Is it even a British summer holiday if you don’t spend the majority of it in jumpers and a water-resistant poncho??
Anyway, here are 10 top tips that I’ve taken away from the experience if you too are planning a lovely, relaxing staycation with your children:
1. Immediately adjust your expectations regarding the ‘relaxing’ part.
You will still be getting up at 5am, saying ‘for the last time, PLEASE just put your BLOODY shoes on!!’ and trying not to lose your shit every time they dry-heave at the sight of a vegetable: you’ll just be doing it with a prettier view and fluffier towels in the bathroom.
2. Indulge in a spot of ‘car journey bingo’ on the way down. You get a full house if:
– Your child says ‘are we nearly there yet?’ before you’ve reached the end of the road. 🙄
– Your child has eaten their entire supply of snacks for a 4 hour journey by the first roundabout.
– You’ve strongly considered throwing their tablet into oncoming traffic rather than listen to yet another rendition of ‘Baby Shark’
– You’ve threatened to ‘turn this car right back around’ with absolutely no intention of doing so or any usable back-up plan if they call your bluff and continue to arse about.
– You’ve sprinted into multiple service stations with a wee-resistant toddler tucked under your arm screaming ‘HOLD-IT-HOLD-IT-HOLD-IT!!
3. When deciding how many nights to book don’t forget to account for the fact that it will take you AT LEAST a fortnight to unpack the 20 bags of bedtime / bathtime / mealtime / clothing / backup-clothing /
one-more-bag-for-luck-clothi ng you deemed ‘essential’ to ensure your offspring could survive 7 days in the wilds of Totnes.
I seriously considered putting an offer in on our holiday cottage at the end of the week, because we’d basically moved in by that point and the idea of packing everything up again made me want to chew my own arm off just to get out of doing it…
4. Spraying a child head-to-toe with sun cream and letting them loose on a beach will inevitably, and apparently permanently, transform them into some kind of sand coated toddler-goujon.
There is no getting rid of the stuff. Resign yourself to everything and everyone you love being covered in it for the duration of your holiday.
5. If you’re going to spend hundreds of pounds on a trip to the Zoo (which is seemingly unavoidable: I presume the majority of the animals are gold-plated and fart rainbows), make sure to check the weather forecast first.
Otherwise you’re just that family who spent a fortune to stand in the pouring rain peering into deserted animal enclosures, and whose daughter, when asked what her favourite animal was, opts for the absolute tank of a seagull who swooped in and stole some poor fecker’s Rocky Road outside the café…
6. Only 10% of your time at the swimming pool will be spent in the actual pool.
The other 90% will be taken up with blowing up armbands, wrestling wriggly threenagers in and out of swimsuits every 5 minutes for toilet trips, breaking up pool-side fights over whose go it is to play with the inflatable turtle, and shouting ‘NO RUNNING! DO.NOT.RUN!!’ until you’re hoarse.
7. Do not set ONE FOOT into a seaside arcade with an under 5…
…Unless you’re fully prepared to spend at least 3 hours frantically feeding £20’s worth of 2p coins into a machine in pursuit of a completely worthless Paw Patrol keyring your child apparently can’t live without.
8. If you happen to visit one of those children’s adventure parks…
…And finally gather enough courage to accompany your incredibly excited child on one of those mahoosive wavy slide things, with just a smelly old sack standing between you and certain death, it is generally frowned upon to scream ‘SHIIIITTTTTTT-SHIT-SHIT-S
9. If, one rainy evening, when the kids are tucked up in bed and you’re a few glasses of wine down, you decide to break into the token stash of well-used board games for a ‘bit of fun’, just remember that nobody likes a sore loser.
So, if ‘drunk you’ is the kind of person who throws Play-Doh at their husband during a particularly tense round of Cranium whilst agressively shouting/slurring ‘IT’S A POOL TABLE!!!! HOW CAN YOU NOT SEE IT’S A SODDING POOL TABLE?? GET YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME!!’ – maybe sit that one out…🙈
10. Luckily amidst all the chaos, there will be at least one moment when the sun comes out, nobody is crying, and you can snap that essential #Blessed#FunInTheSun #Family social media photo… (see below 😂).
WRITTEN BY SIOBHAN BUTEL FOR HER BLOG, MUM MALARKEY – PASS THE WINE PLEASE.