Mo and I have split up. After 6 months of travel where we have lived in each others pockets, usually shared a room and been 24/7/180 it has come time to go our separate ways.
We drew straws, or something like that, and I ended up with Ben and Zoe. Whether I got the short one, or two, remains to be seen but I am determined to make the most of it.
So what does this mean?
- BZ will only be subjected to one parenting style, mine! I hope my cackle doesn’t sound like Dr Evil?
- We had to cut shared items in two, believe me a half piece of toilet paper is still useful
- Mummy ‘Five Bags’ can’t carry their rucksacks 🙂
- Ordering in restaurants happens before closing or the kids are curled up on the floor asleep
- The darlings don’t have another parent to ask who might say Yes instead of No
- I’ll probably have to share a bed with two wriggling monkeys that don’t like being covered in sheets, cold sleep deprivation anyone?
We said our goodbyes on Cococabana high street which doubles as the local bus station. Mo had bought tickets through an agent for Vicuña (the company with the nicest looking buses) but true to form this is overbooked and the agent increases their margin by at least a dollar of the $5 fare by substituting another bus which looks a fair bit cheaper. Every cloud has a silver lining and I now know to buy tickets direct at the Vicuña office.
Mo’s parting comment is to keep her darlings safe, I’m actually hoping they will look after me!
I have no idea why we didn’t do this earlier. My primary objective for our family gap year was to spend more time with Ben, Zoe and Lara while they are still too young to find their parents embarrassing. NOTE – Mo and I hopefully have a good few more years together complaining about peas rolling off our forks and policeman looking like they should be at school so being realistic it is not about our quality time together (unless we leave Ben baby sitting while we go for tapas but that discussion is best left for another post?).
What we have realised is that 1+3, 2+3 or 0+3 does not often equal real quality time although we have certainly had some, it’s more like crowd control of Duracell bunnies! 1+1 is actually the most magic and although threesomes and moresomes can be good they don’t always work out as well as you imagined or hoped.
The occasional day or hours spent alone with Ben, Zoe or Lara have undoubtedly been the best of the trip but this has happened rarely. Why is a question worth exploring and on reflection there is pressure to ‘do things as a family/together’ and ‘it is not fair on the others’ etc. It has taken a while for us to realise this and we are looking forward to having more special times apart as well as together.
When Lara heard she was going with Mum and Oma without Ben and Zoe she brightly said that there wouldn’t be any fighting, hilarious as she is often the instigator!
The other benefit is that you can be more adventurous with Ben and Zoe as they are older and can walk further, scramble higher and show interest in more than where the next icecream will come from.
We had been talking about splitting up for a while but the main driver was Oma who has been suffering from altitude sickness and needed to go to a lower altitude ASAP to see if this helped (there is always the possibility of a bug as well). With Ben and Zoe being budding mountaineers and the prospect of exploring the Isla de Sol at 4000m the plan came together.
We shall be reunited in a few days in case anyone got the wrong idea from the title. Will our trial separation be a success? Tune in next week to find out…