With two little kiddies a fortnight in Barbados may not be practical (financially or in any other sense at all!), having discounted the obvious choice of a holiday (sun for Daddy, shade for me, alcohol for both) as not being family friendly we briefly considered a UK break. The sad truth is that for the cost of a week in an English seaside resort we could have a break abroad (probably in nicer accomodation than a caravan near the north sea too) so we decided to postpone a proper summer holiday this year and have a week set aside for a holiday at home.
The week has started off really well – despite the traditional british holiday weather.
Much to Ben’s delight he was taken to his Nanny’s house with Ciaran while Mummy and Daddy opened a bank account for Ciaran (traditional holiday activity in any family), got lost looking for Loch Fyne in Milton Keynes, gave up and drove to the dammed thing (getting lost is definately a traditional activity in our family holidays) and then had an adult only lunch. I ate off the set menu (Bradan Roch followed by Bream with pesto and fennel) while Chris went a la carte with venison salad and the haddock, chips and pea’s special. As mine came with a glass of wine thrown in I bravely tried to drink wine with lunch and failed – my liver and lifestyle can no longer take a glass of vino with lunch. It was practically a tumbler full of wine that I was given and I managed a paltry third of it! We went home to get our boys and spent the afternoon playing inside.
We took the boys to Gulliver’s Land, a local theme park for 2-13 year olds. Being under 3 foot restricted the rides Ben could go on but we found plenty of fun things, the indoor under 5’s play area, the diggers (I can see a future career for Ben as a digger operator), the carasoul and screaming with excitement at other rides kept him amused. His Daddy bravely went on the roller coaster while I filmed and chased my run away toddler, I bravely went on a freefall ride (everyone else was laughing and cheering, you looked like you were going to cry) before finding a ride pitched more at my level of courage. The Texan Boot.
You sit in a boot with your LO the ride starts and the boots spin around, but, there is a button in the boot you can press that magically (thanks to the mystery of hydraulics) lifts the boot up in the air. We had a tiny tantrum while queueing until I explained to Ben that if he wanted to go on the ride we had to wait until it was our turn (strangely this approach worked). We sat on the boot and I asked him if he was scared and got a little whispered “yes”. He loved the ride, kept wanting me to press the button and begged for more when it finished, so his Daddy queued up with him this time to go on it again.
We got home around half three all tired and and all very satisfied with our day out. As a treat I got a tesco finest meal, moussaka, ceasar salad, two pot au chocolat’s and a bottle of wine (I might even drink it one day!).
Bedtime was a bit of a mess as I rushed putting Ciaran down to try to Ben as well and ended up with two over tired agitated boys awake at half eight. Daddy stepped in.
Today we went to Peterborough, we’ve never been there before (I went there a few times to visit family as a child). Our aim was to pay in cash, sightsee, find Lakeland and eat lunch. Ben enjoyed running around the Queensgate centre and was only a little scared of the noisy workmen outside. We found HSBC, took the kids to a coffee shop for coffee and a snack. I explained to Ben that he could have biscuit or cake and he chose Biscuits, so he had a pack of Loaker while his Dad and I had coffee and Ciaran had a nice feed. Once the biscuits were gone we diffused a major cake tantrum by going outside to look at the parked bikes, before finding Lakeland. Shoppng done we went to the Cathedral. I must confess to being a history philistine, and tried futiley to distract Ben for long enough for his Dad to read the information about the two queens buried at the cathedral (Katherine of Aragon and Mary Queen of Scots).
We stopped at the services for lunch as Daddy didn’t fancy eating in the city centre with the boys. Pizza Hit Express for the two men, milk for Ciaran and a Marks and Spencers salad for me before getting back on the A1 and home.
The children are both in bed now (Ciaran is still in a moses basket – I can’t put off the move to a cot much longer) and Ben is really loving having a whole week with his Daddy. We’re off to the zoo tommorrow (accompanied by my Mum – Ninny to the kids) and I can honestly say that this week feels as rewarding as a proper holiday with two young children with the safety net of being able to get home quickly in a tantrum crisis.