Whenever we go on holiday as a family there is always some sort of drama. For instance we have missed many flights, left suitcases behind, lost bags, lost bank cards, had a case of chickenpox, the list goes on......Well this year I'm pleased to report that nothing dramatic happened - apart from trying to holiday with our 20 month old. I have since come to the conclusion that this is definitely the worst age to travel with a child. The boundless amounts of energy, the inability to sit still for more than 5 seconds at a time and the tantrums that often result in Max head butting the floor or screaming.
Every year we go away with my parents to the Costa Del Sol to a place called Nerja. We always rent a villa so we have our own space, our own pool and the freedom to do as we please. The villa itself was lovely, but put a 20 month old in the mix and it was about as child friendly and relaxing as a nest of wasps! The marble floors, the steps on the pool, the balcony that he could have probably squeezed through and the spiral staircase, meant that one of us was always on constant 'Max' watch. This started proving quite stressful as well as trying to keep both boys in the shade so they didn't burn during the heatwave.
To de stress, my Mum decided to take us all into the town and treat us to a lovely meal. This all sounded like a great idea so we chose a restaurant we all liked the look of and we were shown to our table. This soon transpired into a pantomime. Within 5 minutes of us being there we had successfully managed to vacate the nearby tables around us, Max had ripped the table cloth off, spilt a drink and was now screaming at the top of his voice for a sharp knife that we had obviously taken off him and was now trying to climb over the table to get to the salt and pepper pots. To make matters worse my Dad and husband had been seated in what can only be described a large bush that was full of mosquitos and other creepy crawlies. The photo below shows my husband defending himself with mosquito spray. So our lovely chilled out meal turned into pandamonium, which even a glass of wine couldn't make any better!
My 5 year old, Finnley, was completely oblivious to all of the drama and commotion caused by our little whirlwind of a 20 month old and has since said to me that he had the best holiday and would love to go back tomorrow. He spent hours playing in the pool, got his own big boy wallet and the best part of his holiday was being allowed an ice cream every single day - oh to be 5 again!
The best part of the holiday for me was going down to Burriana beach on an evening where the boys could spend their time digging in the sand for treasure with their Grandma and Grandad whilst we all enjoyed a well deserved glass of wine. The sunsets were amazing and staying up with the kids in the outdoors and on the beach was truly magical. We did also manage to find a lovely little restaurant called 'Gusto" which i would highly recommend. We had our own little private dining area, the staff were amazing and supplied the boys with activities to keep them busy - perfect!
Family life always has its ups and downs. The holiday might not have been as chilled as we would have liked it but despite this, it was lovely to get away, spend time with my Mum, Dad, husband and boys and enjoy a bit of sun. Same time and place next year mum and dad?!!
Checklist for going on holiday with a toddler:
Take the grandparents with you!
A supply of colouring books
Their own knife, fork, spoon and plate!
Buy a bucket and spade when you get there
A paddling pool