We have been doing that post-Christmas thing of late that all people do when the dark nights, festive-free fridges and freezing fingers take their toll. With the decorations packed away and only that blinkin' detox to look forward to, it is something that has got to be done. In fact it's essential for the soul. Yes- that's right. We've started to think about the summer holidays!!!!!!
We aimed high at first and looked at St Lucia and hiring an au pair to look after the children while we refreshed around the pool sipping exotic cocktails. Then I woke up from this lovely dream and got frostbite running to the bathroom, late once more for the school run.
We debated it all. Camping in France, surfing the waves in Wales, flying to cheap-ish foreign climes or even just chilling at home (with days out galore).
And it all came back to this. Where caters for an action-seeking seven year old little man, a craft-loving just turned six (going on 16) girl, two knackered patients in dire need of vitamin D and one little boy that navigates this world slightly differently from the rest from us?
Then I saw this competition on Tots 100 to win a holiday in Centre Parcs and thought YES that's it. All I had to do was describe a perfect day. Easy Peasy! But it couldn't include Bradley Cooper. Drat!
But, joking aside, there has been many a time in the past seven years that I have melted on to the settee at night and thought: "Well wasn't today just marvellous". It's easy to get that when you have kids. Easy when they are having the times of their little lives, easy when you are relaxed and not fretting about work or the day to day dross.
So what would be our perfect day?
Just what creates that splendid memory. The one day to cherish and remember?
I think it would go a lot like this....
- We would either wake refreshed and renewed after many hours sleep (cause the fresh air knocks children out like a light. Right?!) or we would wake after a long broken night but smiling and uncaring as we are on HOLIDAY!!!.
- I would stand and savour for a moment that excited 'it's all brand new' feeling of being somewhere else and the promise of a different sort of a day.
- The pool would be where we'd head to first as swimming is the one family activity that we can all do together. The one place where Gabe is just like any other little boy. He loves the water and I can already feel my heart soothing as I imagine the feeling of his little over worked (and under paid) muscles hitting that subtropical warm water.
- If we can finally drag the children away from their pool paradise, we would grab lunch in one of the many cafes (and we'd all have cake - hell yeah!).
- Next it would be a bike ride. It is such a holiday thing to do. I wouldn't normally dare hook Gabe to the back of my bike for fear his floppy frame would fall out of the straps, but it feels safer outside of the city. Liam and Erin would adore the adventure and I can already hear Gabe's giggles as we whizz around under the trees.
- Our nature loving older boy will have to have an encounter with the owls (I'll of course watch from a safe distance from these funny little things).
- Erin's turn then after a coffee and ice cream, and top of her list would be pottery painting or cake decorating. Even if many of the decorations don't actually make it on to the baked treat.
- There might just be time to snatch half an hour in the play areas before tea. Gabe has just mastered the delights of a slide and if we hold his hands, he can push his bum off the edge to great hilarity.
- If the day could end with a lovely meal, chats and maybe even a sporting event to occupy the husband then that would be even more perfect. What's that?! It can. Superb. Maybe a little glass of wine for mum? Really? Two? Excellent.
- Then back to the lovely lodge where all the children fall asleep within minutes (something to do with fresh air I believe).
- The day finishes with the adults kicking off their shoes, relaxing in a setting that requires no washing up, checking of emails or packing of lunches and reflecting on a day that was super-dooper, out-of-this-world, fantastic fun.
*sulks, loads washing machine, puts kettle on and wonders if can break into respective schools and kidnap family and be in Centre Parcs by dusk*
The family video that inspired me was An Adventure with Little Ones.