Tag Archives: holiday
I’m going on holiday today. Without my child.
While my daughter stays at home with her grandparents, her father and I are going off on a jolly. We’re ditching her for a few days, neglecting our responsibilities as parents to go and have some fun on our own.
What a mean mum and dad we are.
Or are we? Continue reading
You’ve never known true fear until you land in a foreign country and realise you’ve forgotten the directions to your holiday destination.
Yes, I really am that stupid.
It turns out after spending a week packing and fretting about the number of nappies to take on our first family holiday, I forgot the finer details. I was so embroiled in which toys and hats to take, that I forgot to print off the directions to our villa in Turkey. And realised mid-air, somewhere over Bulgaria.
The flight was fine. I mean, really fine. The baby slept and then woke up and happily munched on a corn on the cob for an hour. Despite my aggressive efforts to thrust a nipple into her mouth during take off and landing (after reading that breastfeeding can stop the baby’s ears hurting), Frog was happy and content.
But then we landed at Antalya airport. There the fun began, as our predicament slowly dawned on us. The thing is, when you’re backpacking around Southeast Asia, you can easily rock up to a country with no idea where you’re going to end up. That’s part of the fun. But it’s quite a different story when you have a baby in tow and are still struggling to come to terms with the huge weight of responsibility that is parenthood. I now know why my mum used to take her role as Chief Navigator so seriously.
With Grandad F behind the steering wheel and the (self proclaimed) Northern Love Machine as his right-hand man, we slowly made our way in the hire car out of the airport, each blaming the other for the fact we had no directions. Getting used to driving on the other side of the road and closing our eyes to the fact the baby car seat we’d rented was totally unfit for purpose, we found a road and followed it. In the dark. But after managing to get hold of the friend who we’d rented the villa from we started to relax.
And that was our mistake.
Because after the “dual carriageway” we were following petered out into a dusty dirt track, it became clear we were well and truly marooned in the middle of Turkey. With a baby. In the dark. Did I mention it was dark?
Midnight came and went and still we had no idea where we were or where we were going. We were searching for an elusive dual carriageway that stubbornly refused to be found. As Grandad F kept up the “this is all part of the adventure” patter, I looked over to my sleeping baby and felt sick. Adventure is no fun with a baby. I just wanted to unpack the car and have a cup of tea, relaxing in the knowledge my baby was safe asleep in her travel cot, rather than a flimsy piece of plastic in a car lost down the end of a dirt track.
The situation was made worse by the fact I couldn’t shout at anyone and pass on the blame as a) the whole situation was entirely my fault and b) the baby was asleep and I didn’t want to wake her.
But, like all good stories (apart from Titanic), it was all alright in the end. Obviously, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this. We found a friendly Turkish fisherman who pointed us in the right direction after unhooking his fish. An hour later, we were safely tucked up in our lovely villa almost laughing at our stupidity.
And that was it really. The holiday was a huge success. I ate too much, as I always do. And then moaned every day about the fact I was putting on weight and Boot Camp had been for nothing, while simultaneously stuffing my face with Kebaps and wine and cheese and stuffed vine leaves and Baclava and more Kebaps.
Frog spent the entire fortnight being accosted for her photo in the street. (There’s nothing like a bit of Turkish baby love to make you think your baby is the most beautiful in the world). And she swam and played and swam some more.
And now we’re home and I’m triumphant. I’ve survived the middle of the night flight with a baby (tried to check in at the wrong terminal and nearly missed our flight but that’s another post). I’ve survived the unpacking. I haven’t had a nervous breakdown.
And my relationship is intact, which is always a bonus.
You know me, ever the drama queen.
But this week has seen dramatics taken to a new height, with the terrifying and almost impossible task of packing for our first family holiday.
I used to quite enjoy packing for holidays. It was a leisurely and relaxing activity, part of the build-up to the holiday itself. I’d write lists with sub-headings like “Toiletries” and “Swimwear” (I agree, far too much time on my hands). I carefully browsed the shops to find the perfect new bikini. I took my time painting my nails and making sure there were no unruly stragglers in the bikini line area. My legs were shaved and moisterised and I had at least three new outfits for the trip. I even plucked my hairy toes. Yes, it’s fair to say the pre-holiday experience was a pleasant one.
And then I had a baby.
I have been packing for a week. Yes, a full week. I’ve written a notebook full of lists. I’ve packed and then unpacked and then packed again. I’ve decided to take nappies, changed my mind in an attempt to slim-line the luggage, then changed my mind again. I’ve packed a bag of toys for the plane, panicked and added more, then chucked them all on the floor to make my choices from scratch.
What if she doesn’t like those toys? What if it’s cold and she doesn’t have enough clothes? What if it’s hot and she doesn’t like the choice of four hats I’ve taken? What if she gets hungry at the airport? What if two magic blankets aren’t enough? What about milk? What about books? What about sheets? Towels? Nappies? Should I take more nappies? AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!
Last night saw the culmination of my huge over-packing efforts. I collapsed in a heap on the floor wailing “I just can’t do it anymore. I’ve got more responsibility than the Prime Minister!”
Needless to say, the (self proclaimed) Northern Love Machine laughed at me and told me to get a grip.
But I still haven’t finished. This bloody packing lark is taking longer than my university dissertation and a heck of a lot more research. I haven’t even started on my own clothes yet. And don’t even ask about the bikini line area. Or the hairy toes.
So on that note I’m going to go and attempt some kind of conclusion to my packing nightmare. I realise I’ve turned this into a far more complicated activity than it ever needed to be. But if I could just make up my mind about those damn nappies…
See you all in two weeks, when you can hear all about the unpacking at the other end. Bet you can’t wait.
Not that I’m a drama queen or anything, but today has been a momentous day.
I…. (wait for it)…..
Handed my notice in at work.
See, I told you I wasn’t a drama queen.
Anyway, it’s been a pretty big deal for me. I’ve always loved my job and, when I was pregnant, I just assumed I would go back. But after much deliberation and calculation of childcare costs, I realised it just didn’t make sense.
So I’ve decided to go freelance. I know, I know, you’re very pleased because this means I’m finally available to work for you. Don’t all rush to book me at once. There’s plenty to go around.
But I do have a plan B. If the freelancing doesn’t work out I’m going to aim for a career change. And, because this all ties in very nicely with this week’s Listography theme of what we want to be when we grow up, I thought I would share my options with you:
1. The sixth member of Take That: Because Gary Barlow’s been hankering after me to join the group for ages. Good news Gary, I’m finally available.
2. A ballet dancer: Because I look rather fetching in a tutu. The big frills hide the old love handles.
3. A spa-tester: Because I really am very good at testing Jacuzzis and saunas. There’s a gap in the market for this sort of thing don’t you know.
4. A professional wine buff: Because I drink enough of the stuff to know the difference between red and white. And I think I’d do a brilliant little segment on Saturday Kitchen, especially if I wore my tutu and sang a bit of Pray.
5. A holiday show presenter: Because I like holidays. And I’m not bad at presenting either. It would mean keeping on top of the constant hairy toe problem though. Not to mention the bikini line.
What do you want to be when you grow up? Read the rest of this week’s entries at Manana Mama (she’s really rather funny). And no, I’m not drunk (for once). She’s hosting it for Kate at Kate Takes 5 this week.