Tuesday, 25 February 2014

An idyllic weekend

Friday, 4pm: Arrive in handsome market town full of quirky, independent shops. So looking forward to weekend break.

4.06pm: As we're pulling into the car park, the Boy makes a series of unedifying burping noises and then covers himself and his car seat in sick. Clean car seat and Boy as best we can.

4.07pm: Realise we have forgotten the Boy's pushchair.

4.55pm: Arrive back at car. During shopping trip, the Boy attempted to invade the back area of a butcher's shop and began howling on the way back to the car after being made to walk.

5.30: Arrive at log cabin. Pour drinks, start cooking dinner.

6pm: On toilet as everything goes black. While my back was turned, my husband claimed he was tidying up while the Boy broke into the cupboard with the fuse box and somehow turned everything off. After failed attempts to resurrect power, sit in dark while my husband fetches someone from reception to fix electrics. Husband tells man he can't understand what happened and pretends fuse box spontaneously stopped working. I cannot look campsite man in the eye.

6.30pm onwards: Plan was to feed Boy first then have romantic date night. This collapses into farce as, partly because of fuse debacle and partly because we can't work the oven, the only food we have available for the Boy is gingerbread cake. We feed him this in desparation and he is then either on a sugar high or so excited he can't sleep. Evening degenerates into too much wine, eating fish while Boy charges around our legs, and many attempts at putting a hyperactive toddler to bed.

Saturday morning: Go to a child-centric tourist attraction, then onto another handsome town with plenty of shops. Agree that we will go to bookshop and I will look at display of children's books with the Boy while husband browses, then vice versa. Plan collapses when Boy tries to dismantle window display then becomes increasingly truculent at my attempts to stop him. March him to back of shop and hiss at husband that we have a few minutes to get out. Dash around shop picking up a couple of books. Boy has full on meltdown in shop. We hustle him out. Bookshop man looks at me pityingly and tells me it gets better.

Saturday afternoon: Go to holiday camp pool. Boy very well behaved. Have drink in lounge afterwards. Boy, who should be tired after swimming, keeps either trying to chat to men watching rugby or makes energetic escape attempts. He begins to tantrum and, again, is hustled from the room.

Sunday morning: Pool again and then home. Look for homely country inn or tearoom for lunch. Everything shut as it is Sunday. Feed Boy crisps in car for lunch.

Oh, it wasn't quite as bad as all that; we went to a bird of prey centre which was excellent, one of the places we stopped for food went out of their way to bring toys for the Boy, which we massively appreciate.

It's always a learning curve, though; this time we learned that Duplo will nearly always help, to keep sick bags in the car, to immediately block access to the fuse box, to have a list of things we need to take with us, to remove the Boy from shops the moment he starts looking like having a tantrum, and to always have some sort of emergency, vaguely healthy food in stock when we go on any weekend or day trips.

We also learned the Boy can easily demolish half a gingerbread cake; where he puts it we cannot guess.


  1. Mmmm. Gingerbread cake!

    This read like one of those travel spots - "24 hours in X" - that always make me want to follow suit. Well, maybe!

    Fuse boxes here are always on the walls, usually outside the back door, so kids can't reach them. Come camping in NZ.

    Oh ... and (in this comment that never ends), you inspired me to write three different posts on ferries.

  2. Oh my and this is what I have to look forward to! LOL I applaud you for not looking your sanity.