10 April 2013

Then and Now.

What was I thinking?  Goodness knows what came over me.

Perhaps some sort of amnesia?

It was short lived and shocked into submission, whatever it was.

There were days before children when I'd saunter off to stay at a Marriott or somewhere equally salubrious without a care in the world, a bag over my shoulder, carefree and happy, where the pool would be waiting, a steam room would quietly be spurting its smelly stuff and the relaxation chairs would be holding court with plumped up cushions calling for company in between.

But that was then.  This is now.

Now there are two bags to lug, two children in tow, me screaming at them to get their shoes on for the umpteenth time or we will be late and crying because we're going on holiday and supposed to be happy and it's such an ordeal to pack up the car and leave the house, despite being organized to the hilt the night before, that some deep breathing exercises are required to halt the tears before even pulling away.

On arrival at the posh hotel - booked as part of one of my son's competition win through contentandcalm via Rosie Scribble's blog a while ago - and one I chose myself so blame cannot be apportioned elsewhere - the short-lived amnesia was swiftly booted into touch.

What on earth had I been thinking?  Or not - it would seem.

My eldest stood wide -eyed staring at the youngest's antics, announcing loudly that 'he really should be on a remote.'

If only.

Already weighed down with luggage, snack-filled back-packs and colouring cases, trying to check-in, keeping control of him had not entered my mind.  Wide open spaces (the foyer) and special places for as fast as possible running (the corridors) were met at full pelt while his brother and I had to overcome our astounded surprise before dropping everything and trying to stop him (inadvertently adding to the game!).

Then we went 'swimming,' where, unfortunately for him, jumping was not allowed.  People want to be mellow - and who can blame them?  And then it hit me.

The closest I got to those loungers was looking at one lustfully, the sight of a sauna made me sulk and the pool itself, with two young boys, was anything but peaceful!

Yet when it came to dinner time, I would previously have taken this alone in my room.  Business trips meant staying at decent Hotels - holidays with friends would be different - still lovely, but not in establishments like these.

On the few occasions I might have tried dining in the restaurants or bars, the staff and other clientele would treat me like I was fair game or on the game.  Wandering around the streets in a strange city in the evening is generally not advisable, so I'd wear myself out in the gym, hit the spa and enjoy some peace and quiet before eating something delicious off my lap, happily watching some foreign telly.

But that was then.  This is now.

With the three of us heading towards the Brasserie later on, a waiter tipped me the wink that the Bar Restaurant wasn't as quiet as that one.  Feeling defiant, I decided to check it out anyhow.  Almost as much as a nanosecond passed before deciding he was right and whilst the kids delighted in the huge screen showing a football match, the realisation dawned deeper that as much as I try to retain some level of sophistication in our lives, it really is a losing battle.

This is now.  That was then.  And I absolutely wouldn't have it any other way.


Begging for bums!

28 comments:

  1. Your last line relieved me. Feared you'd had a disastrous holiday.

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    1. I'm so sorry to have alarmed you, Perhaps I should have been a bit gentler with it!

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  2. I wasn't expecting the punch-line at all!

    I know you've said in the past, that in London you were earning all that money, living an apparant life of luxury, but that, you felt empty inside.

    Now your life is almost exactly the other way round. You may not have the income of before, but you have the connection with your two youngsters.

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    1. Yes, that's what hit me, but it's SO different I still have to get my head around it sometimes!

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  3. Things change so quickly with children, our holidays changed from beach towel under arm to bags and bags of "equipment" like snacks, nappies, spare clothes, several towels, inflatables etc. We noticed last year that we've turned a corner and now it's almost (!) back to beach towel under arm; albeit now 5 instead of 2! Glad you spent some time together with your 2 little people - different but probably better than before. x

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    1. That almost makes me sad, but relief takes over pretty quickly!

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  4. What a brilliantly written blog post but then I have come to expect nothing less from you.

    Really enjoyed it.

    Aaron runs off on long corridors, always at swimming and today at soft play. I always have to decide whether to stay with valuables or run after him. He is an ENERGETIC child like your wee one who is STILL calls YANYA!

    Anyway, as he is 2 and Yanya is 4 I had hoped he would grow out of it. Your post tells me I am expecting too much :-(

    Hope you had a superb time. And hey, you had years and years and years of decadence right? ;-)

    Time for cigar and slippers now no?

    Liska xx

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    1. You're always so kind about my writing Liska, thank you - it all just comes out and it is accidental if it's any good! Glad it brings you pleasure. I suspect your little one will be rather too lively for a while yet - and when they're sullen teenagers we'll miss these days :)

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  5. Children change your perspective on life, but I believe it is much more enjoyable to have children then not.

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    1. I agree Catherine - it just takes some getting used to, sometimes!

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  6. Lovely post and so true! Holidays with and without your kids are both fun - but a different kind of fun. Enjoy your time together as soon they will be much older and we will be holidaying alone again... :-(

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    1. Thank you - and you're right. I think I will miss them more than I can imagine x

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  7. The end of your post came as a surprise! I like going on holiday with my children but I equally like "grown-up" breaks... :o) xx

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    1. It came as a surprise to me too - just had to accept it in my own mind. Parenthood is just one adjustment after another, isn't it? xx

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  8. Fab post - love the way you wrote it. Like Ageing Matron I got the impression you'd had a rotten time until I read your punch line at the bottom. Phew. Glad it was all okay then - I can just imagine your eldest launching himself up and down the lobby. You are a brave lady! XXX

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    1. Thank you - that wasn't intentional - it's just how it was - and how it always is!

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  9. Honestly it does get better! I too have been through the 3 year old running amok scenario and it's not easy - especially when you are coping on your own. Very funny post though and cracking punchline!

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    1. Aha - but I'm forever quoting you saying that you had to separate yours at about 18 and 21, or something similar - and it didn't feel funny at the time! :)

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  10. A lovely post! I also sometimes long for those carefree holidays without children, but I'm sure that we have a lot more fun now!

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  11. Begging for bums! Love it - wonder if any searches will be made on that particularly well-tagged image!
    You're so right, sophistication and kids are at opposite ends of the dictionary, and by the time the kids are sophisticated I'll be ageing disgracefully!

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  12. I never thought of that - my social media stuff remains entirely unsophisticated! I'm trying to drag 'em up proper, like ;)

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  13. Love the photos. He is so cute.
    Keep going you will get to that spa day.
    x

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    1. Ah bless. Thank you. And YOU'RE coming with me. Or babysitting? Maybe xx

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  14. So pleased you had a lovely time.
    For what it is worth, I do see you as totally sophisticated x

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  15. I can relate to the open spaces and fyers and corridors and running off - completely - but- dread it happening at check in - but pleased to hear it went well! gives me hope.

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  16. ah how things change but so true that we wouldn't have it any other way (most of the time ;)

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