I've done it.
I've done toddler abroad.
I've done baby abroad.
I've done baby and toddler abroad. *awaits small round of applause* And I've got the shoulder-upwards-only tan, 2-week-long-gin-hangover and 5ft inflatable Orca in my utility room to prove it.
Holidaying with a baby/toddler combo is a bit like entering into a psychological experiment to see how long you can remain married in 40 degrees of heat without functioning Wifi... along with a toddler who only eats crisps, drinks pool water and insists on wearing Elsa armbands out to dinner each night.
So, here's my holiday commandments for all those of you braving a foreign holiday with small people this summer:
- There's two kids now. And each day you get to choose one... The small one that sleeps all day or the larger one that can run faster than you and shits in stranger's flip-flops... Otherwise known as #Husbandgetstoddler.
- In anticipation, why not say your thank yous in advance to the play-doh eggs YouTube clips for getting you through the flights, coach journeys, daytimes, mealtimes and evenings... And an even bigger thank you to gin for getting you through the play-doh egg clips... It's a viscous circle really. A gin-play-doh-egg-circle.
- Remember, if at any point you attempt some holiday-reading the 'new book smell' drives toddlers insane... and makes them instantly repel all clothing and start demanding ice-cream. If you get out a kindle you are totally f@*ked.
- Don't forget to start your period while you're away. To make life that bit sweatier.
- If in doubt just keep buying inflatable plastic crap until everyone stops crying. You'll know you've bought enough when you are forced to sleep in an inflatable Disney Princess dingy because there's no floor or balcony space left.
- If you thought you could multitask before... You just upgraded to super-human by performing all normal parenting tasks with a beer and/or Cornetto in your hand at all times.
- And for the record: drinking a pint of lager whilst breastfeeding makes you even more awesomer.
- You'll miss the Jumperoo. You'll probably shed a little tear in its honour after you've been holding your baby for several hours alone in the shade. While the husband 'takes one for the team' by drinking beer in the baby pool while the 3-yr old amuses herself with a plastic cup... Yeah. Thanks. This is why I drink Ouzo before midday now. I call it the Jumper-Ouzo moment.
- Pool floaters are nothing... Try picking up a three-year old's turd from the middle of the stage half way through the hotel-run 80's night... No-one wants to see a toddler 'Mr.Whippy-one-off' half way through Flashdance. Trust me.
- When you meet other families, your conversations will revolve almost entirely around poo. (the rest of the time it's gin and sunburn)
- You will find the afternoon buggy walk to get the kids to sleep so long, hot and arduous you will begin seeing mirages, foraging for berries in the back streets and asking passers by to throw beer in your mouth as you pass by hanging your tongue out and panting.
- Once the kids have passed out in the buggy for the night, you can finally put the iPad away, order a cocktail outside of the all inclusive menu and KEEP YOUR OWN F@*KING DRINKS UMBRELLA FOR YOUR OWN F@*KING DRINK. *fist pump*
- Basically. You're now the twatty-toddler-hat-replacing-monitor by day and the angry-toddler-shoe-replacing-wanker by night. In between you rock the baby back to sleep in the pushchair. That's it.
- With Shisha.