Rob and I have just spent four days away together, WITH NO CHILDREN.
Let me say that again, WITH NO CHILDREN.
Because we live overseas and have no family nearby, these opportunities only come around when my Mum comes to London to visit. She always offers to mind the kids so we can go somewhere on our own and in the past six years we’ve done this several times and they are holidays we cherish because it’s the only time Rob and I ever have quality time alone.
Anyone with four kids will understand what hard work family holidays are. The kids have an absolute ball which is really what the holidays are all about but they are totally oblivious to the parental angst that happens simultaneously to their fun. Such as our Easter Lake District holiday. When you have three boisterous boys that are the ages mine are it’s even more work.
So last Sunday, Rob and I flew to Innsbruck in Austria to spend a few days skiing in Kuhtai. Alone.
The novelty of travelling without our kids will never wear off and every time we go away alone the first thing we like to do is people watch at the airport. Our favourite types are families with numerous small children, preferably when the kids are totally feral, so we can watch and be glad it’s not us … because it usually is us.
Sick, I know.
My next favourite part is the plane ride. As we’re usually going somewhere in Europe we fly EasyJet. EasyJet is the el-cheapo discount airline where you have to pay extra for basic things like leg room/food/luggage allowance/oxygen, and the like. Most people hate flying EasyJet and complain endlessly about the shittiness of the entire experience, but not Rob and I.
Because when you’re flying without four kids in tow it doesn’t matter if you have no leg room, or food, or TV, or seat allocation, or if you’re only allowed to take 500 grams of luggage with you, because if there are none of your kids on board to demand you take them to the toilet fifty billion times during the flight anything else is a luxury.
The taxi ride from the airport to the hotel is next on my favourite list. I can’t tell you how nice it is to be able to jump in any sort of taxi. No need for a mini bus or two taxis, which is what we’ve had to do in the past when we all travel together. These are all things you don’t think of if you don’t have more than two children.
Then the hotel arrival. It is such a novelty to arrive to one double room. When we travel with the kids we need two inter connecting adjoining family rooms and I think in the whole of England there are about five hotels that offer this. Apparently someone in the hotel and travel industry one day decided to re-design holidays and hotel rooms so if you have more than three kids you’re screwed.
Meal times! Adults only holidays are the only times I ever eat without a subsequent case of indigestion. There’s no need to swallow my food whole so I can finish before the kids do in order to make sure they don’t run away as soon as they’ve finished. My boys eat like sparrows so this happens about 65 seconds after their food arrives. This holiday I even got to have all three courses! Unheard of.
But my total favourite … being able to swim in the hotel pool without the stress of worrying if my two little boys will do a poo in it or not. It has happened so it’s high on my anxiety list.
So we had a brilliant time together and the pain of the previous weeks holiday was all but forgotten. We skied for three days, slept in without any small children sticking their fingers up our noses in an attempt to wake us up, we didn’t change any nappies, clean up any vomit, or watch any Peppa bloody Pig ….. Heaven!
But as much as I moan about how hard it is travelling with four kids, it’s still a feeling like no other to come home to this …..