This year we decided to ‘holiday’ in the south of France. It’s a pretty looooooooong journey which makes it extra funny that after being in the car for approximately 1.5 minutes (I’m not exaggerating) the following questions begin…
We get the ferry to Calais (which involved spending £30 on food no one would eat and hanging out in the arcade room for 1.5 hours) and drive to a skanky Ibis hotel somewhere in the middle of France to break the journey up.
I love sharing hotel rooms with kids because you basically get to sit in a dark room and drink wine out of tiny plastic toilet cups and listen to them fight.
All in all, a fun day.
Got up and spent even more time in the car. It’s fine because we have those DVD players on the headrests meaning that the kids are happy and content. Or they would have been if they could just MAKE THEIR BLOODY MINDS UP!
By the time we arrive at our cottage (we opted for self catering as our kids only really eat pesto pasta and chicken nuggets) the car looks like an utter shit tip and we all hate each other. Just the way a typical family holiday should begin!
The day starts as it always does in France with a trip to the boulangerie to buy a ridiculous amount of croissants and pain au chocolat, followed by stuffing them down your face until you feel sick.
Then we spent about four hours in the pool playing ‘shark chase’.
Later on I had a little sit down and a cry thinking about all the things I used to enjoy about holidays before I had kids…
We decide to go to the beach to meet my friend Jane who happens to be staying close by. Between us we have a 6 year old, a 3 year old, a 2 year old, a 1 year old and enough kit to make it look like we are setting up our own (very shite) festival.
It is carnage – children are pooing everywhere! They are dropping bananas in the sand had then screaming because they can’t eat sandy bananas!
A random woman is sitting idly next to us reading some sort of celebrity magazine. She looks up and I catch her eye. Is she smirking at us?
I hate her.
Got home and rewarded self for excellent parenting by drinking ALL OF THE WINE.
As the kids slept in the car they don’t feel tired enough to go to bed and want to go play on the zip wire instead – Joy! I agree to supervise and enjoy it slightly more than I let on…
As they are having such a lovely time
and we really can’t be fucked with bedtime as we are a bit pissed we let them stay up until nearly 11pm.
The kids reward us for their late night by sleeping in for an extra 4 minutes so that was totally worth it. Plus I have a hangover.
I don’t really like being around children when I’m hungover but as we are on a ‘nice family holiday’ I have no choice.
To make myself feel better I spend as much time as possible hiding inside and snacking. I plough through Petit Écolier biscuits, le Jambon crisps and pistachio nuts. Having hangovers in France seems so much classier.
FYI in France beer definitely counts as a snack or else it wouldn’t come in snack sized bottles.
Go to the beach again for more torture. We take a picnic and no one will eat it because it’s ‘BISGUTIN!’.
Look down trying to find sun cream for approximately 30 seconds. Look up – children = gone.
Find feral children approx 1/2 mile down the beach. Drag them back.
Try and resist screaming abuse at a family we walk past happily eating their lunch together.
Today is our last day. The kids are sad as they would like to stay forever but unfortunately it’s time to get back to our crappy life.
As we have a washing machine here I decide to wash all of our clothes so that when I get home I will have no laundry to do. Words cannot describe my joy and smugness at this brilliant idea.
Hanging the clothes out to dry in rural France I feel just like a farmer! There are 3 chickens here so I imagine that counts…
Shortly after that I start feeling quite pathetic for actually enjoying doing laundry whilst I am meant to be on holiday. FML.
To compensate for my patheticness I eat a mint magnum even though I am still full up from lunch and don’t even want one because…
Oh dear time to leave. Give up on keeping the kids amused via any means other than throwing food and sweets into the back whenever they open their gobs.
After another epic journey we finally arrive home – sadly the kids energy levels don’t seem to be in tune with ours…
In contrast I feel very much like I did after I got back from an 18-30’s holiday to Kavos in 1999 – jaded, confused and a bit disgusted with myself.
Still at least we made lots of lasting happy memories…
**************P.S. My new book The Catastrophic Friendship Fails of Lottie Brooks is out on the 3rd March 2022! It's aimed at 9-12 year olds and you can buy it here :)