TropicalNote the absence of children…

I never understood my friends with school kids when they
said they looked forward to the end of term break. I thought the default
setting for parents was School Holidays = Hell. I thought we were all meant to hold one another at the prospect of 
all that quality time.

But then you actually have a school kid and as everyone
staggers exhaustedly through the last weeks of school, you realise what a
blessing it will be not to have to haul anyone out the door on time each morning.
You embrace the opportunity to tell the children, “Fine! Don’t wear pants. See
if I care!” You embrace the opportunity to go pantsless yourself.

School holidays are freeing.

However, I keenly anticipate the return to routine when they
are done.

But what to do with those days in-between?

In this, I have to admit, I am not adventurous. Going places
with small children….well, it kind of blows, doesn’t it? The toilet emergencies,
the missed naps, the haemorrhaging of money, not to mention always hovering on
the edge of a teary breakdown (sometimes the children cry, too!). I can count
on one hand the number of times we have had a family outing that hasn’t turned
to shit at some point. Invariably, Bren and I return home shell-shocked and
ordering everyone to bed. At 4 o'clock in the afternoon.

It’s hard and expensive work.

So when people ask, “What are you doing in the holidays?” I
tell them, "Nothing". I tell them we are plans-free. I tell them we don’t go away because going away with little kids is the opposite of happiness.

The packing (and then unpacking) involved for a family of
five is unbelievable. If one of those five is still a baby, it’s a special kind
of nightmare.  

And then there’s accommodation. Our current budget allows
for strictly motel-level digs. And call me a princess but I prefer to stay in a
place where the cleaning staff have at least tried to hide the fact that thousands of strange, human bodies have previously shed their skin cells in the
beds.

Don’t say it. Don’t say it! I know you’re thinking it. But
the c word offends me, people. OFFENDS me.

Yes, camping. Or should I say NO camping. One does not camp.
One is not amused by camping.

And before you shout at your computer screen that I haven’t
even tried it, yes, yes, I have.

It was years ago with a boyfriend. His family headed to a
popular river side destination for the summer holidays. I’m not being secretive;
I just can’t for the life of me remember the name of it. All I know is it was
fucking hot and it started with M. Or
something.

So yeah, it was hot and there was water. They all
water-skied. I refused to even try because I knew I would face-plant, almost
drown and then resurface without my bathers bottoms. To their credit, they were
obviously seasoned campers and set up an open kitchen tent and blah, blah,
whatever. It was their idea of civilised. But what about the toilet? Going
potty is a necessity and I spent the entire time pissing in the bushes and
drip-drying until the final day when someone mentioned the portable loo they’d
set up. Ummm, really? There’s a fucking toilet with an actual seat here and
no-one mentioned it? Great. Prior to that, I pretended I really wanted to go into town for a
pub meal just so I could use a real, flushing latrine. And then I had to
pretend I was only doing a wee in there because the relationship was still new
enough that I didn’t want him to think that girls need to go number twos.

Jesus. The horror is still fresh.  

Whatever. I don’t
camp.

I like expensive hotels with swim-up bars and a Kids Club.
And so I am waiting patiently until such time as this kind of holiday is in the
budget.

I am a very patient woman.

Until then, you’ll find me pottering around home with my
little family, rediscovering our backyard after winter, trying to catch up on
stuff I’ve been meaning to do for months (years) and just generally being unhurried
and free of expectations.

To me, that sounds like a holiday. 

Hello friends

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I’m Angie!  I mum. I write. I wife. My husband would say this is the correct order.  He’s so neeeedy. I live with my family in Melbourne, Australia, where I complain about the weather for 90% of the year – but I can’t imagine living anywhere else. Except maybe in Lake Como, waving to my neighbours George and Amal each morning.

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11 Comments

  1. Bec | Mumma Tells

    I love being outdoors. You know, the walking and playing kind of outdoors. The very idea… even possibility… of having anything creepy or crawly come anywhere near me while attempting to sleep is not okay with me either. And flushing toilets ALL THE WAY!
    Alas, our holidaying budget sounds much the same as yours. Guess I’ll be exercising patience too.

    Reply
  2. LettheWildflowersGrow

    When people asked me to Blog about our school holiday plans and adventures I told them there wasn’t much point,as we were not doing much!

    I have 4 aged 7 years down to 3 years and going anywhere other then the local park sucks sometimes.
    There are good days but you can never count on that day being the good one,and it always seems to break apart on the ONE day you spent a lot of money!!!

    We are visiting parks and going on walks in our estate a lot over the next 2 weeks.
    And I downloaded One Direction concert movie for the older girls so they still think I am mum of the year.
    Winning!!

    Happy holidays.
    Jess x

    Reply
  3. Mumabulous

    I too have camped. I too have performed my ablutions in the bush armed with nothing but a spade and a few squares of toilet paper. I survived this and even enjoyed the reverie around the the camp fire. Taking children camping however is one a whole other circle of hell. You are wise to avoid it Padwan.

    Reply
  4. E

    There’s two types of people in this world – people that can camp with kids and people that refuse to camp with kids. I am the latter. I couldn’t imagine a fresher hell and I make no apologies for that.

    Reply
  5. Sophie

    Have you discovered Travel Zoo Angie? Too late for these hols but you could plan the next. Crazy discounted prices! My friends stayed at a 5-star resort with kids club in Thailand for 10 days for $90/night, incl buffet breaky and got vouchers for half price massages. There’s loads of deals for Oz destinations too.

    Reply
  6. Angie @ The Little Mumma

    Yep. Outdoors is great. I always feel better when I spend quality time out in the natural world. But the natural insects need to be exterminated immediately.

    Sigh. Beer budgets suck.

    xx

    Reply
  7. Angie @ The Little Mumma

    Nice one, Jess. The thing about little kids is that they don’t need whiz bang exciting holidays. It’s not too hard to impress them. Although I am sure my boys would be ultra-impressed with camping. Sorry, kids. Not on my watch. 😉

    xx

    Reply
  8. Angie @ The Little Mumma

    I knew it. I sensed it and I heeded the intuition. But thank you for confirming what my waters were telling me all along….

    Reply
  9. Angie @ The Little Mumma

    Camping without kids is equally balls in my opinion. If I can’t plug an appliance in, I’m not going. The end.

    Reply
  10. Angie @ The Little Mumma

    No! Clearly I need to, Sophie!

    Thank you so much for the tip. Will check it out. xx

    Reply
  11. Vicki @ Knocked Up & Abroad

    Girlfriend, I didn’t know you and I were so different! Your recall of camping is classic. I feel your pain with all that you said – the packing, the money, the toilet issues, the tears… it all happens here too but I still gotta get up and get out. Although with the kids multiplying I can see there will be a day when the c word is all that is possible… but yes, it won’t be without complications. Strength will be required.

    I am a bit excited by Travel Zoo which Sophie has mentioned above… I’m on it. Why have I not known about this previously??

    Reply

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