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.'
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.
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