So we have been away for 4 weeks now and have one final week to go of our glorious holiday and I thought I’d reflect on that time and see if I can’t offer a little insight into this whole holiday with a child thing. Just in case any of you were thinking of doing it anytime soon (maybe don’t..).
1. Holidays are about exciting transport. That tingly feeling you get in airports because you know you’re about to go on an adventure? No that tingly is pins and needles in your arm because of all those bags you have to cart with you. It’s having a 10 minute ‘discussion’ with the airline hostess as you try to convince her the 10 items of hand luggage you have are actually only 1 piece of hand luggage. Would she prefer it if you didn’t bring all these things and the child screamed the entire flight, or you bring all the things and said child screams for just 3/4 of the flight? Up to you hostess, I know which one I’d choose. Or is there option C and we could maybe pick up the kid on our way back?
2. Holiday are about sleeping in. You know those holidays when you were young and carefree? Where you could really take the time to catch up on all that sleep you miss out on when you work 9-5 and ‘only’ get 8 hours a night? Yeah that’s gone. You know how you only get 5 hours of broken sleep a night at home? It’s less on holiday. You think your kids don’t sleep well at home? There’s now a million new reasons for them not to sleep. That’s not my cot, I ain’t sleeping woman. It’s darker here, I have to stay awake. It’s lighter here, I can’t sleep. Yup, it’s my linen but ‘something’ isn’t right, it’s a trick, nice try dad, I’m not sleeping. People used to see you after your holidays and say how rested and refreshed you look, now they will see you after your holidays and say how you must be looking forward to your break coming up. Feel free to hand them your child and get back on the plane.
3. Holidays are about eating out. Yup, absolutely, if you’re happy to eat the meal one at a time while the other one distracts the child with one of the 20 thousand toys you packed into the nappy bag, one of the 5 million different snacks that the child doesn’t want because he wants what is on your plate, even though you know he won’t like it. If you’re lucky enough to find a cafe with a high chair then you may be able to eat your meal hot, but that’s in between picking up the 20 thousand toys 598 times over 30 minutes because, you know, that’s the best game in the WORLD. Thankfully New Zealand has a lot of fish and chip shops. Go on, you know it’s easier.
4. Holidays are about an empty suitcase and shopping. Yeah it’s an empty suitcase, as in its empty of anything that’s yours and chocka block full of the ridiculous amount of crap that needs to go everywhere with your kid. A suitcase per night that you’re away for is about the right amount I’d say. Don’t you dare forget that monkey, or that spoon, or that pair of shoes because didn’t I tell you mum? I can’t sleep without that monkey and I won’t eat off any other spoon and there’s no way I’m letting you put THOSE shoes on my feet!! And you thought they made a lot of washing at home? Think again. Mess is attracted to holidaying children, don’t ask me how, something to do with some science and stuff. It’s facts. And I’m not even going to talk about shopping. Don’t even bother.
5. Holidays are about seeing the sights. What can I say? Thank god most kids under 5 get in free, because they truly couldn’t care less about that historic landmark or that spectacular view. And obviously it’s really relaxing to stop and just breathe in the landscape, the hills or the water or the sky. But don’t take more than 36 seconds okay because then he’s going to need food/toys/nappy change/distraction/picking up/putting down/throwing around/cuddles/sweater on/sweater off/help finding his shoe/hat/mittens/toy…you get my drift.
6. Holidays are about doing things together. (Especially after 8 nights of fish and chips…). “I heard there’s this really lovely walk up to a view point, shall we check that out today?” Sure, absolutely, do you want to go this morning and I’ll go this afternoon? Oh, bless, you thought we could all go together. *sigh and a head shake* (you know the one). Maybe it’s just our kid and his feeding issues that brought this one up, but i’m sure if you stopped and thought about it you’d realise how much nicer that activity would have been if you’d just gone on your own, right? You want it to be this fantastic family outing, but you know all your kid wants is to bash that balloon around and definitely NOT sit in the car seat thank you very much.
7. Holidays are about getting back some of that intimacy with your partner. Hahahahahahahaaaaaa hahahahaaaa.
8. Holidays are about family time. This one is legit folks. It’s 100% family time. There’s no grandparents to come and give you a break, no friends popping in with cake and coffee, no playgroups to wear out the kids, it’s just you guys. No break, no rest, just family all day and all night…
In all honesty though we have had the most amazing time, but each and every one of the thoughts on this list passed through our minds at some point or another. It’s not a holiday like it used to be, but if you can let that go, it’s totally worth it.