Home sweet home...

>> Saturday, 1 March 2008

Hurrah! We're home!

That's not to say that we didn't have a fabulous time (we did), that the chalet we stayed in wasn't perfectly located (it was), or that we argued with the friends we were on holiday with (we didn't), but it's just lovely to be back in your own space.

Even if there are about 5,000 loads of laundry outstanding.

I told Husband this evening that when we win the lottery, my main luxury will be to have someone to do our washing for us. Of course, being a man, and having initially pointed out that you need to be in it to win it (can't remember the last time we actually got round to buying a ticket, but never mind), he got carried away, and started envisaging all sorts of house-keeper type services. Apparantly just laundry is not enough; we need someone living in the grounds of the palatial mansion we will move into, who will be on-call at the touch of a button, who will do all the shopping, tidying, and general admin, will ferry the kids to school, and generally take the pain out of life.

He's clearly missing catered chalet-living already - and we only got back at 3.00pm today.

So this evening, I sent him out to forage for a curry as since we have - yet again - forgotten to buy a lottery ticket, there is no-one to do our laundry other than me, and I am clearly far too busy sorting coloured clothes from whites to consider setting foot in the kitchen - and I wanted to write this post.

I can't blame him for missing the 'help' really, it's addictive. But I think the main thing that has come out of this holiday is how different it was from skiing holidays pre-kids.

For example:

Then: drive through the night to arrive first thing in the morning, bleary-eyed and dehydrated, to dump your stuff in your tiny apartment, and rush down to the ski lifts to get your pass and dash up onto the slopes.

Now: arrive mid-afternoon (after a crushingly early start, mind you - I am not at my best at 5.30am, especially when covered with milk from Boy #2's leaking bottle), unpack - everything, including all the useless stuff you added at the last minute knowing you probably wouldn't use it but hey, that spare pair of sunglasses could come in handy in case Boy #1 loses his at ski school and of course you will be far too busy to walk the 10 metres to the shop to buy replacements there (even if the sales have started already) - and then sit down for a nice cup of tea before sorting out your ski hire.

Then: following an extended apres-ski session at Pub le Ski Lodge, spend a happy couple of drunken hours sliding down the nursery slope on your butt and a tea tray, squealing like a stuck pig and wondering why everyone in the resort isn't out there with you having the time of their lives too.

Now: after an extended bath session with your sons, spend a frustrated couple of hours with them trying to convince Boy #1 that no, it isn't a good idea to put on his ski trousers and go and join the oh-so-happy grown-ups out on the piste, and that it really is time to go to sleep now. Once he has eventually dropped off, and you have woken up from your half-hour nap on the twin bed next to him where you just put your head on the pillow for 5 minutes to convince him to close his eyes, you chunter crossly to the other grown-ups in your party about irresponsibility when drunk, and wonder enviously if those 20 year olds outside could just turn the volume down a little...

Then: leave the apartment each morning at around 8.45am to make the first lift up, spend the day skiing hard (though of course not well), fortified only by vin chaud, tartiflette, mini-mars bars and the odd plate of chips, before skiing home exhausted at around 5.30pm just in time to change your sweaty top and head for - you guessed it - Pub le Ski Lodge, to talk about the number of wipe-outs you had and how funny it was watching Mark take out Rob at the top of that icy slope.

Now: wake up at 7.00am, spend the next hour and 45 minutes cajoling your children to eat breakfast, suit up Boy #1, cover all his exposed skin with heavy-duty sun cream which of course also smears itself attractively across your black ski trousers, and drag him unwillingly across the piste to his lesson.

Once there, he practises his impression of 'The Scream' face whenever he looks at you, but is cheerfully chatting to his neighbour, the teacher and anyone who'll listen about how he'll be skiing down the mountain by lunchtime the moment your back is turned. You know this, because of course you have eyes in the back of your head, but still feel horrifically guilty as eventually, around 9.30am, you leave the edges of the class and head back to the chalet to get your skis. By the time you reach the lifts it is 10.00am, and you have exhausted yourself by simply putting your boots on.

After a gentle of couple of hours on the slopes you decide to call it a day and go home. You are totally knackered, and fall asleep on the sofa to the accompaniment of children's dvd's (Winnie the Pooh in Dutch - guaranteed to be soporific) at around 3.30pm.

Needless to say, we will be booking next year's trip toute suite...


Rosie 1 March 2008 at 22:20  

I love Boy #1's 'Scream Face' whenever he looks at you. Brilliant!

Potty Mummy 2 March 2008 at 13:45  

Hi Rosie, thanks for the visit and whilst it's funny in the telling, of course like all the tricks our children pull, it tugs at the heartstrings at the time. Not enough to get me to stay and watch his whole lesson, though...

aims 2 March 2008 at 18:01  

Well - I missed you while you were off having so much fun....

I'm glad you are back....

I need a Personal Assistant as well....but for much different reasons...

Expatmum 2 March 2008 at 19:19  

I would lend you my "laundry fairy" but she seems to have done a bunk since we got back from our skiing break.

Potty Mummy 2 March 2008 at 20:09  

Hi Aims, I always fancied a male secretary myself. Oh well - a girl can dream, can't she?

EPM, mine too. She's called Muriel (have posted about her before, back in September), and it seems she got the dates of our holiday wrong because there's been neither sight nor sound of her since we got back. Very bad form, I say...

GoneBackSouth 2 March 2008 at 20:32  

Good to see you back! We took the kids skiing 2 years ago and I needed a holiday when we got back! Great fun. But off the scale in faffing about terms.

Pig in the Kitchen 2 March 2008 at 21:07  

groooaaannnn, it's such a bad plan to compare and contrast bc and ac lives isn't it? We briefly contemplated skiing this year, then calculated how long it would take to get four children into ski trousers, for one of them to say they needed a poo....
Have i said that before on your blog? I'm clearly going mad.
Glad you had a good time,I would like to go and live in a catered chalet.

Tracey 2 March 2008 at 22:11  

I don't think there is such a think as a "holiday" with kids. If anything it's harder because they and you are out of the comfort zone of home, and everything is that much harder. You have to call it an 'Adventure' - which taking kids skiing surely is! Though it's pretty smart of you to pick an adventure that involves at least some child-minding.... even if you're too buggered by the time the child-minding happens to make perfect use of the time!

ExpatKat 3 March 2008 at 04:38  

Ahh, those bc days - all but a distant memory now. Just want a holiday, don't care where or with whom.
If you find Muriel, loan her to me for a few days would you. I could do with a hand tackling Mount Washmore myself! :-)

Jonny's Mommy 3 March 2008 at 15:40  

Sounds like you had a blast...even if it was exhausting and different than before you had children. Welcome home! And thanks for letting us boring moms live through your adventures! :-)

Potty Mummy 3 March 2008 at 16:36  

GBS, faffing is definitely the word. If there was an olympic event in it, we would win.

Pig, don't talk to me about the poo thing. The number of times I was about to leave the chalet and Boy #2 made his morning delivery...

Tracey, 'adventure'. Good word. I will definitely be using it instead of holiday from now on...

EPK, still no sign of Muriel. And I would say I am only a quarter of the way up that mountain. Oxygen - or red wine - will be needed shortly.

Thanks, J's Mommy. And whilst we did have a great time, I have to say that generally? The poo cleaning operations are the same whatever language you buy your nappies in...

Iota 4 March 2008 at 17:43  

Read my blog, read my lips. Organise yourself a week-end away ON YOUR OWN. Preferably somewhere in America, and then I'll join you. It is THE BEST TONIC EVER. I haven't wiped a nose or a bottom or a kitchen counter for 4 days. Just swiped that credit card a few times. Swipe, don't wipe. That's what I say.

But I'm sure you enjoyed your ski-ing too - on another sort of level.

Potty Mummy 5 March 2008 at 11:30  

Iota, I totally agree. So much so that we are going away sans kids next weekend (more skiing). So not the US, (a little far to go for 2 days, I'm afraid), but maybe next time we can have that coffee / red wine / drunken lunch in the boat-house in Central Park. (Which reminds me of a retrospective post I've been planning...).

Will be over to check out your post asap!

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