Aimee Horton

When you go on holiday.


Ahh, holidays in the sun.  They always begin with excitement, ramming clothes and jewellery into a suitcase, drinks at the airport bar and a spot of shopping, a gin and some Pringles on the plane before climbing off to be hit in the face by that amazing heat.  The days consist of lying on rattan furniture with thick cream cushions listening to chilled out music while people bring me drinks.  A pile of books by my sun lounger, where I’m clad in a bikini/sarong combo which coordinates with my toenail varnish perfecting my golden tan.  Afternoon siestas before getting ready to go out for long leisurely meals and drinks before coming back and crashing sleeping in until the sun shines through the window waking me up reminding me I can get up and do it all again.

Who am I kidding, I’ve never been able to tie a sarong in a manor which covers me in a flattering fashion.

I’m lucky, I have had a few holidays in the sun without the monsters, just a few nights here and there, but it gives me a chance to re-live a time where I could read a book in the day, and sleep in the sun.  However, these days it’s totally different.

Now the preparation is slowly pulling out my clothes to ensure there is space for nappies, sunblock, toys, netbooks, cuddly toys, dummies, specific cups/bottles.  The airport is no longer a time to get excited, it’s toilet stops, negotiating hand luggage around a pushchair (which I didn’t put back together leaving bits in the garage so that it breaks), and a 3 year old who refuses to walk anywhere.  Tantrums in the queue whilst fighting through the Ryanair scum scrum, before negotiating collapsing broken buggy whilst holding fat baby, and ensuring the other child doesn’t climb into the engine due to sheer excitement.

No gin and tonics on the plane, just passing out pizza, crisps, raisins, picking up crayons, listening to Justin’s house, and apologising to the people in front of me who have dribble in their hair, and when we get off the plane, there’s no time to take in the heat. It’s all about pinning writhing non-bending toddler into buggy and make it to passport control, who question us severely about the children not quite believing that they are ours (how they are surprised that photos of 3 month old babies don’t look like a nearly 2 year old and nearly 4 year old is beyond me), but also don’t take my suggestion joke that he can keep the children if he wants very well.

Once we’re settled, it’s all about the 20 minute work out of creaming up the children, not noticing until it’s too late that you’ve wiped some of the factor 50 “once” sunblock on your bum and backs of your legs so you have weird white hand marks in the middle of your slowly developing tan.

Lying by the pool is no longer an option, it’s all about preventing Fatso from drowning, even letting him flounder under the water for a few moments until he bursts up laughing hasn’t deterred his death wish of tantruming in any life saving equipment, which includes you holding him.

Heat of the whole day sun is to be avoided where possible these days, visits to zoo’s, parks (although the spanish sell alcohol in the park so not all bad) are essential, as are the regular stops for snacks, paddling, sandcastle building, hosepipe tunnels, dancing to cheesy music, being spiderman in your swimming cozzie and having your feet buried in the sand.

Books during the day need to be able to be put down at the drop of a step climbing/finger trapping/splinter getting hat.  It’s also recommended that anything you value goes high up so it doesn’t have the potential of being deposited in the pool, sea, moat, middle of the sandcastle (I found my sunglasses just in time).

And don’t get me started on meals out – scrunched noses, rushed paella’s and the arguments where I refuse to buy burger and chips replace lazy tapas watching the world go by.

Although the children still go to bed at 7pm, and you can spend a few peaceful hours by the BBQ drinking wine, lie ins are not part of the package so staying up all night drinking isn’t recommended.

So I’m quite suprised to say, as I write all this, thinking of Uncle John’s holiday where he reads loads of books, drinks loads of drinks, and goes to bars (with free wifi), assuming that I am beyond envious…all I need to do is see these two faces enjoying themselves and suddenly it outweighs everything I feel like I’m missing and gives me the best holiday in the world.

My Boys

My Boys

Just don’t tell anybody I said so.


When you get a compliment


We’ve just come home from a week in Spain with the boys.  I’m pleased to report it went fairly well.  Slightly less sleep then one would like along with slightly less sun bathing opportunities.   Oh and please replace “slightly” with “a lot”.

I learnt a lot this holiday, some of which I’ll share with you in various blog posts – some of which I’ll spare you.  One thing I learnt though is how much crap you put up with/say when you’re on a plane, and you’re stuck there for just over two hours.

This was a relatively easy flight, our last flight with both boys was to the canaries and was four hours.  However, Fatso was a piece of cake then, he drank, snuggled and slept.  Oh except for the odd projectile vomit incident.  The Beast on the other hand had just potty trained and was scared of the toilet.  As per a previous blog it was quite stressful but he ended up weeing in the sink.  He has a memory like an elephant that child, and the first thing he asked (in a loud and high pitched voice) when we sat down on the plane was “Mummay, can I go and wee in the sink again?”.  Of course everybody looked.  I had no retaliation and said “maybe later darling”.

After making it through check in and into departures – please be suitably impressed that I packed a family of four including formula and nappies in ONE SUITCASE and kept it DEAD ON THE LIMIT, this has never happened before, when I was packing a suitcase for just MYSELF I’d usually end up having to redistribute into my hand luggage – we have breakfast and make it into the scrabble at the gate with 3 carry on bags (having a 3 year old does have it’s uses, his hand luggage had toys for him and the fat one) and the push chair.  I MAY have also smuggled on an additional carry on by strapping it to the pushchair – but to be honest in my opinion it is PART of the pushchair, if the pushchair can fold and clip shut with the bag on it’s part of it. That was my argument anyway, and if not, we’d find a way.

Yet again, we had to rely on the general public to make it safely onto the plane, the staff didn’t clock the pushchair and then clock the fact we were having to go down 30 steps to the runway.  Once on the plane they slightly redeemed themselves by offering to carry Larry and finding us 3 seats together.  I think the poor air hostess regretted this decision as she visibly buckled at his weight.

ANYWAY.  I digress.

Once on the plane you’re trapped.  The people in the area surrounding your chosen seats are looking panicked.  It’s a full flight, there are no other seats and are both eyeing up the lively toddler who has just informed us that he hasn’t done a pooh today, and that man (woman) has got a very high up skirt on, along with the baby who is shouting angrily at a bag he can sense contains snacks for the journey.

For both flights we had amunition planned to entertain the kids.  These consisted of:

– Snacks (lots of them)

– An MP4 player stuffed full of Cbeebies and films

– More snacks (for Larry)

– Colouring and Stickers

– Rattles and Teethers

– Books

I don’t know about you, but neither of my children sleep when something is going on. When we went to Spain when Theo was 18 months old we left the house at 3.30am – he didn’t sleep until 7pm that night.  Larry is apparently/annoyingly just the same.  Therefore when we were swapping and changing the children I discussed the following things with the boys:

– How clouds aren’t scary

– How the plane won’t land in the sea

– Why we’re in a plane

– Why Nan and Grandad won’t be at the seaside when we get there

– Why Larry can’t steal the sandwich from the lady across the aisle he’s staring out

– That the holiday house didn’t belong to us

– Why mummy has a spot on her cheek

– Agreeing that yes, the air hostess probably doesn’t have a willy just a bottom

– Why Larry can’t pull the hair of the man in front of us (I stupidly let him stand on my knee for a while and spent a while apologising profusely)

– Why mummy’s belly is squidgy (thanks dude – really going for it today)

and finally

– no, we aren’t going to school next.

So you see – I talked utter crap.  My brain was fuzzy, my hair hurt from being pulled and I was starting to realise I was being mocked by the toddler who whenever I gave a generic answer he said “uh huhh that’s nice” back at me.  I felt a mess, I had watched my tan (what there was of it) drain off as soon as I got on the plane.

Then…at the end…something unexpected happened.  The woman in front of me (with the guy who was involved in the hair pulling and I heard snort when I was singing “what the wigga what the wigga what the wigga wigga fat boy fat” to Larry) turned round and gave me a 2 minute speech about what a wonderful family I have, gorgeous boys, and they are very lucky to have such a kind good mummy and that she was so impressed with my lack of raised voice and calmness (Matt was sniggering into his t.shirt at this point as he’d heard some rather raised voices and frankly unrepeatable comments to Lawrence when he woke up at 9pm just as I’d served up my lovely BBQ dinner and was dipping bread into olive oil).

It goes to show, a compliment goes a long way when you’re doubting your skills and are counting the seconds until you hear the cork go POP. Even if the lady was either deaf or from a mental institute. 

Next post.  Ladies Boobs on the beach.