I can't be the only parent out there that thinks hotels 'Family Rooms' are more like 'Torture Parents Rooms'. After several overnight stays confined to the one room with the small people, I have decided that no, there is no such thing as a family friendly hotel.
Our hotel stays as a family have mainly because we were attending a wedding the next day. You know, the kind of function where you want your kids to be well rested so they behave the next day. You want them to have a good nights sleep so that you can push them past their normal bedtime in the hope of a few glasses of wine and a throwing some shapes on the dance floor. Both for me, just to be clear.
What you don't want is cranky kids who are prone to meltdowns because they had about 30 minutes uninterrupted sleep the night before, and have turned into the spawn of Satan who burst into tears upon the entrance of the Bride*. And what exactly do you do when that happens? You can't very well escape when the only exit is being used by the bride in all her finery and her seven bridesmaids. You can't disown your kid when they are hanging off your neck and screaming "Mummmmmmmyyyyyyy". It's pretty obvious the kid is yours. You can desperately wish for the possibility of teleportation, whilst offering the bride an apologetic look and clamping your hand over your child's mouth.
I blame the hotels and their 'Family Friendly' rooms. From what I have experienced, to qualify as 'Family Friendly' means one room, two beds. Combine that with two kids who have an abundance of energy after being stuck in the car most of the day on route to the hotel, and it's a recipe for parental torture.
If you've ever experienced a night in a hotel with small people I'm sure you have done most things on this list:
- Spent the first half hour in your room looking for out-of-reach places to put all your stuff you don't want the small people to break and/or eat.
- Unplugged the phone because your toddler keeps calling reception and you can't afford the room service bill.
- Been concerned that someone might call the police about the screams coming from your room when your toddler experiences his first shower in the absence of a bath.
- Turned the room into Blackpool Illuminations whilst trying to determine which light switch creates a dim 'calming down' ambiance.
- Spent the best part of the evening sat on a cold bathroom floor whispering to your other half and getting a numb arse and leg cramps whilst the kids 'go to sleep.'
- Said 'go to sleep' about 450 times until you decide to opt for the ignoring tactic, which is when your small person says "Mummy?" "Mummy?" "Mummy?" about 450 times.
- Held your pee from 4am until 6am because if the kids wake up now there's no getting them back to sleep.
- Held your pee because the only space to put the travel cot (and the sleeping baby inhabiting the travel cot) was in the bathroom.
- Flipped the bird at your room door and whispered obscenities at everyone going out for fun and making a lot of noise about it as they walk by.
- Flipped the bird at your room door and whispered obscenities at everyone returning from their night of fun and making a lot of noise about it as they walk by.
- Slept with foot up your nose because despite having their own bed in the same room as you, your small person insights on 'sharing' yours.
- Mastered the highly skilled talent of the silent sneeze. This is no mean feat when you have to combine it with the post childbirth leg cross.
- Spent four hours resisting the urge to cough and wondering if your eyes might actually pop from their sockets in the process.
- Wished the bride and groom had insisted on one of those 'no kids' weddings.
- Stubbed your toe and screamed into a pillow when maneuvering around the furniture in the dark.
- Wish you could boil the loudest kettle in the world for a cup of tea without waking the kids, but instead just stare at it longingly.
- Realise that painting your nails in the dark wasn't the best idea you've ever had.
- Have had lengthy text conversations with your other half even though he's right next to you.
- Plan new chain of hotels that really are family friendly and declare that this time next year you'll be a millionaire.
- Called it payback to your noisy neighbours when the kids start bouncing on the bed at 6am.
- Got your money's worth at the complimentary breakfast because you sure as hell didn't get your moneys worth in the sleep stakes.
In my experience a family friendly hotel break is one the parents whilst the kids have a sleepover at the grandparents!
*Yes that was my kid. I was seven months pregnant at the time. I missed the ceremony because I made a sharp exit with the screaming child soon after the brides entrance. I missed the entire evening do because by 4pm my overtired child was done in and we retired back to our hotel room. I did get to watch everyone get drunk and eat pate, prawns and goats cheese tarts, whilst I drank my water and ate my honeydew melon.
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