You may have picked up on the fact that I am great with child. In fact at this very moment I am either excruciatingly overdue, in the throes labour or weeping at the enormity of having a newborn. Whatever is happening I’m not in a fit state to write anything but luckily some of my lovely fellow bloggers have helped me out with a guest post or two to see me over the next few weeks.
First up is the fabulous Sam from Mouse Moo & Me Too. Sam started blogging at the same time as me but is infinitely better and more successful. She’ll make you laugh, she’ll make you cry and she’ll tweet you a GIF on a Friday if you want. If you haven’t checked out her blog you should or I’ll send the heavies round to break yer legs. Anyway her guest post is all about the joys of holidaying with children. Did I say joys? I meant indescribable pain and suffering…
I went to the beautiful, all hallowed lands of Cornwall recently, for a week of un-WiFi bliss and a heck of a lot of pastry. Oh, the dreams I had! Of beach days and salty kisses and sandy toes and general bonhomie as a merry troop of four. Maybe I could dress the girls in matching jelly shoes? Maybe my wide-brimmed hat would get caught in the breeze and my eldest would chase it across the dunes, to fits of giggles and slapstick sketches? Maybe I would twirl the youngest around in my outstretched arms, later to find that my husband had isolated a pocket of phone signal and uploaded it to Facebook with the caption “how beautiful is my wife here?”.
Well, fuck that. Yeah, we had fun and all, but being on holiday with childfolk is basically the same as being at home, only with a smaller TV and no washing machine.
Here’s my helpful list of 10 mood deflators, should you be planning a last minute summer sojourn with your familia.
Myth 1: Wherever you’re going, there won’t be a soft play.
Truth: Sodding everywhere has a soft play these days. We went to the Eden Project, and the natty bus driver (it’s park and ride, doncha know) announced on our journey up the hill that there was a lovely soft play for little’uns. “SOFT PLAY!” came the screeching chorus of children. “I’m paying for botanic shit, not PVC foam” I said to my husband. One hour later, we were down in the land of lurid sponge, being whacked around the head with fake trees.
Myth 2: Routine doesn’t matter when you’re on holiday, because holiday.
Truth: Yes. Yes it really does. Especially when it’s 10pm on day 4 and you’re making a third round of milk and crackers because the 4 year old is delusional with sugar and thinks she can see bees on her pillow.
Myth 3: You are guaranteed a lie in though, with all those late nights.
Truth: You might get one – typically on the last day when you need to check out by 9.30am. But as standard, the dawn chorus brings its own herald of thundering feet and demands for Peter Rabbit and fucking Go Jetters.
Myth 4: Staying in the UK is well easy compared to flying abroad.
Truth: Well, planes are exciting though. Planes have other people, and food trolleys, and curious gaps under chairs and strange noises. Four hours rammed in a car with toppling piles of bags is pretty strenuous, even when the midpoint (Weymouth, folks) comes with the promise of a leg stretch and a mint Cornetto.
Myth 5: There’s really no need to overpack. Whatever we’ve forgotten can easily be purchased.
Truth: And by this I mean toothpaste, the booster seat, and bastard towels because someone didn’t read the small print that said towels were definitely not included in the villa hire. Cue a 9pm dash to the nearest Asda, where nearest actually means 11 miles away.
Myth 6: A week of no signal will be properly blissful.
Truth: It’ll do your head in. You know it’s bad when you wet yourself with excitement at finding 3G, let alone a WiFi hotspot. Your phone hasn’t a hope in hell of pushing any of your notifications to you, you can’t check your bank balance on the app, and you can only Instagram your holiday snaps by hanging out of the bathroom window while standing on the loo.
Myth 7: Holiday nookie is the best, isn’t it?
Truth: No, because your “villa” is actually a bloody small little house and your children are sleeping approximately two metres away from you, no matter which room you happen to be in. You haven’t even had a private conversation since last Friday, let alone exchanged fluids.
Myth 8: The kids won’t tantrum, because they know they’re having superfun special holiday time, right?
Truth: No, because they’re insolent little fucks and they don’t care if they’re in Buckingham Palace…if the strop strikes, assume the brace position and prepare for battle. Also, be armed for a surprising surge in emotional catcalls, such as “please help me, mummy you’re REALLY HURTING ME NOW”. For the record, I was doing up her sandal.
Myth 9: A UK holiday is so much cheaper than going abroad, especially if you go self-catering.
Truth: Indeed, except for how will you eat and gain entry to all of these wonderful places and then eat amidst all the wonder of the places you’ve paid for? Answer me that. Clue: the pound doesn’t stretch far in the South of England. Even parking at the beach costs about £6.
Myth 10: Beach days are the BEST days.
Truth: Admittedly they are. Though not so much when your child gets mild heatstroke and intermittently sicks and shits over the sheet you nicked off the downstairs bed in absence of a picnic blanket. Don’t worry, she was soon demanding ice cream and scotch eggs.
So yeah. Pass me the holiday brochures for 2018, and remind me to call up the in-laws. They’re coming, and they can pay for it.