Going on holiday with small children takes nerve. We are currently in Orlando, Florida, doing the Disney thing (and the shopping thing, and the eating thing). We are staying in a lovely villa with a pool, and Mr and Mrs Nunn, my parents, are on holiday with us too, so we have on-tap childcare.
Even so, travelling with children is a bastarding nightmare.
Firstly, packing. I can’t even bring myself to talk about this because it took about a week, included must-have items such as “music and light box for bedtime” and eighteen different activities for the aeroplane, all of which were ignored, in favour of the three Milky Bars and two packets of Pom Bear crisps I also packed.
Then, the flight itself, oh God the flight itself. My children don’t sleep in public because they are dicks. Every other parent pushing a buggy will benevolently glance down at their happily somnolent child. Mine find being in public overstimulating and would much rather squirm and annoy rather than obtain unconsciousness. EldestGirl once went a full 28 hours without sleeping on a flight to South Africa, mostly to punish me for bringing her into this world (I could think of no other reason). So a nine hour flight, with a one hour delay with two children who had been up since 4 a.m. – and didn’t get into bed again until 1 a.m. the following day… fun.
YoungestGirl deigned to fall asleep on me for approximately twelve minutes during the flight, but woke when I dared, selfishly, to scratch my nose. She then helpfully vomited over herself, and then wet through her nappy with such force that my own jeans were soaked through. She
had a change of outfit in the bag. I did not. I had to walk through US customs smelling of another human being’s piss. Ah, the glamours of international travel.
Once we arrived at the airport and picked up our hire car, TheBloke (TM) then had to spend a good half an hour trying to Tetris all of our bags into it. Have you ever tried to get six giant suitcases plus handluggage and two children’s car seats and a stroller into a people-mover? We have.
Then there’s jetlag. We arrived to our villa at approximately 8 p.m. local time, and all went immediately to bed. We all fell into a deep, dreamless sleep. Or would have done, had YoungestGirl not decided to have a two-hour meltdown, eventually soothed by Calpol and dark threats of what Mummy might do to her cuddly Benny Bunny if she didn’t go to sleep immediately. Although she actually didn’t need to use it, Mummy also had Piriton on standby in case of a sudden invisible allergy that might sadly require a dose of that antihistamine that has that unfortunate side effect of making them drowsy.
Luckily, at about 11 p.m. local time, YoungestGirl eventually drifted off to sleep. And woke again, ready for the day at 3 a.m. As did EldestGirl.
TheBloke (TM) and I played “rock, paper scissors” to see which of us should get up with them. I won by deploying the little-known option “nuclear weapon” which beats all of them.
Anyway, holiday! Relaxing times!