I need a holiday.
We have just returned from a wonderful family holiday at the Iberostar Fuerteventura Palace Hotel and I would highly recommend both the hotel and the resort. But, this post is not a review – oh no, you know me better than that. This post is about to explain to you why I started by telling you that I needed a holiday.
It all began with a simple comment from the Other Half on day one. He had just emerged from the freezing pool where our girl had been holding him captive for three hours. Withered like a prune with goosebumps covering his body, I beheld a broken man:
“Shall I see if I can get us an earlier flight home? I can’t do this for another ten days.”
I opened my arms to him and gestured for him to come over.
“Don’t worry,” I said handing him a beer. “We’re on holiday.”
Our hands gently brushed as I passed him the drink; our eyes met and his lit up.
“Tag. You’re it!”
I looked longingly over at my Kindle on the sunbed knowing that it would be at least four hours until I found out if Sansa was going to get pushed through the Moon Door by her Aunt Lysa. (I’ve seen the series, so I know the answer, but the need was still great.)
Therefore, on the first day I learnt that in order to survive we needed to work as a team. And so we did. Never before have the Other Half and I been so in sync.
“We haven’t argued yet,” I noted as we were strolling down to dinner on the third evening.
“There’s no time,” he said, deflecting a low blow to the stomach from the girl for refusing to put her on his shoulders.
Unwittingly then, we became a tag team and spent the majority of the holiday at opposite sides of the complex. This worked quite well in the early stages because the girl just wanted to play in the pool and the Dude wanted to go for walks and climb on anything that would put him in perilous danger. Now, I hate being cold (and the pool was like ice), so more often that not, I spent the majority of my time peeling the Dude from walls, chairs, sun loungers, swings, slides, tables, the Fanta machine… where as the Other Half spent the majority of his time in the pool freezing while being continuously head-butted by a ‘shark’ donned in armbands, goggles and a cute tankini from Next.However, in order to be a successful parenting tag team, there are rules you must abide by and it is important that you don’t become too cocky. It is imperative that you choose a child* to
It wasn’t until we returned to the room when I looked in the mirror and realised that my back now resembled the scorched earth of Hell.“It doesn’t hurt,” I said touching it.
By 7pm that evening, I was in agony and it continued for at least three more days. The burn resulted in me wearing a t-shirt for the following three days which I suppose was a positive as it meant I didn’t accidently flash anyone in the pool.
I also learnt that applying sun-cream regularly helps with the preservation of your tan. Days before the end of the holiday, my back began to peel. And without going into too much detail the Other Half compared me to The Singing Detective infected with Greyscale. My daughter though, she loved it. Yes, she loved sitting on my back and slowly peeling the skin from it. I was both disgusted in her for doing it and in myself for allowing her to do this in public, but the pull of my Kindle was just too strong now that I had finally started ‘A Feast for Crows’ and Tywin Lannister was dead.Being only eighteen months old, the Dude still has a nap in the afternoon. On holiday, I learnt that it was better
“Kids’ Club, Kids’ Club!” I would chant each morning.
“Nope!” she replied every day. “Pool.”
Therefore, one of the final things I learnt at the ‘Hotel of Hard Knocks’ was that if you want a few moments to yourself, then you must get your children to make friends with other children. This proved to be very difficult. Not because my girl is unsociable. She is actually brilliant at making friends and I am incredibly proud of her. However, we learnt that if the majority of children in the hotel do not speak the same language as you, then it can be quite difficult to make friends.
A lot of the families in the hotel were German and British families were in the minority. We found ourselves speaking REALLY LOUDLY in front of any family we heard speaking English.
“MY DAUGHTER, WHO IS FOUR AND REALLY FRIENDLY, ABSOLUTELY LOVES PLAYING IN THE POOL!”
“ARE WE GOING TO THE MINI-DISCO TONIGHT AT 8.30PM IN THE CONCERT ROOM?”
Bless her though, she did manage to make a few friends, but wouldn’t bloody go to the kids’ club with them, preferring to play in the pool alone or with Daddy.
Finally, we learnt that next time we go on holiday, it might be worth learning German. Being a family of blondes (mine’s from a bottle) we were often mistaken for German or Swedish holiday makers.
“Sprichst du Deutsch?” we were asked a number of times.
“Noooooooo,” we replied in our broad Yorkshire accent.
They would smile politely, inwardly disgusted in our lack of bilingual skills.
We would hang our heads in shame at our lack of bilingual skills.
It only lasted for a second though because one kid was off dashing into the pool and the other was off to climb on a table somewhere.
And my poor Kindle would be left discarded once again on a sunbed, alone.*Having being blessed with two children, I am only certified to give advice to those with up to two children. If you are tackling more than two children on holiday, then you are in my prayers…!