What is it about holidays that brings out the utter chaos in our family?
We started planning this trip about 4 months ago, booking flights and accommodation in a fairly organised way…then ‘operation getaway’ began in earnest about 6 weeks ago.
Then about 2 weeks to go there was the usual mad panic buying of holiday essentials:
The plan was to wake up on Monday morning all packed and ready to go. Just a few last bits to gather up but really the whole day to eat croissants, paint toenails and lounge about reading travel guides to Kefalonia.
But apparently this is real life and it doesn’t work like that.
Typically the week leading up to our escape was completely mental, I was trying to finish off lots of work, working late nights and all weekend, with no time to get organised.
The main highlights of the week were:
- Ancient Honda gives up. Entirely. While driving at 60 mph.
- Bubs develops strange blisters that eventually cover half his torso. Doctor perplexed.
- Gingernut goes on a homemade water slide butt naked. Cries about sore bottom.
- 18 giant sheets of Celotex are delivered. We spend an hour struggling to get them into the house.
On Saturday I work frantically, multi tasking in a blur of productivity. Husband decides that due to Brexit we must immediately re-mortgage.
As in today.
As in I have hours of work to do, two feral kids to looks after, a house to clean in anticipation of grandparents coming to house sit and six loads of washing to do.
And now a two hour affordability check phone appointment with a nice Scottish man called Stephen. Husband is at work so he can’t do it.
Bubs has an enforced nap while Gingernut watches the entire Toy Story trilogy.
Husband comes home to what is technically described as a bomb site and I declare that we are going out for tea unless everyone fancies out of date Lidl cottage cheese and yellowing broccoli for dinner.
Tons still to do but a cheeky glass of Pinot Grigio with my fish and chips means that all my resolve goes out the window so back at home the kids go to bed and we crack open a dodgy looking bottle of rose wine I won at the school fair (raffle ticket still attached).
Sometime in the dark still hours I remember that I forgot to call the garage to check on the current state of the ancient Honda. I dream about alarm clocks and missed flights.
“Alcohol in the evening is very enjoyable. Hangovers in the morning are very unpleasant. At some point you have to choose: evenings, or mornings”. The Humans – Matt Haig
I made the wrong choice. Again.
7am comes far too early and I feel like Patsy Stone…
The morning starts at a very relaxed pace with tea in bed and the kids using our heads as trampolines.
After breakfast, I do my whirling dervish impression.
I invent a new laundry game. The usual his/mine/girl/boy sorting frenzy becomes his/mine/girl/boy in one of 2 categories – potential holiday or definitely not holiday.
Oh it’s all getting too complicated and I’m starting to
lose the will to live get mixed up.
Husband is sorting out the car – he pops inside and raises his eyebrows at my lack of progress.
Shoes, shoes…where the hell are the beach shoes??? I am NOT buying more…
Grandparents are arriving at 12.30 and due to yesterday’s lovely natter with Stephen, the friendly Scottish mortgage advisor, I haven’t even changed their bed never mind hoovered, cleaned the bathroom…. aarrggh.
Husband comes in and announces he is going for a shower but not before remarking in a panic that the house is still a tip.
The stairs are now an assault course comprised of Lego, Zoobles, Shopkins, books, beanie babies and marbles.
Granny and her partner arrive to Gingernut wearing strawberry stained vest and pants, bubs in saggy nappy and witches hat and me in my 10 year old gym gear that has seen more action in the utility room then ever did in Fitness First.
Dad is fragrant from the shower in a clean ironed shirt. We make an eclectic welcome party.
Eventually we head out for lunch as no-one seemed keen on my cottage cheese and broccoli combo. Gingernut throws her first ever strop demanding pizza and refusing anything else. She gets roast beef.
She needs the loo three times and manages to wet herself while too busy looking at the pub chickens. This morning Bubs randomly decided to potty train and is wearing dinosaur pants. He promptly wets himself too.
I need a small glass of rioja (oh go on then make it large).
Monday arrives with a jolt.
We’re going to leave at 1pm so plenty of time to get organised.
The kids are super excited and busy unpacking as fast as I can pack.
Bubs tells us that Gingernut has gone for a walk all by herself. Cue frantic screaming of her name up the lane and down the hill, which is entirely pointless as she never answers her name. Granny runs one way, dad drives the other and I pace around at home.
Finally the phone rings and it’s our neighbour half a mile away. Gingernut has come to see the ducks.
When they get home, we’re crying and shouting and hugging and expending all of our emotional energy. She is oblivious.
All that’s left to do is print off all the documents we need to bring.
Five minute job.
Unless every single sodding piece of technology conspires against you.
I’ll let a screenshot of my Internet history show you what I got up to from 12:51 to 14:37.
Finally we’re ready. There’s just the small matter of the Honda. No-one is answering the phone at the garage.
We abscond to Gatwick with a borrowed Ford Focus, 46.5 kg of suitcases and a menagerie of stuffed animals.
Do I need a holiday? Hell yeah!
Today’s earworm: ‘Space Oddity’ – David Bowie
Last night’s different dinner score: 1 (Dad made dinner!!!!! whooppee!)