A year ago I wrote about 'Holidaying with a toddler'‘ and the extreme irony that we still call it a ‘holiday’.
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A year later, and I ventured again to Spain with the little man in tow. A whole year older and wiser, I was interested to see what changes I would notice in him.
These are my main observations:
1) He thinks he can swim
He can’t swim. Maybe he should be able to at four, I don’t know, but for now arm bands are a must.
I learnt this immediately. We arrived at my Grandmothers and, hot from the journey, stripped off to swimwear to enjoy the late afternoon sun. As we are talking over the pool, my Aunty very calmly said, “Er Sam,” pointing to the swimming pool where Barney had launched himself off the main step and was sinking. Just as he started to panic, I waded in to save him, but it was an early warning that he is fearless when it comes to the water.
So, lesson learnt. He thinks he can swim, even offering to teach me at one stage and clearly doesn’t understand the concept of arm bands. To him, I assume they are like jewellery, an accessory if you will. Certainly not the life saving buoyancy aid that they are.
So, following the near drowning experience, a trip to the shop soon followed where I purchased as many colourful inflatables as I could cram in the car.
2) They hate the sun cream application process as much as you do.
Barney – “Not on my face, Mummy.”
Me – “I have to.”
Barney – “Ok, but not on my nose.”
Me – “That’s one of the most important areas.”
Barney – “Just on my ears.”
Me – “Shit, I hadn’t even thought about your ears!”
And so it goes on. Nobody enjoys this job. If you do, please get in contact.
My palms are whiter than the moon and my pale skinned little man returned to England with the faintest of suntans, proving the constant factor 50 applications did indeed do its job.
3) They want to be in the pool for at least 10 hours a day
The thing is, it’s not 10 hours straight. It’s 10 hours of getting in and out, in and out. In the time it has taken you to remove the sun hat, sun glasses, armbands, rubber ring, wet swimming trunks and got them cosy in a warm towel, they want to go back in again.
Frustrating to say the least! Cue the eye rolling, then mental bollocking you give yourself for not being more relaxed. You are on ‘holiday’ after all.
4) They still get up early
Yup, it’s true. Toddlers don’t do holiday lie- ins. The first couple of days, you are lulled into a false sense of security, as that extra hour ahead fools you into thinking that they have changed their ways. For the rest of the break 7am is new wake up time.
In fact, it is still, of course, 6am in the UK and by day four, they have adjusted and are waking up at 6am Spanish time. Therefore, it is actually 5am in the UK.
So actually, it’s worse!
6) And finally (to end on a positive note), they actually seem to appreciate the difference surroundings.
This time, he completely understood that we were going on the plane, that Spain is hotter then England and that he wasn’t going to see his nursery friends for a good ten days. It’s sweet when they start to grasp the concept of travel.
He does think that Spain is in ‘the sky’, but that’s fine. One step at a time, eh?