So we're back from our week's hol/vacation in Sedona, Arizona. A fabulous place folks - breath-taking red rock mountains, a two hour drive to the Grand Canyon and warm weather. (BTW, don't go in the summer unless you prefer yourself medium rare.)
But as any parent-of-small-child knows, it's not really relaxing is it? I mean, there was the two hour time difference in our case, meaning that he got really tired really early, making dinners out somewhat embarrassing when his head hit the table and he started snoring. We rented a beautiful villa with pool, which kept the kids amused but meant that an adult had to be "on alert" at all times in case the little guy slipped out for a quick swim. The fact that he can't quite swim should really have made him wary, but he didn't seem to remember until he sank to the bottom. Fortunately there was usually a teenager within grabbing distance, but I kept the pool net with six foot handle next to me just in case. I really couldn't be arsed with diving in unless really pushed.
I have to say, this time we seemed to have dodged the family holiday crises that usually blight us. I think the worst thing was the guy at security taking the "just in case" yoghurts off me because we couldn't establish whether they were under or over three ounces. I couldn't really blame him, but it is irritating when you bother to tend to your off springs' needs and are thwarted. We did tempt fate one night, as we sat around the poolside fire (oh yes!) laughing about some of our bygone dramas:
- like the time in Mexico a few years ago, when we loaded up the rent car, drove off wondering why everyone was dancing about in the rear mirror, only to discover over two thirds of the way to our destination, when looking for directions because the Ball & Chain finally aditted we were lost, that we/he had left his briefcase (with five passports) on the ground at the car rental office.
- or like the same time in Mexico when the little one (a baby) had a diaper/nappy explosion which didn't become apparent until I had lifted him out of his high chair "to check". I surmised that he needed to be changed, and on taking my first step to the loos, trod on something soft. You're right - poo balls all over the floor. I was horrified and the B&C and I were seen on the floor with a packet of wipes, scooping up the balls which had, of course, rolled everwhere.
- or the time in England years ago, (Tynemouth beach to be exact) when I let the older two go down to the sea together. Spent about 5 minutes watching the wrong little pink bikini before I realised I had no idea where they were. (The sands at Tynemouth can sometimes be ver long and I'm a tad short-sighted). Sure enough, the Queenager (then about 6) had disappeared - cue panicked search, ending in me running through miles of soft sand (not looking remotely like Bo Derek) to the Coast Guard hut, only to be told that they she had already been handed in. Phew!
- or the other time (only a few years ago) when the older two wanted to climb the rocks at same beach. I grew up with those tides, but forgot that they didn't know how quickly they come in. After half an hour they didn't reappear, so yet again, I had to get the Coast Guard guy to do something. In actual fact he was about as much use as a chocolate teapot, and stood looking at the distant rocks while a crowd formed behind us. Finally, they reappeared by themselves, but had to swim across the rocks they had previously waded ankle-deep through. Phew!
- or last year, at the same beach (we'll have to go elsewhere) when Mr. Minimal got lashed by a jellyfish. Of all the kids on the beach that day, it had to be mine. And boy, did it sting. (First Aid hint - if you can't find a First Aid Person, urine will take the sting off. Hmmm)
Given that this is a mere snapshot of what usually transpires, you'll appreciate my relief at having dodged a vacational bullet or two.
We had a great time, but I'm now ready for a holiday/vacation!!!