Two thirds of fathers of premature and sick babies says they have felt under pressure to...read more
We’re on holiday. Sort of. Emails still come piling in and for some reason people seem to think half term is a good time to issue parent-related news. They seem to assume that parents are lolling around on half term, kicking back with the news instead of the rather less than relaxing reality.
We are in Holland. We got up at 4am. Never my favourite time, although some people in the family thought it was highly exciting. They, however, got to sleep en route while the grown-ups had to keep wide awake. By the time we got to the ferry any attempt to stay coherent was fading. Only son was, however, running on high octane and was rather overjoyed by the prospect of two weetabixes. He spotted a child with a ninja turtle toy and proceeded to tell said child in great detail what said ninja turtle did and thought. He puts on an American accent to pronounce all ninja names as if they are something really exotic rather than a plastic turtle in a weird mask [whoever dreamt up the idea of dynamic, crime-fighting turtles has not spent many hours observing the creature in its natural habitat]. Only son is similarly enamoured of all Marvel Comic creations and Paw Patrol characters. We went to ToysRus at the weekend and were lucky to emerge at all. He even got excited by the Spiderman party plates.
My energy levels were not sufficient to show more than a passing interest in Leonarrrdo’s fashion sense. Daughter one wanted to discuss Wuthering Heights. She is not impressed so far. My brain was not quite up for a full-on literary debate on the nature of passion. Suddenly the ninjas seemed welcome relief.
To keep awake during the journey to Holland my partner and I discussed world events and decided that things were not going too well and that maybe we’d better start that vegetable plot soon before the Russians shut off all the gas, the petrol runs out, food prices soar, climate change speeds up and the whole world implodes. The plan to run off to Spain may also be curtailed in the event that ISIS reclaims the Spanish Caliphate.
As soon as we arrived at the holiday camp where we are stationed, everyone small woke up and demanded to do activities. This mainly centred around swimming, which is the one activity my partner manages to get out of every time because the chlorine makes his skin itch.
I managed to put off the evil hour by diverting everyone to the mini disco, led by a giant rabbit. Only son was slightly worried by the rabbit until he realised it was a person in a suit and did all the steps to the Dutch songs perfectly. We were indeed the only participants in the mini-disco and daughters two and three sadly let down the side by burying their heads in embarrassment in the sofa. For this reason we had to stay for the entire mini disco because I felt sorry for the giant rabbit.
We retired to the swimming pool. Only son wanted to go in the small person pool, which is normally lovely and warm. Not in this case. It was about a foot deep and freezing. However, he more than made up for the cold by his enthusiasm for throwing himself at the water. We came out of the pool feeling slightly invigorated and ready for Eastenders Live which, glory be, is being broadcast direct into Holland.