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 take the brood on holiday…


…sorry, sorry, sorry, SORRY.  I know I’ve been rubbish and hardly updated, but things are a little mental, work is busy (LOVE it), children are busy (could do with that calming down) and I’m so tired I fall asleep on the sofa (embarrassing but true).

Lot’s gone on recently.  I’ll try and update more frequently on the following subjects:

– Chicken Pox

– Larry sitting up

– Nursery being OTT

– My failing quest to lose weight

– My reporting Ryanair to Watchdog (trying to make a 2 year old SIT ON HIS OWN ffs).

But first.  The holiday.

Every year we need to go away, to Matt and I it’s a life line, we need the sun.  Just a week of relaxing to get away from reality.  Sadly tho’, now we have kids, you never get away from reality.

So we booked a week in a villa in Lanzarote.  Lovely.  We’ve been abroad with Theo quite a few times, but this was our first holiday with both the kids.  I’ve made the following observations.


I’m not renowned for my ability for packing light, so now with the added bonus of nappies, wipes, formula, bottles, sun cream, baby food blah blah blah I struggled.  I’d struggled when it was just Theo let alone Pieboy tagging along.

However, saying that, I’ve made a breakthrough….I only took one pair of shorts, and three pairs of shoes.  This may not sound a big deal, but for me it’s HUGE.  (we wont talk about how many clothes I’ve packed for the kids – this doesn’t count they NEEDED every single outfit).

The Airport, boarding the plane & flying.

Gone are the days of checking in and settling into the airport bar with a magazine and a G&T.  Gone are the days of trundling to the gate and clambering onto the plane with just a pashmina caught under your feet to hold you back, and most disappointingly, gone are the days where you can order an alcoholic beverage, read your book, listen to your music and have a doze on the plane.

Instead, it’s a military operation.

Check in – Make sure toddler doesn’t leg it.  Make sure check in staff believe passports actually do belong to your children (photos taken at 3 months old, children at that point 5 months and 2 and a bit year).

Security – again, make sure toddler doesn’t leg it (you’ll see a theme soon), get all milk and formula out of bag and put in tray, remove all your items, fold down push chair, pass children between each other as you go through the gates, taste water, taste formula, pack everything back into bag, redress yourself (shoes/belt/bracelets etc), make sure toddler doesn’t leg it. *phew*.

Departures – entertain children.

Boarding – LEG it to gate, push to front, attempt to board plane first.  Fail due to steps, you having a push chair and this confusing the dumbass staff.  Please note you also have 3 carry on bags, a toddler who suddenly is incapable of using their own legs, and a baby that weighs the same as your living room sofa.  Eventually get on plane, discover there are no seats together.  Explain to stupido staff that no, a 2 year old can’t sit on their own, they can’t even go to the toilet themselves let alone sit in on a 4 hour flight 5 rows away from his parents (although seeing the faces of the passengers next to suggested seat was nearly worth it).  Finally thank profusely the kind members of the public who give up their seats.

The Flight – 16 visits to the toilet because toddler is scared of the toilet (don’t blame him), finally convince him to wee in the sink.  This actually makes me feel smug due to the treatment Ryanair gave us.  Bring out several tricks for entertainment, chocolate, MP4 players, puzzles, fuzzyfelt, books, stickers, crayons, biscuits, smoothies, cars, diggers etc.  Also feed baby on take off and landing.  Catch sick from baby.  Change babies entire outfit twice due to pooh explosions.

Baggage, car hire etc.  I wont go into…they mainly consist of “make sure toddler doesn’t leg it”.

The actual holiday

You’re there, it’s hot, it’s sunny, the hot tub is calling, the supermarket shop has been done (making sure toddler doesn’t leg it)…so what do you do? No more book reading, sangria drinking lazy afternoons in the sun…NO you play. play. and play.  Don’t get me wrong, this is enjoyable, however I’m a book reading sun worshipper, I’ve been known to read 10 books in a two week holiday (I feel I need to declare that these are chicklits such as Shopaholic, Jackie Collins and Bridget Jones nothing deep….ooooh, unless Dan Brown counts as deep?!), this time I managed 1.5.

The evenings however are LOVELY, bath, bed, SLEEEEEP DAMN YOU *cough* sorry, the little darlings go to sleep…nice BBQ with prawns, nice bottle or two of rosehosejose and a splash in the hot tub, before passing out.

bish.bash.bosh.  The two of us are going away on our own next month, a necessity to recover from the family trek.