Thursday, 27 June 2013

Family holiday...dream or disaster?

I knew this year's summer holiday would be quite a challenge. Those silent readers I have will already know about my two nieces who now  live with us, making for a very busy house with 4 young children.This is the first time we have all been on holiday together, and yes, it is indeed a challenge. I would like to be a glamorous Victoria Beckham/Angelina Jolie type, juggling multiple kids with a busy life and taking everything in my stride. So far on this holiday I am more like Victor Meldrew, a big grump unable to see the funny side of things. I am determined to change my attitude and enjoy my much needed break. The straighteners have been unpacked and my oversized sunglasses are on, so I'm feeling a bit more Beckhamish.  Today's blog centres around how to survive a family holiday and stay sane.( I suspect it may take a while due to being interrupted every two seconds).
I have discovered to my horror, that I actually have 3 moody teenagers disguised in pre-pubescent bodies. The 4  year old is often behaving more like a cranky 2 year old determined to get his own way. I am hoping once the jetlag wears off they will return to their original selves. Waking up time so far has ranged from 3.30 to 5.30, only recently heading towards a more bearable 7am. The plus side of all this is that my husband is now fully aware of how tiring it is to look after 4 children, unfortunately, said husband falls asleep approximately 5 minutes after the children.
I thought I would escape the endless trips to Tesco, but all that has changed is the shop name, I now know where to locate all my shopping list in Walmart. Next visit, I will be buying in bulk, food shopping is not going to be a daily event.
Of course kids love going swimming, I get that. However, constantly being harassed by four swim addicted kids is slowly driving me insane. Even telling them they have to wait till the suncream soaks in did not work. My son set a fifteen minute countdown on his phone, and constantly told me how long was left till the alarm went off. On the subject of suncream, constantly applying sun cream to so many people is not much fun, but I've discovered the spray kind is much quicker and easier. I find it quite enjoyable watching them squirm at how cold it is when I apply it. I'm considering puting it in the fridge for extra jump factor.
I am pleased to say the addictions to modern technology are slowly wearing off. The sulking and bored expressions are being replaced by smiles and the use of their imaginations. It's amazing what the threat of some holiday homework can do!
Constant reminders that there are 8 people on holiday and it's not all about doing what the kids want are finally starting to work, without so much fuss. I'm no longer fed up shouting at the kids to stop running in the house, as it's very comical to watch them instantly switch to skipping. Maybe there is hope for this holiday yet...
After all, there have been good things too. The man in the villa across from us fell in the river while cutting the grass, which appealed to my slightly sick sense of humour, the look on my mum's face as she was tricked into trying a Harry Potter vomit flavoured jelly bean was priceless, aligators on our doorstep are far more exciting than the occasional fox at home, and bagels with cream cheese and strawberries for lunch sitting in the sunshine is one of life's great pleasures.
No, it's time for me to stop complaining and make the best of what has the potential to be the best family holiday yet. My inspiration from now on shall be the house around the corner...I will try to keep my angry inner monster truck at bay, and let more of my contented, peaceful gnome collecting self out.(please note, I do not actually collect gnomes).