First Night on Holiday with Children

toddler sleeping

We learned from painful experience that between the ages of 8 months and 18 months, staying anywhere other than at home meant nobody got any sleep.

Now that we are out of what I consider to be the no-travel zone, I’ll let you know how our first night went with a 3.5 year old and a 21 month old…

8pm (already an hour past the children’s bedtime)
We’re all at the in-laws chalet and I get DS2 to wave goodnight so I can take him back to our chalet and put him to bed. He’s looking exhausted and crying at everything and it’s been a long day. DS1 decides he wants to sleep over at Nanny’s chalet, so we all head back together so DS1 can collect sleepover things.

8:20pm
DS1 is obviously tired as he is unable to follow DHs instructions to pack an overnight bag with his PJs and toothbrush. DS2 is running around in zombie-like excitement while I move a single bed into the spare room, set up the travel cot, find PJs and sleeping bag, and berate myself for not having set all the beds up earlier.

8:30pm
DS1 and DH head back to Nanny’s. I give DS2 some milk and read him some stories to calm him down. He squeals in delight at every page and asks me to read the same 4-page story about a fire engine five times in a row.

8:40pm
I finally get DS2 into bed, hang up the blackout blind and creep out. He seems unsettled, but is so tired I think he will be asleep soon.

8:50pm
I am sat on the toilet when DH returns with DS1, who barges into the bathroom and tells me he doesn’t want to stay at Nanny’s after all. Apparently once she had run him a bath he told DH he wanted to go home.

9pm
I frantically make up DS1s bed, and DS2 (who was almost asleep) is now standing in his travel cot crying because DS1 won’t stay in the bedroom with us and is instead riding his scooter up and down the corridor.

9:20pm
We finally get DS1 and DS2 into bed, in the same room, at the same time.

9:30pm
DS2 is making his little sucky noises that means he is dropping off to sleep.

9:35pm
DS1 gets up for a wee.

9:40pm
DS1 gets up for a poo.

9:45pm
I ask DS1 if he would like me to sit with him for a while. He says yes. After 10 minutes of laying quietly he is still not asleep, but I am going to pass out and my head is hurting, so I get up, ask him to close his eyes and rest and tell him I have some cleaning to do.

9:55pm
DS1 gets up for a wee. I start getting ready for bed.

10pm
I finish brushing my teeth. DS1 and DS2 are alseep. Hurrah!

10:10pm
Decide to listen to a relaxation audio as my brain is a bit wired and I’m feeling stressed about how tired the kids are going to be tomorrow (Nanny’s birthday).

10:25pm
Turn off audio, am falling asleep.

10:45pm
Notice that it’s really quite light in our bedroom.

11pm
I get up and check the temperature in the boys room, as I’m worried about DS2 getting cold.

11:15pm
Why can’t I fall asleep?

11:30pm
I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow is the last thing I think before I fall asleep.

3:15am
I wake up because AF is here and I can feel myself bleeding. I’m worried I’m going to leave a shark attack scene on the holiday bedsheets so I get up and head to the bathroom to source more sanitary towels.

3:25am
DS2 cries a bit. I go and put a blanket on him as his arms feel cold and the temperature has dropped.

3:40am
DS2 cries again. I check him and he has turned over and the blanket has come off. Tuck him in again.

4am
DS2 cries briefly. I check him once more. He’s fine.

4:15am
The sun seems to be coming up. I’m sure I can hear birds. I want to cry.

6:45am
I must have dropped back off to sleep because next I am woken up by the sound of “Mamaaaa? Mamaaaaa?” from DS2. I take my temperature (gotta love TTC) and thankfully DH gets up because I feel like I have been poisoned and thrown in a hedgerow.

7am
DS1 wakes up because DS2 is shouting about the Octonauts at top volume. DS1 comes in with his thumb in his mouth, looking as tired as I feel and asks me if I’m going to get up now.

Overall, I consider that a success 🙂

Holiday Notes

In Tenerife

Hurrah! – we survived the 28 hour journey there (and made our connecting flight 7 minutes before it was due to leave Gatwick, result!). Holiday photos from the gloriously sunny Tenerife and a quick wander down the Strip at Las Vegas are now available … why do holidays always go so fast?

They go even faster when it takes two days to recover from the jet lag and then you discover you can buy a tanker of beer for 70p.

Eating out in Tenerife is even cheaper than eating out in America (is this some global conspiracy to make me grow bigger?). We ate lots of lovely English food, including the most excellent scrambled eggs provided by Steve’s mum while feeding the hoard of people demanding breakfast. We listened to lots of karaoke (some very good, some… interesting) and generally wandered around feeling very pleased with ourselves for being there instead of at work. And Tenerife is HOT. Even in November it’s scorching in the daytime.

Tenerife Pool

As Miss Tipex, I’m not sporting a tan of any kind, but trust me – that’s not an indication of the weather, just the effectiveness of my 4 layers of factor 30.

For most of us, our days generally consisted of:

  • go to the pool
  • eat
  • drink sangria
  • blissful sleep
  • repeat

Except in Holly’s case, where sleep was replaced with bar/nightclub for the entire week. Am I the only one who thinks she has struck a personal deal with powergen? This is the same Holly who suffered no sleep problems when she came to visit us in America a few weeks back, and then travelled home on an 11 hour night-flight, continued on through the day and survived an all-night party before getting up to go to work the next morning. Incredible.

Tenerife was followed by a return to the US via a stoppover in Las Vegas, which is amazing. Oh it’s amazing. It’s really, really amazing. It’s all neon and fairytale-ish and everything. Unfortunately I was struck down with a random chest infection that left me thinking I was going to die, on top of the fact that we had just got used to UK time, so we were actually wandering around at the equivalent of 3am. In fact, if it wasn’t for the couple of pictures I took, I’d think I imagined the whole thing.

Las Vegas

The general consensus for both places is we have to go back for more. We want more! More holidays, more sun, more sangria, more neon. So that’s the end of a successful holiday season for another year, as the er…. other holiday season is rapidly approaching, and it’s time to start thinking about Santa again and dusty old relatives you forgot you had (oops, I mean that in a nice way, honest). So enjoy the pics – they make it a total of 1,000 photos in the database!

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