The swimsuits and shorts have all been washed and put away… the photos are up on Facebook… and most of my tan fell off in the shower this morning. Yup. Our holiday is officially over.
But what a holiday it was. One of those weeks that leaves you feeling relaxed, happy, and so very, very lucky.
We decided to make life easy for ourselves by spending a night at an airport hotel before we flew, rather than trying to haul our bags and ourselves across London at stupid o’clock on a Sunday morning. It turned out to be a good plan, not least because there was a big red shiny BMW on display in the hotel lobby, and DorkySon thought he was in heaven. I think he would have been happy if we’d just turned round and gone home straight after seeing that.
But we didn’t. We hopped on a plane and somehow managed the thirteen-hour flight without any tantrums or hissy fits (not even from me!). The constant stream of snacks, Peppa Pig sticker books and new toy cars definitely helped, as did the lovely, friendly BA cabin crew who DorkySon managed to charm in the first five minutes.
“Hello,” he’d say, coyly glancing out from under his eyelashes. “I’m a very shy boy.”
By the end of the flight he’d even had a visit to meet the pilot in the cockpit, although his confidence deserted him when confronted with all those shining lights and switches and buttons, and he declined the offer to press one himself.
DorkySon maintained that cautious attitude all week. He wasn’t at all sure about the pool (“too scary”), the beach (“too noisy”) or the sea (“too big”) to begin with. But by the end of the week we had persuaded him to try out all three, and he started to really enjoy himself. The little geckos that ran all over the place fascinated him, and being able to run around barefoot seemed to compensate for the trauma of having Factor 50 rubbed on him every couple of hours. Most of all, though, he just loved spending time with his Aunty and Uncle. He adores them both, and has spent some time every day since we got back giggling and smiling at the photos I took of them together.
DorkyDad and I did pretty well too. The first pina coladas of the day were usually served about 11am. Staying with family meant that we could sneak out for a couple of hours on the beach every day when DorkySon took a nap, knowing that he was safe and secure with some excellent babysitters. We all sat on the porch with a glass of wine and watched the sun go down every night. And we even managed a date night – dinner, dancing, and a walk along the beach to look at the stars!
As I said, lucky us.
The week went far too quickly (although I’m not sure that our hosts would agree with that!) and it was back to earth with a bump when we had to return home. None of us liked the feeling of putting socks and shoes on again, after a week in flipflops. DorkySon had a meltdown at the airport when he had to put his Binky thorugh the scanner. And there was a problem with the catering on our flight home, so instead of a hot dinner and breakfast our only food for thirteen hours was a packet of Rice Krispies scooped out of a plastic cup.
But when you’re all filled up with sun and love and happiness, those wee things don’t seem to matter too much.
The first night back, DorkySon’s body clock hadn’t adjusted, so we were all up until the small hours. But on our second night home, he fell asleep on the floor of his bedroom about 7pm, halfway through getting his pyjamas on. He didn’t stir for the next fourteen hours.
“What a good sleep Mummy,” he said, when he finally roused himself. “And I had good dreams too. All about our holiday.”