And so, at last, it is time for our annual summer holiday. This year we're staying put in Dear Old Blighty after a quite disastrous trip to a Brittany mobile home last year, which ended with our caravan being broken into and all the kids' gadgets being nicked.
Unfortunately, though, I can't see this year's break being any less stressful.
Of course, it's going to be great (for my working wife) to spend time with the kids (I spend enough time with them, thank you very much) but we are also duty-bound to spend time with lots of other people, too – namely our extended families.
This is the problem when you moved as far away from your parents as economically possible when you left home: you don't think that one day, when you've had kids, it might have been a bit wiser to stay put so you could capitalise on the free babysitting.
But sadly, my wife and I have never been that strategic. When we left home, we both moved more than 300 miles away from our parents – and now we're paying the price. Because it means that on the rare occasions my wife takes time off work, we invariably have to load the car to see our parents.
It's important, of course it is, especially for grandparents to see their grandkids and vice versa. And also for them to see their aunts, uncles and cousins.
But sometimes, just sometimes, my wife and I look at each other forlornly and wish we could get away from it all. Just the two of us. Sans enfants, so to speak.
Whiich brings me to Paris...The last time my wife and I had a romantic weekend without – by definition - the kids was five years ago when our youngest was a year old.
My two best friends – both dads themselves - bravely stepped up to the plate and took charge of our three children so that we could wander the streets and cafes of Gay Paree unfettered by runny noses, demands for sweets and requests to be carried because little feet were tired.
Over those two evenings we went out for spectacular dinners before arriving back at our hotel, with a view of the Opera House, and then collapsed on our massive bed, happily exhausted.
Oh, how we look back on that weekend with misty-eyed nostalgia. It feels like another lifetime away.
For since then, I was made redundant, my wife swapped being a stay-at-home-mum for an office job, and all our holidays since have been rather fraught, frantic, frenetic family affairs. Just like the one we're about to embark on.
We're not alone in thinking like this, of course. According to a survey by family holiday firm Tots Too most parents of young children would like more, ahem, intimacy together on holiday.
The company quizzed 1,000 mums and dads about what they'd most like to do on holiday and top of the list was having a romantic dinner for two, followed by slipping away for a spot of hanky-panky.
The top 10 desires goes as follows:
1. Dinner for two
2. Back to the suite for sex
3. Uninterrupted sunbathing by the pool or at the beach
4. Treatments in the spa
5. Catching up on precious sleep
6. A visit to local attractions that wouldn't appeal to kids
7. Reading a good book
9. Hiking and walking
10. Tidying the suite, apartment or villa
Sounds wonderful, doesn't it? Ah well, we can but dream. Back to packing the water wings!
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