Holidaying as a family. If you didn’t need one before you went, you’ll certainly need one by the time you go. Especially if there are small people in tow.
The preparation and packing needed to transport me, Daddy Pig, Beaver and a very small Godivy to a sunnier climate is quite insane. It almost makes me want to refuse to be a part of it. And step aside from the madness.
Godivy is small. Teeny. How does she warrant so much stuff? Surely, she needs little more than a few light dresses and a sunhat, right? Yet, she is the worst offender of all. Her nappies alone take up half a case. Which reminds me, I’ve forgotten to pack wipes.
When we had kids, we decided we were going to travel lighter than lots of the parents we’d witnessed breaking their backs under bags, gadgets, toys and general junk. And we haven’t strayed far from this ideal. But even with the best intentions, these small people still demand a lot of stuff. We are taking seven bottles of suncream between us. SEVEN!
On top of that, every year the girls need completely new summer wardrobes. And because we rarely see so much as a hint of summer in the glorious UK, I am always unprepared and have to start from scratch. I blame them for the fact that I haven’t so much as a new dress this year.
Because, I’ve left myself until last and now there isn’t time.
But that’s OK. Daddy Pig has a new wardrobe. Beaver and Godivy have new dresses, playsuits, sunhats and several pairs of sandals.
I will trail behind them, probably carrying all the stuff and looking like the au pair. Not one of the blonde, leggy, swedish variety either.
Daddy Pig thinks I make too much of the holiday preparations, I know. He senses their acceleration and when I ask him to GET THE SUITCASES out a week beforehand, he knows the climax is nigh.
If he had his way, we would scrabble around the night before wondering where we put them when we got back last time.
‘All you have to do is throw some pants in a case,’ is his standard response when I ask for the suitcases.
‘No, all YOU have to do is throw some pants in a case. I have to do just a little bit more than that. Shopping, packing, toiletries, hand luggage, car parking, currency, catsitters…’
He thinks I’m mad. I think he’s mad. But we’re both in such a good mood of holiday anticipation that for once we just coexist in one another’s madness, without so much as a sarcastic comment.
I’m quite tempted to do it though. Throw some pants in a suitcase and then watch his face as he unpacks.
‘All you have to do is throw some pants in a case,’ I’ll say.
When he asks where all our stuff is.