Raindrops on roses...

>> Friday, 22 February 2008

I feel as if I've eaten twice my body-weight in sugar over the last couple of weeks. That may, of course, be due in no small part to the fact that I have (probably) eaten my twice my body-weight in sugar over the last couple of weeks.

Not the brightest of things to do when that little african bird is becoming a much too frequent visitor, but hey, a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do. And I reserve the right to eat whatever I want under the circumstances. It's gone 11.30pm on a Friday night and I'm sitting here trying to kill two birds with one stone: firstly, to write an entertaining post (about as likely right now as my finding I do fit into my pre-baby ski trousers after all), and secondly, to import various cd's of kids' stories onto my ipod. Quite why I'm prepared to consider subjecting myself to the Lion King and Chicken Little on holiday when I do anything to avoid putting them on at home I don't know, but I'm clearly over-tired because I'm doing it.

It's probably because I've been packing for the last two days. And I still haven't checked the toys that Boy #1 self-importantly stowed in his rucksack yesterday. He tells me he has all eventualities covered. This may well be true, if 'all eventualities' include a crocodile attack, a conversation with a passing paleontologist (I know that's not spelt right - so sue me) who wants to re-enact the no doubt frequent occurrence of a fight between a t-rex and a tricerotops with scale models, or the need to find a treasure island using a secret map where not only does 'X' mark the spot, but in fact covers most of the island.

But, although it feels as if I've been packing for the last two days, in actual fact it's only been since lunchtime today - but that's because I was still shopping for the things to pack until then.

And in reality, I haven't been properly 'packing'. No, I have been in charge of sorting out what we are going to take, making sure it's clean, wearable and accessable, putting it all in one place, policing that place to make sure Boy #2 doesn't start mountaineering up the piles of neatly stacked socks, pants and gloves, rescuing various items from Boy #1 who is so over-excited about our trip that everything has to be tried on repeatedly (especially the new red hat with the dingly dangly red bobble on the end), and checking twice to make sure we have everything we need (including the kitchen sink). The actual 'packing' had, of course, to be done by a man. One sock at a time, to maximise space-efficiency. Gosh, I'm lucky to have someone else to do the hard work, don't you agree?

In addition to the pre-preparation I also needed to sort out the money for our cleaner whilst we are away, get the keys to a neighbour, check the parking restrictions on our street to make sure that our car won't be towed whilst we're gone, and - this is the killer - get the flat into a fit state for our friends who are coming to stay whilst we're gone.

It's one thing making sure that everything is in a reasonable state of repair for when you get back from a holiday. It's another thing entirely to have your home in a fit state for strangers to view it, close up and personal, whilst you're not there. Suddenly the cobwebs in the office, the crumbs under the dining table, the smears on the door jambs, and the marks on the paintwork in the hall are rather higher on your to-do list than they might otherwise have been.

But not high enough for me to actually do anything about them, of course.

And finally, I leave you with a transcript of a conversation that took place over the last couple of days between myself and my beloved.

Me: Where are we flying from?

Husband: Heathrow.

Me: Are you sure?

Husband: Think so. I'll check later. Must go off and be important now... (OK, he didn't actually say that, but you get the gist...)

Some time later:

Me: Did you check where we're flying from?

Husband: Not yet. But it's Heathrow.

Me: I just want to be sure before I book a taxi.

Husband: Well, book it.

Me: But have you checked?

Husband: No.

Me: I'll wait.

The next day....

Me: I just wondered...

Husband: No, I haven't checked. I'll do it now - but it's Heathrow.

Some time later...

Husband: It's Gatwick.

Me: Right.

Husband: So, we'll drive then. Is there petrol in the car?

Me: No. Not since I didn't realise we were using it.

Husband: heavy sigh.

And this is my fault, because...?

Don't you just love going on holiday?


Tracey 23 February 2008 at 00:24  

My god, packing for holidays is hard enough, but to leave the house in a fit state for house guests? I couldn't do it!

Hope you have a great time. Once you're there it'll be great. Where are you going skiing, incidentally?

Potty Mummy 23 February 2008 at 00:41  

La belle France, Tracey. Sun, snow red wine and tartiflette. That last with a 't' not an 'f' - though frankly, it might as well have the latter. (And just in case you've never experienced that little slice of gastronomic paradise, think potatoes, cheese, bacon and cream. A dieter's delight, but not to be missed).

And as for leaving the house in a fit state for guests? Don't worry - I haven't. They'll get over it...

The Rotten Correspondent 23 February 2008 at 05:16  

That's a lot of work to do before a trip, all right. I shudder to think of people staying in my house after the rush to get ready for vacation.

I hope you have a fabulous time! We want to hear all about it when you get back.

ped crossing 23 February 2008 at 06:22  

It will be fabulous once you get going.

Have fun!

Milla 23 February 2008 at 14:47  

am deeply envious, our own week seems a lifetime ago. Enjoy! We went to Alpe d'Huez which I can thoroughly recommend. With you on teh ski boots (blog below) - can there be a more uncomfortable item of clothing in existence?? And packing, jeez, you think you've got hours, pfaff around, and end up bundling everything into carrier bags and trashing the zips of the suitcases forcing in things you'll never use, and know you'll never use.

aims 23 February 2008 at 18:49  

And here I thought you were going on your own! I think I got that idea when hubby was away skiing and you said something like - never mind - my turn is coming...

Now I have to revisualize this entire holiday again..hmmm - are you sure you want to call it a holiday?

Rosie 23 February 2008 at 22:11  

Packing clearly requires highly skilled multi-tasking and it really quite stressful (I find). Surely your husband should have been the one checking the airport all along? If men was responsible for the packing heaven knows what families would find in their suitcases when they reached their destination!

You can put kids' stories on ipods? I'm amazed.

plumsource 23 February 2008 at 22:23  

Just wanted to say thanks for the archived potty training diaries. I started today with my 3 year old girl and enjoyed reading your escapades. Ta! I like your writing so hope to stick around for other tales too. Enjoy your hols.

GoneBackSouth 23 February 2008 at 22:52  

Oh gosh, it all sounds so familiar. I remember my husband huffing and puffing at me because we were a few minutes late leaving the house at 5.05am, with 2 grouchy toddlers (me having done all the packing and preparation of course, all he had to do was get up). He drove at break-neck speed, we zoomed to check-in, only to discover that HE had left his passport at home. I said nothing, nothing at all.

Expatmum 24 February 2008 at 03:51  

Well we have just arrived back from our week in Colorado, ....and it continues. The idiots put us on an earlier flight, which was great because it meant we'd be back before everyone's bedtime. Except the luggage still went on the later, original flight, meaning that the favoured Sponge Bob pyjamas are, as far as my 4 year old is concerned, lost forever. I had to leave him sniffling in bed about it. (I would have stayed but he's a bit of a thespian and was already milking it too much.)
Have a great time.

Mya 24 February 2008 at 09:36  

Bon vacances a tous! The weather over here is fabtastic - so you'll be able to bask outside in the sun, sipping the old vin chaud. And...don't get me started on tartiflette...I just might come and join you - and that would really spoil your hols!

Mya x

Potty Mummy 24 February 2008 at 12:06  

Well, would you believe it but we have the internet in the chalet! No posts likely, obviously, but I can at least reply to comments, which is fabulous!

RC, thanks, I promise to deliver. I mean, a ski trip with two small children and another family with the same - there's got be plenty of blog-fodder there, surely!

Ped, I promise to do my level best!

Milla, I know! I forced myself to be strict on the packing but you can bet there will be at least 3 items of clothing I never wear...

Aims, good question. But we do have a nanny supplied by the holiday company, who so far has worked out great, so - you never know - it may be more relaxed than I envisaged.

Rosie, OF COURSE he should have been checking. But you know how it is. He was also hit by man-flu a couple of days before we left so was perhaps a little less helpful than normal... (In other words, I had 3 kids to handle rather than two...)

Plumsource, thanks for the visit and good luck with the potty training. i found it helpful to write the funny stuff down (hence the diaries), as it meant I could keep it all in perspective. Glad you enjoyed them!

GBS, you are a better woman than I. I would not have been able to keep my mouth shut...

EPM, it must be the age. Our 4 year old is a drama queen too. We had to move out of sight at his ski lesson this morning because every time he saw us he pulled a face from The Scream, and yet the moment he moved on was fine...

Mya, that would be lovely, there is a tartiflette with your name on it baking gently in the oven as we speak. Am already enjoying the sun shine - at least most of me is. My red and shiny nose is not so sure...

Nunhead Mum of One 24 February 2008 at 22:09  

I hate packing for holidays. I start off with very good intentions with a list and everything, get bored halfway through and just chuck everything into my suitcase. It makes unpacking at your destination such a discovery of delight for your fellow travellers.....

Jonny's Mommy 25 February 2008 at 18:26  

Wow. Glad I don't ask people to stay at our house when we are gone -- of course we're never gone because we never go anywhere.

Love the conversation with the husband. Sounds just like my husband. Totally!

aminah 25 February 2008 at 20:08  

I like holidaying but hate the packing and traveling part of it...hope you are having a lovely holiday!!!

Jonny's Mommy 27 February 2008 at 15:08  

I know you are busy on holiday, but you've been tagged for a meme at


Potty Mummy 27 February 2008 at 15:26  

Hi NH Mum, you have clearly seen me pack before...

J's Mommy, they are all the same. I totally believe that. And will check out the meme posthaste...

Aminah, yes we are thanks. Spot of rain today, not what you want when skiing but at least it's not pouring. And we are on holiday, after all...

Elsie Button 1 March 2008 at 13:28  

my god, packing is a nightmare! hope you all having a fab time - look forward to hearing your tales!

Pig in the Kitchen 2 March 2008 at 21:11  

oh you put that very well indeed! The horror of stockpiling everything for the holiday, to see it all in one place and know it's got to fit into a few teensy pull-along bags...
And lending someone your flat? It's like inviting someone to view you naked isn't it? a great idea when you're a bit pissed, a terrible idea the day before they're going to do it.

Potty Mummy 3 March 2008 at 16:28  

Iota, thanks. We did - and I hope NY was great for you.

Elsie, you're right. I willnever do it again - until the next time...

Pig, that's so true. And now we're back I not only have all our laundry to do, but their sheets and towels as well... Oh well - we'll repay the favour when we visit their place in Holland this summer...

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