Thursday, March 29, 2012


Oh LOOK! It's not us.

A Family Holiday. Sounds idyllic doesn’t it?  I can just picture us now. There’s my husband, having a quiet chuckle watching our three children bury each other in the sand as they laugh with gay abandon. There’s me, rocking a pants suit looking JUST like Jennifer Hawkins, laying quietly beside him on the rolling sand hill, sipping a Mai Tai.

Reality Check.

For a start, I don’t own and therefore will never rock a pantsuit, secondly, my children cannot physically come into contact without degenerating into some variation of Wrestlemania. So this was a dream - at best.

See the thing is, I feel like we’ve been doing family holidays wrong.  For a start, they really couldn’t be considered holidays. They’ve never been more than 3 days in duration and we have been so close to our own home, that we may as well just have just hooked up Foxtel, ordered some overpriced takeout and gotten someone to come in each day and turn down our beds, hospital corner style.

Wait, I lie, we did get away a couple years ago with my best friend, her husband and two girls. Again, I believe 3 nights. Again, we stayed in our home town, but this time, we had to take a boat to our destination.  Sounds exotic doesn’t it?  Well sure, if your idea of wallaby poo putt-putt is exotic, then yeah, I guess we were living the dream.

After being there for half a day, in our wisdom, we (myself and my girlfriend) traded time with our husbands. They went surfing and when they returned, we in turn, swapped a couple of hours in the afternoon sun lounging in the Bali Hut, overlooking the lapping water and sipping champagne. Do you hear what I’m saying, we went drinking, the men were in charge. So, I guess you can understand how bad I felt when we sauntered back into our room, half pissed, confronted with this:

Wait. That wasn't there when I saw you last 

Apparently Sam thought he was Tony Hawke. He had tried to ride the much coveted skateboard down a concrete path and the concrete path had decided otherwise.

There was blood. There were tears . The kids were flipping out and did I mention there was a whole lotta blood?  The very thing Jeremy has been known to pass out at the sight of?  Luckily the men handled it well and we could all see the funny side by the end of the night. Did I say all?  Well perhaps Sam was less ecstatic.

That was on day one.

Day two saw the kids feet get cut up by the glass “jewels” that outlined the dolphin at the bottom of the pool. It also saw Lilly and Grace have an unfortunate head butting incident on the pool slide that meant the tooth fairy made an impromptu visit to the island with much fanfare. Add to that, the fact that it was preferable to sleep outside on the balcony having the blood sucked out of us by ten thousand mosquitoes, than sweat it out in the air-condtioner-less room and I think you’re getting the gist.

Man Parenting - 101

But of course it’s on checkout where the real pain begins. Being on holidays, no matter where you are, it’s all about getting loose and if available, racking it up on the room charge. And didn’t we rack that shit up. Breakfast, lunch and dinner, we ate like kings. Of course there was no alternative, they did kind of have the market cornered, but we were like the Titantic, we were unstoppable. 

Hello two thousand dollar room charge for three days worth of meals and overpriced alcohol.  

After we repaid our national debt, we were allowed to leave the island and get back on the boat that afternoon. We dodged the wallaby poo, dragged our luggage through the soft sand and loaded 5 very tired and irritable children onto the boat.  

Of course it was only natural that the best way to end the holiday was for Bonnie, my best friend, to fall off the boat and nearly break her leg. In her last ditch attempt to flash her bits to the rest of us, she flipped off the boat and in turn sent her legs into places they’ve never been before and are unlikely to ever to return to again. Dinner and Show package – Unexpected!

But here’s the thing, you ask any one of those 5 children what was the best holiday they’ve ever been on, and they will all emphatically swear it was that one.  They hung out together, they swam, they slept over in each other’s rooms, they watched dodgy TV’s with little reception and they covered each other’s sunburn in aloe vera each night, all while talking excitedly about the day’s events.   

And us, the adults?  The memories are irreplaceable. Holidaying five stars or holidaying under the stars, it’s all about the company you’re in.  


Mum on the Run said...

Now you've gone and got me all excited for our Easter camping trip!!
:-) xx

Smudgeblurr said...

Great post Bern! We have all of this ahead of us - can't imagine we can top your experiences but we will try!

Kylie L said...

Love this. Love love love it.

Could've sworn that was you in the pic though, Bern. She has your, um, tan. xxx

Offer said...

Come on...Not all of us men are like the ones in the picture hahah At least we dont toss around our kids like that :) And that first pic... Are those the Perfect family? Looks so unrealistic !