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Alexander Residence: The art of holidaying with small kids continued...

Friday, 24 September 2010

The art of holidaying with small kids continued...

Well nearly time to go home, just as we were getting the hang of it. We bought a lilo today, realised we should have bought a dingy, but still much fun had by all with it in the pool. (total disaster in the sea as both kids got floored by a huge wave, even sitting on it on the sand, they really are strong currents). Full morning and early pm at the beach then back to the villa to swim. We are refining our list of what we need for a perfect family beach holiday. Trouble is next year they will be a whole year older and wiser and the list will change again. My OH reminded me that it's not forever, they will be entertaining themselves soon and won't need constant supervision. For me that the hardest part of being here-it really serves to remind you how life was before kids, how lovely it was to lie uninterrupted on a lilo. How lovely to get drunk on dodgy cocktails and sleep it off all day on a lounger. Or maybe not.
It is harder work doing stuff with kids in the heat - suncream, sunhats, changing in and out of costumes, blowing up inflatables, cleaning up melted ice creams and removing sand from everything. Today though I felt we began to perfect the art of less is more, aka how to look after the kids in the heat without breaking into a sweat. The lilo was a big help, I soon found I could lounge on it while they played at the edge of the pool, previously I had been hovering doing aquarobics moves to try to keep warm. And when my OH and I took turns to entertain them we both got a chance to sunbathe.
I have that lovely warm relaxed feeling after a day in the sun and sea. Although we have spent most the day in the shade. In fact I am very proud of the complete lack of tans, much as I would love to look less pasty I don't want to take the risk with the sun anymore.
I could do two week though, it would take a large amount a psyching myself up I think, which is scary-I think we are so much more trapped in our lives these days that it's harder to leave them. But we must, it so good to chill out. Next time I want to leave iPhone with it's email and facebook behind and totally go AWOL!
Two weeks really is the perfect time, it doesn't matter what you do, if it rains a bit or you have a non day, a bickering day or a day that never starts. It doesn't matter if you waste a few days getting your bearings, going to the worst cafe or missing the perfect beach. There is time to catch up and then there is still time to get into a lovely holiday routine. We all pretend we go on holiday to escape routine but I don't think that's true. We escape our old routine and then spend all our time seeking out new rituals. Mojitos at dusk. A dip after dinner. Paella by the beach at lunch. Ice creams at half three.
The other lovely thing is hanging round half naked. Obviously good for couples. But I am thinking more in terms of skin to skin contact that we are told is so important to babies. I think our little ones love it too and thereby something lovely about snuggling up together after a swim on a sunbed. We rarely see the kids naked for more than a second at home, it's always cold. But it's lovely to see them for who they are, for the little bodies I gave birth to. There's something simple and bonding and not at all weird about your own naked kids. Although at the beach we were surrounded by old men, probably lovely respectable fathers and grandfathers themselves, but you feel you need to protect your kids. I took some pictures of Mr G in his highchair, he doesn't have one at home anymore and he loves the one here. He was only wearing his nappy and it was lovely to capture his little tummy, his pudgy arms and and his little legs. If only to embarrass him when he is 18.
I love holidays. They are definitely the secret to keeping our family happy together.

Sent from my iPhone

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