So that's it. We are a week and a half back into the school routine. Holidays seem a lifetime ago. The mood swings have returned, on my part too, and I am already counting the weeks until the next break (my daughter has already mentioned the big man in the red suit three times eek!)
This morning at the school gates I bumped into another mum who I had not seen since the kids went back and we politely chatted about the summer. When asked how our trip abroad was I responded 'lovely' and we went off in our separate directions. My holiday was lovely. But lovely was never the adjective of choice in the past. 'Restful' perhaps, 'relaxing', 'wild' even, but rarely simply 'lovely'.
It is glaringly obvious that holidays change dramatically when kids are in tow, particularly toddlers. Leading up to the trip I found myself checking the weather daily in the hope of a smooth ferry crossing. Having never been on the ferry with either of them my over active imagination ran riot with scenarios. It's common knowledge my husband gets seasick, but two sea sick children too? My idea of hell. Fortunately I panicked for nothing, both crossings were like millponds and the girls had the time of their lives tearing about a ship! Then came the trip to the house. Four and a half hours from the ferry, late at night, lost on French roads with a screaming toddler in the back who just wanted her bed... Hmm, I think next time we may fly...
As the holiday progressed we were able to let our hair down. Beautiful bottles of wine in the sunshine over leisurely lunches (OK- one leisurely lunch where we were able to arrange babysitting and escape by ourselves, otherwise lots of downing of wine and French food before the toddler ran off in the direction of sea/road or tantrumed in general public.)
The weather was fantastic. I have come back, potentially, whiter than I left. It was 30 something degrees most days. Que overheated toddler wanting to nap on mummy in a cool bedroom while I daydreamt about lying by a pool with a book. Overheated toddler continued well into the evening too... Daddy enjoyed an evening relaxing in the sunshine while mummy spent two hours taking photos of her 'hot dog' legs inside the travel cot, trying to get said toddler to sleep at night. By the time the kids were asleep the sun had gone in and so had my legs... Shame.
For now there is no more strolling to the top of a mountain on a whim, no more wine tasting tours, or adrenaline fuelled activities. Holidays of the past, are just that, a thing of the past. But while I look back at them with rose tinted nostalgia, I am happy to keep them there for now, instead I have something quite different.
They may not be relaxing, as such, but they are so much fun, hours building mermaids on the beach, with seaweed hair and seashell bikinis. Introducing the kids to foreign food, and all the various face pulling that ensues (snails!?! Really mummy!?!?), the joy of a daily icecream, just because it's holiday, and best of all spending every minute together.
It has been back to reality with a bump. Having spent the best part of a month with my husband, always there to help out, to change a nappy when my hands are full, to cook when I'm too tired, he is gone again, working long days and already tired from the routine. My eldest too, back to school, and while she was excited to see her friends she is already asking if we can go to Spain next year.
So yes, while holidays are far from the same, give me a holiday with kids over the daily grind any day! Now onto making my millions so we can do them more than once a year!!