoy some of the fun bits that living in a ski resort has to offer.

Firstly, take advantage of the amazing snow we had at the start of the month: tick! Secondly, stay up late getting smashed. This I found much harder. I’m not sure whether it’s a result of age or being a dad, but after a couple of pints followed by some stubbies whilst making dinner, I’m finding myself waking up at 8 in the morning on the couch fully dressed. You may be thinking: mission accomplished, but it’s less impressive when you passed out at 8pm. One of the tips annoyingly smug parent botherers on the TV are always banging on about is setting up a routine for your child. It seems the devious infant has done it again and turned the tables imprinting a routine on me! Stewie Griffin eat your heart out (interestingly he also doesn’t like broccoli).

It’s good to have the wee man back in town though as I now have someone willing to (or at least unable to) complain about watching sport down the pub. As Angus doesn’t have any siblings, I can justify this as socialising practice. Admittedly his interpretation of socialising often involves just staring at people with his mouth open (which is unerringly similar to my pulling technique as a young man) but people still find it quite cute and talk to him until I bore them to death telling them clichéd boring parenting stories that usually start, “Well he may look cute but…”. One demographic who seem to be quite taken by his baby charms are young women. Twice in the past week I’ve had complete strangers come up to me (him) and start talking to me (him) telling us (him) how cute we are. The last time that happened to me I ended giving monthly donations to Marie Curie, twice! Turns out having a baby is the third part of the male attractiveness tri-vector. All I need now (apart from being single) is a dog and a guitar, and possibly the ability to play it. Quite why the combination of father and child would hold such allure is quite beyond me when I look in the mirror and see my sleep deprived face and him covered in bits of dried food we’ve not managed clean off properly.

Abi: Having just come back from an unexpected stint in the UK (my dad fell ill but don’t worry he’s back propping up the bar at his local, so we’ve declared him back to full health), I’ve been able to compare some of the advantages and disadvantages of mountain life with a baby, to motherhood in the pleasant, if somewhat drizzle covered pastures of the North West of England. First up, baby or no baby, the only way to survive a winter in the UK is to remove all social media apps from your phone, as despite everyone bleating on about how darn cold it is, the grass is definitely snowier on the other side. I couldn’t have timed it worse, the best snow blew in just as I was leaving and was coupled with Al having a lull in work so I was sprayed with smug shots of powder slashes providing unquestionable evidence that he was definitely enjoying himself and not stuck at home pining for his family – does the fool not know we are Facebook friends! It was mighty nippy back there mind. I don’t know if it’s the ridiculously draughty, “character full” houses my family favour or the dampness, but winters at home somehow feel colder than they are out here.

On the plus side, you could definitely stride confidently whilst sporting a child strapped to your chest due to the lack of surprise glaciers on north facing pathways and it’s a lot easier to get a replacement wheel for your second hand bargain buggy after treating it like a 4x4 on snow / grit covered roads. Parents not being as fit as they profess to once being however, meant that it was a challenge to get the pace and distance to entice the child into an appropriately deep coma prior to visiting the new, talk of the small town, coffee stop. “The Cottage Tea Shop” of Frodsham was losing out to the surprising introduction of an Aussie, bare-brick walled, smashed avo and Vegemite vending venue, “Brew and Tucker”, almost certainly titled via www.hipsterbusinessname.com. The gossip contrasted a little to the apres chitter-chatter of who did what with who in a cramped studio apartment, whilst their flat mates were relegated to carry on their evening in the bathroom. My dad’s khaki gilet wearing crowd were huffing with sighs of “can you believe it, they’re going to start charging for parking!” and “nice coffee but the cakes are a bit worthy”. A vegan lifestyle didn’t get my dad to where he is today…namely just out of hospital!

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