Sun, sea, sand and sex. In theory.
Picture this. An idyllic hotel nestled in the pine clad hills running into the Meditteranean Sea. Balmy weather, and a bikini clad self reclining comfortably on a sun lounger (or hammock - not fussy) with cocktails arriving by waiter with a click of ones fingers.
Imagine. Sheer relaxation and s,s,s and s.
Flip to the here and now and the skewed vision vanishes with the sound of a toddler putting my shoes in the washing machine, my purse in the bin and her dinner in the dog. And that's when she's low on sugar.
In actual fact I know what's coming. It will be the first trip abroad where I have not whizzed through a novel a day. The first where the lure of free alcohol on the all-inclusive doesn't have the same woohoo! it once did. And the first where the bed springs get less of a work out than their British counterpart resting smuggly at home in Yorkshire. Yes, there will certainly be none of that going on. Not while we are sharing a room with a toddler.
Instead of all of these old rituals, Matt the Husband and me, we will be taking on new ones.
Like dosing the child with calpol when we board the flight and feeding her jellied sweets or cheerios as we take off to help her ears pop as we climb. Like smiling apologetically as we realise regrettably that we have sent Mr Rabbit into the hold and Grace demonstrates an apocolyptic meltdown for all 322 passengers on board. And like finding the need to pinch a bottle of milk from the restaurant as we retire for the evening so much more satisfying than the bottle of plonk (or two) from years gone by.
Yes, you might say things have changed. The four s's are a thing of the past. Out the window.
I'm not sorry. Grace is a delight, and to be honest with you, she's the perfect cover for the fact my tummy is no longer the washboard it once was. Travelling with a toddler certainly has its up sides. I'll still be getting sun, sea and sand, and hopefully with all the research I've done in what to take to get me through the flight and coach transfer with a toddler, there wont be any stress. Or not much anyway.
As my aged parents quite rightly pointed out - they took me on holiday to Italy at the same age as Grace, by car, without any of the mod cons we'll be packing. Surely if they could endure that with me and still enjoy it, this turn-up-and-travel holiday will be a breeze. Surely?
p.s. if I am deluded do please let me know. Or not. I'm quite happy in my ignorance!