We went to France.We didn’t really plan it well short of tossing all our stuff (two small childers included) into our car and heading off. Fail to plan and you’ll plan to fail they say.Never has that been truer in relation to a vacation with tiny humans. Here’s the mini guide to completely mucking up your much anticipated family holiday abroad.
Step 1-See offer in local Aldi two weeks before you are due to leave for two DVD players that fit the back of the headrests in the car.Decide for some unfathomable reason that you will not be one of those parents who entertains their kids with screens all the time. Fail miserably to keep kids entertained on long car journeys with crayons/teddies/songs/nursery rhymes/snacks/drinks/games. Frantically search every French supermarket and electric store for portable DVD players.Finally find them at twice the price of those on sale in Aldi.
Step 2-Buy a brand spanking new roof rack in order to fill it with gallons and gallons of cheap French booze cos you know priorities. Fail to amend ferry booking to reflect this new addition to the height of your car. Cause confusion at the port and wait for two hours on the side of the road while they reassign your parking spot on the ferry.Attempt to entertain the two small children who are already at the outer limits after a three hour road trip. Be literally the last ones to board.
Step 3-Fail to bring sufficient nappies on a day trip to the country half an hour from where you are staying. On a Sunday.When all the shops are closed. Be suitably surprised when toddler does a number two in her last nappy and baby follows suit. Drive back to your lodging with both children naked from the waist down and sitting on plastic shopping bags in a futile attempt to keep the car seats piss and shit free.
Step 4-Decide to visit absolutely everyone-family,friends,everyone. Drive for a minimum of 3 hours everyday for a week.Wonder why the kids are completely out of sync and in foul moods all the time.
Step 5-Book a gite(French holiday home) under the mistaken impression that you have booked the entire building. Realise at 10pm when the kids are bouncing across the beds attempting to ascertain which one they would prefer to sleep in,that there is a noise coming from an adjoining room and that you are not alone in the house. Attempt to keep baby from crying through the night,toddler from waking up too early, both children from singing,warbling,wailing,screaming at all hours. Fail miserably at all these. Receive complaint from your fellow lodger in the morning about how it is impossible for her to relax with all the noise that is coming from your rooms. Long to respond it’s been impossible for you to relax for over 3 years now.Bite tongue instead, mutter a feeble ‘desolé’ and check out early.
Step 6-Pick a beach which has its car park 650 metres away. Fail to bring buggy or baby sling. Lug all beach paraphernalia and baby all the way down to beach.Discover tide is out. Spend next few hours chasing eldest daughter down the beach until she has finally gotten to her desired level of seawater-knee height or approximately 20cms high.
Step 7-Ensure babies are covered with sun cream,hats and UV resistant swimwear at all times.Fail to sufficiently protect yourself from the French sun’s powerful rays. Be unable to walk properly for a week due to nasty sunburn on shins and inside of ankle.
Step 8-Accidentally leave eldest child’s toilet seat behind at a motorway rest stop.Realise your mistake two and a half hours down the road. Fail to convince eldest child to accept new toilet seat. Regress half a dozen steps in the potty training programme. Cry into your cheap French booze.
Step 9-Decide to completely rip the arse out of the holidays by spending an extra night away from home in Limerick catching up with more family and friends and leaving eldest daughter utterly fried for her first day at preschool the next day,because you know,priorities.
Step 10-Swear to plan it better next year…
Have you any gems to add to the list?