Daddy took baby to his Granny’s on Saturday night. They stayed all day Sunday. This was the longest period that baby and I had been apart since baby was born. Baby was fine, but I was sad.
I needed to distract myself and to take my mind off missing my son. I can’t claim to have a wealth of experience, but from my first weekend without my baby, these are my distraction tips:
1. Do something, or go somewhere, that you have never done, or been to before. If it is somewhere that you can’t really go with a buggy, or something that you can’t really do with a baby, then that’s even better.
I went to Columbia Road flower market. It is open from 8am until 3pm on a Sunday. I got there early in an attempt to miss the crowds. The flowers and plants are dead cheap and some of them are really exotic; colours that you wouldn’t see elsewhere; plants that you really struggle to get in a garden centre.
By midday it was heaving and I could barely move. The stall holders find it frustrating because people don’t buy when it is too busy. I was focussed on trying not to lose the person I had come with, keeping hold of my handbag and getting out of the crowd.
2. While away the hours in shops, reading, or just watching the world go by. Let’s face it, you can’t do this with a baby!
Some of the shops were great. There was a shop full of quirky Mexican artefacts and art work focussed on the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) a Mexican holiday that honours the dead. There
was also a shop called ‘Stoned and Plastered’ which was full of plaster casts and stone statues.
There were also some more expensive shops, like one selling enamel plates with writing on them. There was one I particularly liked that said: “Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly”. I loved it, but it was £125 so I didn’t buy it. Although there are still vintage shops and flea markets where you can grab a bargain, there are also some quite expensive and posh shops that are starting to attract proper money that will, sadly, in time, change the whole dynamic of the area.
3. Appreciate your surroundings. I spent a lot of time looking at graffiti and murals. Enough said really.
4. Listen to language that you might not want your child to hear. (OK, this might not be so relevant with a baby, but when he’s a toddler…)
The stall holders were salt of the earth Eastenders:
“Don’t buy from them down the road, they’re wolves in sheep’s clothing they are. Wolves!”
“I’m skipping the country. My wife’s left me, the tax man is after me. Buy now, cos I won’t be ‘ere again.”
“Anyone want to re-enact Fifty Shades of Grey? These pineapples on sticks are perfect.”
5. Use your time without your child to slag off your ex. Get it out of your system, so that you can maintain the facade of my child has a perfect Mummy/Daddy when you are with them. This piece of graffiti was particularly poignant for me!