There comes a point when you tip over from being delighted to be away from your children and all the perks that that comes with...
- Drinking gin in the day
- Eating when you want
- Not having to answer 'why?' four million times a day
- Sleeping all night in more than a 10th of a double bed
- Drinking gin in the day (worth repeating)
... to really fucking missing them.
My tipping point came last night at 10pm in Edinburgh airport when my flight, which was initially scheduled for 7.50pm, had been delayed, and delayed, and delayed, and then finally cancelled.
I'd been away for a couple of nights, which wasn't unusual.
I was at the Edinburgh festival, so days were brilliant and busy and full of seeing shows, which has to be up there with one of my all time favourite things, after bath bombs and pickled onion monster munches.
But it was time to go home.
I'd spoken to the children on the phone to tell them I'd be there for when they woke up.
My two year old son just repeated, 'how you doing mummy?' in response to every question I asked him and I thought, I can't wait to get that little guy in a headlock.
And then they cancelled my flight.
I saw all the other passengers buggering about on their phone, and the woman in front informed me I could rebook my flight on-line.
So I did.
Or I thought I did.
For a flight leaving an hour later.
That's not the end of the world.
So I went to the check-in desk, who then informed me that even though I'd been sent a confirmation email, it didn't have a reference number so wasn't an ACTUAL booking and the plane was fully booked and I wasn't on it.
The next flight with spaces that I could change to with easyjet was for Tuesday afternoon.
At the time, it was Sunday night.
Now there are worse things that can happen, I know this.
But the way it suddenly made me feel was really surprising, like a yearning. A physical tightening.
I handled the whole thing with maturity and good grace.
And burst into tears at the easyjet check-in.
The flight attendant was unfazed by women in their late thirties snotty-nosed crying at her, and advised I go to the end of the queue I had just come out of, which was now twice the size and still not moving.
I just wanted to hug the children too tightly. To smell them. To listen to their nonsensical stories and let them blow raspberries on my stomach.
Like the Trueman Show, the airport seemed to fill up with children of a similar age and shape to my two.
Was it wrong to ask a complete stranger if you could give their child a quick squeeze cos you missed your own?
And probably would result in an airport arrest, which I could totally do without after the flight being cancelled and everything.
So I booked another flight on the promise that easyjet would 'pay me back.'
It had all the certainty of the promise you're made at school when someone borrows a quid and you know you'll never see it again.
But I couldn't wait until Tuesday.
On top of everything else, I do have a job.
And I can't sleep in the airport forever.
I'm not Tom Hanks.
So here I am, it'a 8am and I'm back at the airport again, waiting impatiently for another flight into a completely inconvenient airport that is marginally closer to Brighton than Edinburgh.
Then I'll hop on a train and sometime this afternoon I am going to give those children the most epic hug ever.
But for now, is it too early for gin?