Mrboosmum went on holiday, and I, being the lovely person that I am (what I really mean is – being the person who did not get to go on holiday this year and is stuck at home and has nothing to do with her life), have volunteered to write her a guest post. I was going to write a really moving one about how to explain to your child that he has a disability. It was supposed to make you all cry and feel sorry for me and rush over to my blog to comfort me. No, I am not above the sympathy vote. BUT, what happened was that on the one hand my child refused to talk to me about it; he declared he has glasses and a hat not because of his Ocular Albinism, but because he loves them, and could I please stop kissing him? And on the other hand Mrboosmum is not really enjoying her holiday, and needed a pick-me-up. So, I will try and not say I-told-you-not-to-put-too-much-pressure-on-yourself, even though everybody knows that we Jewish people (me. I have no idea about Mrboosmum’s religious affinity) thrive on a good I-told-you-so, and that will make at least one of us feel better. Anyway, I decided to give Mrboosmum and all of you a taste into a few of our finest moments while on holiday, just so she can see hoe low you can really go.
1. Well, there was the time we were in Granada, and we had our youngest sleep on a mattress on the floor of one of the filthiest hotels in the world for 3 nights, because the hotel didn’t have a baby-bed and we got 4 single ones. And I do use the word “sleep” loosely. Very loosely. It was the only time in our life we said hey, let’s be spontaneous. Let’s be like everyone else and go away for the weekend in a moment notice.
Our lovely hotel room.
2. There was our unforgettable weekend in Seville that was a disaster from the moment we got there, with highlights including (but by no means limited to) one child being sick in the middle of this lovely restaurant that sat in this picturesque old city square. He was violently sick on himself, on the table, on the floor, on us. Since he was 6 at the time, we didn’t carry a change of clothes with us and he had to walk like that back to the hotel, the other one trying to touch (and by touch I mean destroy) a 300 something years old Spanish ship model. And it being a Sunday somewhere there, which apparently means EVERYTHING is closed.
The restaurant before. I don’t have an after shot.
3. We had the London weekend when we made the wise decision to sit on the open upper deck of the tour bus in February, on the coldest day of that year, and froze the kids. Our eldest had cold sores of a month after that.
Looks sunny doesn’t it? It was 2 degrees Celsius at the time.
4. When we just moved to London we took the kids to tour Buckingham Palace. An experience that will forever remain seared in our memory for the moment our youngest tried to hug (or push) one of the marble statues. He made it through the red-velvet barriers that sneaky little… before we caught him and he could refuse to apologise.
You can’t take photos inside, and that isn’t the culprit. It’s just so you believe me that we were there.
5. About a year after we had our eldest we decided to go for a romantic couple weekend and leave him with my parents. Suffice it to say that he had a fever less than 24 hours after we left. It took us 4 years after that to attempt another romantic weekend.
It’s not really relevant. He was just so darn cute.
6. When I was pregnant with our eldest we went to Rome for a week, where we had to go back to the hotel every single day for 2 hours in the middle of the day so I could nap. Ah, to be young and in your first pregnancy. And let’s not forget the first night when we got a room with 2 single beds that you couldn’t connect (they were bolted to the floor. Seriously), and the elevator was so tiny only one person could go in every time).
That really This is me sleeping in Rome.
7. Then there was our first “family holiday” with my parents, in London, where nothing went as planned, all they wanted to do was sit in Starbucks, none of my very carefully laid plans got accomplished, and when we came back we vowed never to go with them anywhere ever again…
8. Last one from the Alhambra in Granada (we went to with my parents), when our eldest went running straight into the mud and fell in. Of course he got all dirty. Of course there was no change of clothes. Of course it ruined the rest of the day.
Every single time we go anywhere we get lost. Every single time we set aside a portion of the time for arguing (ok, that was a nice way to say we fight. And blame each other for the getting lost and other things). Every single time someone has too many expectations from those 3 days.
We used to have so many problems with the children. The sleeping, the eating, the going places that are not football/animal related, the whining, that every single time we came back and said never again. Never.
Until next time that is.
Even now, looking back, some of it is still quite horrible (like the tour we took at the Emirates Stadium, where our youngest spent the whole three hours walking while crying. Loudly).
The thing is, it gets easier. You have to have a system that works for you, like promising the children a toy for every day they behave (me? Bribe the children? Never), stopping to eat every two hours, lots of electronic devices (DVD player, iPhones, DS, etc), planning ahead, taking lots of photos (for two reasons, first most kids see a camera they stop whining and pose, and also because it’s a known thing – the worse the holiday, the more photos you have). And breathing. Lots and lots of deep breaths. Oh, and not going on a holiday can also help.
And besides, Mrboosmum, what were you thinking – two weeks straight?!
Orli D., wife, mum, blogger. Not always in that order. Loves my family, writing, and chocolate. Not always in that order. Blog over at Orli Just Breathe incessantly and honestly about SEN, Ocular Albinism, Vision Impairment, Gifted kids, my kids, parenting and anything else that crosses my mind. Lives life as an expat in London, and trying to find my way in this modern life.