25/08/2010 12:27 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Slugs, Snails And Puppy Dog Tales: Home Sweet Home

I have just got back from two weeks in the sun, and by God do I need a break. Where once my holidays consisted of lazing by the pool, reading chick lit and sipping lurid cocktails (what a classy girl I was), now they are more like an assault course.

Just getting there is bad enough. Flying with four small children is a no, no. The cost of the tickets trebles the price of the holiday, while I shudder to think what our excess baggage costs would be with all the paraphernalia we have to drag around with us.

This sentenced us to two days locked in a hot car with four little boys – with upset tummies. My husband counted that I did seven toilet trips with them in a single stop at a service station – and none of them was pleasant.

On arrival we had a private pool just outside our villa. Bliss in the old days, a death trap with our adventurous twins. We spent the first day building elaborate traps to stop them from crawling down to the water while we weren't looking, and when we were beside the pool we regularly had to plunge in to rescue Jonah who just wouldn't learn about crawling too close to the edge.

Then there was the food. Being in France it was delicious, but I think I have worked out why we Brits think that French children are so good in restaurants. Because they are sensible enough to feed children at home until they are old enough to know how to behave when eating out. This is the only explanation I can come up with for the lack of highchairs.