We just got back home after a family ‘holiday’ in Devon. It will come as no surprise to you all that bedtime away from home is even more of a challenge than bedtime at home. But the husband and I have been burnt before. We learnt the hard way that there is no point worrying about sleep on holiday so we were prepared to bugger up our bedtime routine in order to make our week less stressful.
I kept a little diary of our progress….
Kids start asking for ALL the snacks we packed ‘for the journey’ the moment we get in the car. We say ‘no” but relent in a desperate bid for peace after being subjected to continuous singing of ‘are we nearly there yet?’ (Thanks for that Peppa pig). Beat our personal best for toilet stops as we clock up an impressive 6 x service stations. Highlights include spending 25 minutes in a toilet cubicle with a constipated toddler. Finally arrive and spend 2 hours moaning about stuff wrong with holiday accommodation while kids get over-excited (noisy) about the fact there are stairs (we live in a bungalow). Open wine because holiday and toddlers. BEDTIME: Kids too hyper for sleep (and I may have been too tipsy to care) so bed did not happen until 11pm.
Decided to have a relaxing day today as the *kids* were tired (not because I have a hangover, honest). But were quickly reminded that we have kids and therefore relaxing on holiday is no longer a thing. Plus we had to go to the supermarket for all the stuff we forgot to pack (and more wine). BEDTIME: We were convinced the girls would definitely be well ready for bedtime but they threw that idea back in our faces. So we ended up going with the ‘let them run around in the garden until they pass out’ method. Except it did not work because they NEVER EVER pass out.
We decided to go to the beach for sone family ‘fun’. However, sun, sea and sand plus 2 kids = hard work. Highlights included toddler screaming due to ‘sand in her bum’ and my attempt to wash it out with half a litre of Volvic and a sea gull pooing in my bag. BEDTIME: Get back to holiday cottage and TRY to get our tired children to have early night. We thought all the beach fun will have worn them out. We thought wrong. Naked tag game on the Stairs of Fun was happening at 9pm, closely followed by a naked wrestle on the Stairs of Fun. At which point we decided they would need to be separated. We took one each. I am now waiting in the dark for toddler to go to sleep. 10pm. I am still waiting. 10.30pm. Still waiting.
DAY FOUR Despite late night toddler woke me up at 7pm by licking my face. Then asking me for ice cream. FFS! PLUS I have done two lots of laundry. I CANNOT ESCAPE THE LAUNDRY. Although, I will admit to being quite excited because the previous holiday makers had left a bottle of ‘something special’ in the cupboard (posh fabric softener) so the clothes came out smelling of Diamond and Lotus Flower. Who knew diamonds were so fragrant?
Then we were determined to have a Bloody Brilliant Holiday so we spent a million pounds on a family attraction time traveller fossil thingy that ‘the kids will love’ but basically, they just wanted to go back to the FREE park near the Big Tesco. BEDTIME: The children were in bed by a slightly more respectable 9pm, however, our glee was short lived as the toddler woke up later screaming with ear ache. And of course because it is ‘Us’ and ‘Us’ is an idiot we had not brought the Calpol, so all hell broke loose. After a call to 111 and an unsuccessful 24 hour chemist hunt, we managed to locate the ONLY drugs in the village (two paracetamol from the old lady next door) and crush some in honey.
Went to the nearest town and bought all the Calpol (and some more wine). Then went to the pebble beach which is far less annoying than sand. If you can stand the Pebble Beach Walk Of Torture and accept the fact that at one point your toddler will use a pebble as a weapon (she made a miraculous recovery from her ear agony). BEDTIME: Tonight we have decided that the only way to get the kids to have an early night so we can have some grown up holiday time (drink wine on the patio) is to take one each and lie down with them in the dark and ignore them until they are bored to sleep. IT IS A MASTER PLAN.
Master plan now action. Husband and I currently texting each other some romantic pillow talk. ‘Is she still awake?’ ‘How are they not tired’ ‘She just YAWNED! This could be it’ ‘Have you tried Biffy Clyro?’ ‘She wants another bloody lullaby!’
Eventually we ALL fell asleep at 8.30pm. Patio wine date postponed.
DAY SIX Pretended to be a normal happy holiday family and went for an actual meal in a restaurant. It was going well until my daughter uttered the that words no parent wants to hear, ‘I thought I was doing a fart BUT…’ Well, you can guess the rest. BEDTIME: Left the kids with the grandparents as we are off to an actual wine bar for Holiday Date Night. Bedtime, shmedtime. Good luck suckers.
Home bit drunk. Kids in bed (only just). Nana is knackered. Tomorrow we have decided we are going to hire a boat and go for a picnic and do loads of stuff on our last day. Then we will probably move here because the sea is so cool and I might want to be a fisherman, fishergirl, fisherperson??
DAY SEVEN Head ache. Children are loud. Why didn’t they invent children quiet or mute even? And they want stuff. Always wanting stuff. And seriously, they go to the toilet all the bloody time. We have decided not to hire a boat. Or make a picnic. And I probably won’t be a fisherwomen. BEDTIME: Can’t be arsed. Watching TV. The kids are running wild but who cares- we are going home tomorrow and routine will be restored (my future self is laughing in my face as I type this).
DAY EIGHT Seven hours in the car and we are home with SIX TONNES of laundry and a shit load of beach pebbles and sand. The toddler slept for half an hour so that is her up for the night. The five-year-old has a cough so that’s her up for the night. I need a holiday. BEDTIME: Sod it. We’ll get back into the ‘routine’ tomorrow’.
Holidays with children may not be relaxing or peaceful BUT, I know that once we are all back in the routine of work, school, pre-school, dinnertime, cleaning and a doing laundry that does NOT smell of diamonds and lotus; I’ll look back at our noisy, hectic week in Devon with my crazy kids and want to do it all over again.♥
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