Holiday - Worth the Pain?
I'm going on holiday today - just for an extended weekend in Sunny Spain.
I take that back because I shouldn't say JUST. I hate that word even though I use it constantly. Life is never just..... Life is special and beautiful and I am the worst person ever for just not being content with what I have. I always want more - More money, more clothes, less clutter, more stuff, more space, more spare time with my children, more child-free time with my partner, more cake..... the list is endless.
Anyway as I started to say, I'm going for a beautifully long awaited weekend away with my brother and his gorgeous family. They currently live in Gibraltar. We don't get to see them often, so this weekend we're meeting up somewhere along the Spanish coastline to have a fun filled 5 days...... But.... Is that really a holiday?
Am I bad parent because I actually dread how I'm going to keep my two children + nephew amused for the 5 days? I mean, what do you actually do? When we first took my son away on holiday he was 3 and desperate to play with Billy the Squirrel. Most mornings he would wave to me and my partner as he skipped off to the holiday club as if he was the one that just won the jackpot, not us, the ones silently rejoicing that we were going to get 2 hours of peace and quiet. He would come back from kids club, want some lunch, sit and have a chat then play in the pool for an hour before being totally worn out and spending most of the afternoons either napping on a sun bed or playing his favourite Lightning McQueen game on the iPad (I have a split personality when it comes to kids and technology but that's for another day).
We haven't been on holiday since. Not for any particular reason other than life has been bloody busy for the last 3 years. We've moved house twice, the boy started school, my partner and I have both started with new companies and we had a breathtakingly gorgeous bouncing beauty join our family team. My daughter Isla joined the mix.
Now we are going away, my darling angel is now 9 months old crawling, trying to walk and will not sit still for 30 seconds. She is a menace. Harry at this age was not bothered about a single thing, the most content little baby I've ever known. Isla on the other hand is a devil, a cheeky minx always trying to escape out the closest door at any given opportunity, trying to crawl into the dishwasher, attacking her brother and eating anything she can get her hands on (whole onion bhajis are her current favourite!) whilst constantly fighting for attention of anyone that is in the room and happy to coo at her. Harry is bored of EVERYTHING! Colouring is boring, going to the zoo is boring, fishing is boring, watching a film is boring, playing with his toys is boring. Everything is just a boring nuisance in his life at the moment. On the other hand, Teddy my nephew is more settled character, is used to being in the sunshine, around pools and blissfully unaware of the chaos that goes on around him so I know HE will be fine.
So do you see my predicament - I have two characters polar opposite in personality whilst being exactly the same at the some points. What do I do with them now for 5 days? How do I trap the baby and keep her entertained at pool side? How do I explain to Harry that at his age he cannot be unsupervised in the pool for 10 hours a day. How do I handle the constant ice cream requests? The need to still have 3 meals a day in the boiling heat, the moaning about it being too hot, blisters on the feet from where flip flops have rubbed, the meltdowns over sand being between their toes, being bored of playing in the pool, fed up of going to town and wanting to go back to the pool.... when all I'm really interested in is when is an acceptable time to start drinking Mojitos?
Is this really a holiday? I think now I understand why I didn't go away with my parents on holiday until later on in life - not that they ever went without us, just that we didn't go abroad. When I say to Chris (my partner in life) I want to go on holiday this isn't the image I imagine in my head. I picture idyllic white sands, with a gentle breeze cooling me to the perfect temperature whilst dolphins dance in the waves in front of me and an incredibly helpful waiter named Raymond makes me a constant supply of Pina Colada whilst I listen to the Calypso band parked up down the way.
Am I a selfish parent who is yet to acclimatise to having children and not yet wanting to sacrifice my life before them? Or am I just one of many? One of a top secret group of parents who all put on a wonderful daily display of blissful parenthood whilst contemplating the question of whether having children is what they should have done whilst never being able to bear the thought of a single moment without them in my existence.
I think I'll be fine - following a last minute dash to Tesco I shall go piled with colouring books, pens, play dough and pointless incredibly expensive noisy toys and maybe even an inflatable donut in which to wedge the baby even just for 2 minutes peace......