AKA - Hurricane Hutchins
I’m sitting in a Burger King car-park, in Budapest, at 0100 in the morning.
I’m not dogging, and I’m not a burger fiend or anything like that (well, no more than any other sane person). No, my brother and his tiny family are coming to stay and I’m lying in wait near the airport to collect them. Just to clarify, by ‘tiny family’, I don’t mean that they are a family of primordial dwarfs. More that he’s bringing his little children with him as well as his beloved wife. One is a few days shy of 7, and the other is 3. I’m excited about seeing them, but also bracing myself. With three children together in a confined environment, naturally, there’s a storm coming. Hurricane Hutchins is almost upon us.
Today is exactly one year since our little lady burst her way in to this world via my beautiful wife’s groin. I can’t believe it’s been a year! A year since a doctor muttered the immortal words, "Come! You can see the head!" I can still hear the sound of Zsuzsa’s primal scream drowning out the operatic tones of Pavarotti’s Nessun Dorma! I can still feel the strange feeling that I felt when I was handed a little purple baby while a Hungarian doctor babbled away to me in incomprehensible Hungarian. I still remember driving home from the hospital on my own in the evening (Zsuzsa and Mila needed to stay in for a few days) and plonking myself down on the sofa with a bottle of red. I can't believe that it's 21 months since Zsuzsa muttered the words, "Honey, can you see a cross here?"
It seems like only yesterday that we were a care-free, happy-go-lucky couple who would swan off to far flung corners of the world at the drop of a hat. A couple who got their fair share of sleep and could spend a rainy sunday snoozing on the sofa or binge watching entire seasons of House of Cards, should we choose. That life has now been put on hold for the next 18 years or so.
We celebrate our little lady's first birthday at a stunning winery/restaurant near Lake Balaton with family and friends. Mila seems to be overjoyed. A great day to finish off a quite extraordinarily wonderful year.
Today Mila took it upon herself to start called her Uncle Ross, 'Blub'. Uncle Blub. It's got a nice ring to it. Uncle Blub claimed not to take it personally, but I did notice him sucking in his gut around Mila for the rest of the day.
Today Uncle Blub and his family are departing Hungary and heading back to a rain engulfed Wales. We’ve had a lovely time frolicking in the lake and barbecuing copious amounts of chicken, pig and cow. We’ve been to Budapest Zoo where we witnessed a reptilian orgy of Romanesque scale in the tortoise enclosure. We’ve ridden the child-slave railway through the mountain's of Buda. We’ve drank our body weights in Aperol Spritz. We’ve generated infantile chaos on the grandest of scales at some of the finest eateries that Budapest has to offer. It’s been a blast, great to see them all and spend time together, and to see the cousins bond. But now I’m physically and mentally exhausted and wondering how anybody can cope with more than one child.
Before they leave, we visit an al fresco bar/restaurant. I look around. The children are off playing somewhere and my brother is also nowhere to be seen.
“Where’s Ross?” I ask.
“I think he’s behind that bush, somewhere over there?” replies his wife, Ceri.
“What’s he doing behind a bush?”
Ceri just shrugs.
A few minutes later and Ross emerges carrying a plastic bag. Our eyes meet. Ross looks sad. He motions to the plastic bag. There’s something in it.
“Pants.” he says.
He sighs, looks straight ahead and walks a few more metres towards a bin. In the background his youngest then emerges from behind the same bush with a proud smile. Ross then turns to me, still looking sad.
“Diarrhoea.” He says.
A few hours of pandemonium later and they have left. Mila is in bed and Zsuzsa and I are sitting in blissful silence on our sofa. I turn to my wife.
“Maybe I should get a vasectomy.” I say.
“We should look in to that.” says Zsuzsa.