We thought we had it bad with our first child when he started grappling with the English language. We thought we had it bad when truck became cock, and clock became cock, and socks became fucks, and fox became fucks. Oh how we cringed. But WAIT! Enter second child – or as we call him “If we had him first we wouldn’t have had any more.”
He is three next month and is at the fully fledged stage of “make noises that sort of sound like coherent words but not quite.” We were completely prepared for the embarrassment – here comes the cocks and fucks we thought.
Oh no – this child is a game changer.
He has two words of choice. The first is – The N word.
The actual N word. Now we are pretty sure he hasn’t got Tourettes.
We are pretty sure he hasn’t learned it from us – or grandma – Great grandma could have been an option – but he’s only met her once and she’s not a massive racist.
We also haven’t been letting him listen to NWA – “Fuck the police” and all that.
We can not for the life of us figure out what he is actually saying. For a while I thought it might be “New Car” – but he keeps shouting it whilst looking at his brother. And he doesn’t work at we buy any car.com
It’s pretty much the first thing he says in the morning. He walks out of his room – sees his older brother and shouts the N word at him. (If you have any clue what he might be saying please send your answers on a postcard – before social services get hold of us).
Pretty much the worst thing he could say right?
Well – enter his second word of choice. Which generally immediately follows the N word – THE BLOODY C Word – C#NT!!!
Now it might be that he’s saying “can’t” like this Alan Partridge episode :
But in which case – why is he continually screaming at us “N word C#nt!” what can’t we do? And why are you being racist towards us? NONE OF THIS MAKES SENSE.
I can’t take him in public for God’s sake. It sounds like I’m growing a tiny angry racist Danny Dyer.
If we have a third GOD knows what he’ll be screaming at the top of his lungs in a few years time as they seem to be getting progressively worse. “This is our third son, say hello!”
Cock Fuck C#nt N word twat wanker shit goo goo ga ga BOLLOCKS!!!!
Have you ever tried to tuck into a beautifully crafted Roast Dinner with all the trimmings, with a strange aroma of sweet stools floating across the mint sauce? Then you, my friend, are on to the latest diet craze – the extraordinarily effective appetite suppressant we call having children.
Firstly a newborn will not let you eat. It senses when a meal is near by and will demand your full attention and both hands.
Secondly, the Mac an’ Cheese you’ve prepared does not pair well with baby upchuck.
Another thing that can put you off your fajitas is a baby clamped to your bleeding nipples draining the calcium from you.
Now – when a child starts weaning they have the power to put you off all of your solid family favourites. My friend, once you’ve seen Lasagne, Cottage Pie, and, God forbid, Tuna Pasta Bake go through a human and re-enter the atmosphere an hour later in much the same form – trust me – those meals will not be a part of your weekly food diary again.
You will also be generally full already when your meal arrives because you have been tucking into disgusting leftovers strewn around your house – burnt ends of fish fingers, crusts from toast, peanut butter from the jar, cold beans, lurpack.
Ever had to scrape chilli con carne out of a child’s neck rolls? No more Old el Paso for me ta.
I can honestly say I haven’t fully enjoyed a Christmas Dinner for five years now. Who wants to wolf down a load of stuffing balls when you’ve spent the morning removing your children’s own balls of stuffing from their Pampers and rubbing Sudacream into bum holes?
And meals out? Ha!! Ha!! forget it.
So there you have it – want your appetite suppressed? Forget any Kim Kardashian sponsored lollypop – no, no, just have kids.
Adult parties (I mean parties as an adult – not orgies or anything) are great.
I don’t get invited to any – but what I imagine is that there’s usually prosecco in fancy glasses, nibbles (not nipples) from M&S, no cringe worthy party games and great talking points. I imagine people stand around getting pissed, some classic George Michael plays in the background and there is intelligent natter about Brexit and Love Island.
Children’s parties, on the other hand, are the worst. The absolute worst. They’re shite.
First off when you arrive you realise you know no one. The kids run off together screaming towards the soft play and there you are with a GROUP OF STRANGERS. You might have nodded to them in the playground before but you don’t know anyone’s names. You need name tags – you know the kids but you can’t rock up and say “Hi Teddy’s mummy! How was your journey?”
You have to mingle and try to think of acceptable things to talk about with these strangers that will make you terribly interesting and worthy of friendship (because you’re so lonely) but can’t think of a single thing to say. My poor husband could only think of the following opener with another dad “how did you find parents’ evening?” What have we become? The most boring mo fos to ever grace a soft play? Me – I have word vomit. Within about five minutes I was talking to a stranger about how racist Super Ted was. Why? I can’t tell you. I really can’t.
There are no lubricating tools – no prosecco, no wine – you’re basically thrust into an awkward social situation with name tags and no alcohol. You’re at an AA meeting in a f#cking soft play.
There are no nibbles – there are only nibbles for the brats. And even though the nibbles are chanting your name – cocktail sausages, frazzles etc – you can’t touch them! Because the other parents will look down on you – for taking food off babies and all that.
There is cake snobbery afoot. You have to have made it yourself to even consider yourself being called a mum. It has to be a great British bake off masterpiece. A fucking rainbow unicorn three tiered ensemble. If you can’t do that then it has to be bespoke made by a professional; a hundred tiny handmade sylvanian family members on the top. Mine was from Sainsburys.
The blowing out of the candles is bloody terrifying. There are twenty kids sat around in fabric with the same flammability as a pringle – Pirates and princesses that could go up at any second. Open flames are not, I repeat, not a good idea.
The party games are barbaric and only serve to make children cry. They are also the most excruciatingly dull things to watch. Have you sat and watched OTHER PEOPLE play pass the parcel? There is literally nothing in it for you. Like – nothing. And sure enough your child won’t get a haribo or a crayon or whatever and will come to you screaming that it’s not fair. If pass the parcel isn’t bad enough – musical statues is horrendous – it’s where you repeatedly point at kids that move and say “you’re out.” causing tears and misery. Who invented these things?
They drag on forever. Two hours feels like two days. You have absolutely nothing to pass the time other than idle chit chat about the snow or recycling and watching your kid doesn’t catch alight.
There are dozens of them – the invites keep coming in an ongoing relay of terror that YOU started by inviting a whopping 18 kids to your child’s birthday and now they will forever repay the favour. You are going to spend a lot of money on presents – until they’re probably twelve. All eighteen of them.
You finally get to take home a bin bag full of presents that you then have the pleasure of seeing your child rip through the next day – and what do you get? A bill. And another invite to the same bastard soft play the next weekend.
Do you know what – I’m 36 this year. I think I’m going to have an adult party of my own (no orgies!) – I will invite all the school mums and none of the children. I’ll have a bespoke cake made with Idris Elba on the top of it. There will be Prosecco and NO PARTY games. I want eighteen presents mind. I’ll dress up as a normal functioning adult.
I realise I have used the following words in this post: Idris Elba, lubrication, adult parties, orgies and thrust – so I may meet some like minded mums due to Google search.
We return home and swing open the caravan door to reveal two sights at our feet. One small bin with a dodgy, luminous orange, sweet and sour mess crawling out of the sides and a three time wrapped shady nappy laying next to it. Mother is slumped in the corner with a can of larger and the toddler is careering through the place – unclogged and happy. A pong of sweet and sour shite hangs in the air. Outside the rain is still hammering down as we watch my partner run with the two bags to the bins like a bomb disposal expert.
We all sit, slightly dazed, watching In The Night Garden. While Oopsie Daisy sluts it up, Mother asks about our meal and we relay how amazing it was – to her bitter face, still smarting from the sweet and sour Hell.
Eventually it is time for the toddler to be trapped in his tiny room. Daddy reads him The Tiger who came to tea and we lovingly kiss our son goodnight before wedging two chairs up against his door handle. My partner goes for a walk in the torrential rain to Spar to get us a selection of chocolate bars (which is why I am marrying him) and we watch Father Ted. Every cloud…
The next day I decide to give swimming a miss… and my Father arrives to join in on the festivities. We all go for a drive to the nearest seaside town and the sun is out. It is beautiful – but, of course, it wouldn’t be a holiday in England without the temperature being absolutely arctic. I mean – it was fucking freezing. But still – beautiful.
Back at the caravan and it’s toddler nap time. My partner and I decide to have two hours together and to explore the caravan site. We walk around, without the toddler. We hold hands. Suddenly we are teenagers at the fair. We walk around the arcades. I momentarily think how romantic it would be if he won me an Olaf or a Minion, before remembering that we have more sense than money. As parents, when everything is about our child, our baby on the way, work and cleaning – it’s moments like these that really do feel magical. The tackiness of our surroundings – and the numerous things to snigger at just added to how special it felt.
Time for lunch and my partner rushes back to the caravan to pick up toddler duty so my parents can go to the restaurant we had been to the night before (so Mother, the woman who enjoys haute cuisine, could shake off her Papa Johns and iffy Chinese experiences).
My partner leaves me in the queue for Burger King – which is epic. I have given up on the toddler having any fibre or nutrition this weekend so I decide to introduce him to his Majesty. I order my partner’s special (two burgers) and nuggets for my nugget and something for myself (and the poor baby growing inside me). The angry Scottish teenage server SHOUTS to the entire crowd my entire list of an order, despite me being stood nose to nose with him:
OK THAT’S ONE WHOPPER MEAL! SUPERSIZED. AN EXTRA HAMBURGER! LARGE. FOUR LARGE FRIES! LARGE. A CHICKEN BURGER! SUPERSIZED. AND NINE…NUGGETS!!
as very small children all around gaze at me and my distended stomach in awe. I scurry off – back to the caravan.
We watch the toddler feed his nuggets to the Tiger who came to tea and melt.
My parents return and Mother and partner leave their ‘holiday’. My Father and I remain with the toddler to savour the rest of this time off. I decide to brave swimming once more. And it’s a success, this time it is quiet. A lovely woman lends me her child’s arm bands for my toddler and we have a lovely little swim. Ok…ok… this is nice. It would seem, if you can get rid of 98% of the patrons – the holiday ain’t half bad.
Dad and I both give dinner a miss and it’s off to bed we go: toddler trapped in the tiny room, grandpa taking up the whole living room and me in the master bedroom. Cut off from the TV, no Internet, no movies, no books. It really gives you time to think – time to think how shit it is without Netflix.
Toddler decides that the caravan is no longer fun and decides to scream / cry all the way through the night. I get about three hours of sleep.
The next day we put the toddler in various arcade rides as a going home treat. Four out of five of them don’t actually work so we spend our time strapping him into rides and then taking him out of them and getting a member of staff to retrieve our pound coins.
“Are they all broken?” I ask the member of staff.
He just shrugs at me and walks off.
And that sums it up really.
“Dad…take us home. It’s time to go home.”
And that is the best thing about a child friendly caravan holiday – they sure make home look better, in every feasible way. There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home…
We are back in the old caravan; My mother, partner and toddler. I look at how many hours it is until toddler nap time. Quite a few. I put on CBeebies. Mother sits in the corner reading her kindle. Partner sits in the opposite corner watching his iPad. I twiddle my thumbs and wonder why we needed to come to a caravan park to do any of these things.
I have brought nothing with me. No books, no magazines, no technical device. I have my iPhone but the super fun part about the caravan is that there is absolutely no internet connection.
Partner tells me that the Owner’s only Fitness Suite that we handily overlook has free wifi and if you hover about near the door you can get enough wifi to download something to watch or check Facebook. I may be a peasant – but I still have my dignity thanks very much. I refuse to stand outside the gym we aren’t allowed in staring through the window in the pissing down rain, like an abandoned cat, waving an iPhone in the air ; The owners inside, trotting on a treadmill “Look Tarquin! A peasant!”
I settle on doing the washing up. We have a dishwasher at home – so it’s quite a novelty. And I might put on the kettle.
The toddler is in a furious mood and I determine that it is down to constipation. Mother decides to pop to the nearest village to get some toddler laxatives – (sings) Holiday!! Celebrate!!
I see that House-sitter is on ITV. Holiday saved. Thank Christ.
Toddler goes down for a nap (he’s exhausted because he was up half the night) and partner goes for a sleep too. Great. Such fun.
I make a hot cup of tea and a couple of pieces of toast and sit in the corner listening to the heavy pitter patter of torrential rain on the caravan roof. I look out across the park and suddenly feel a surge of happiness, of nostalgia.
It feels like we are on a boat, out at sea. I feel a bit like a child myself. I remember the caravan holidays when I was young – how exciting they were. I feel all warm and snuggly. I sit in the peace and quiet, admiring Goldie Hawn’s figure, drinking a hot cup of tea (a miracle in itself). The toast tastes better than it does at home. Ain’t life great?
Mother bursts through the caravan door, drenched and wind swept, a bottle of laxative in her hand.
As soon as the toddler awakes Mother insists we take advantage of the on site soft play area – as we are allowed in that part. We rush over in the car, as it’s too wet and windy to walk there.
The soft play area is where everyone is sheltering from the rain. And I mean everyone.
There appear to be three members of staff behind the desk – but none of them are supervising the soft play. All around us are signs that read “This soft play is UNSUPERVISED” wonderful. The place is apparently for under eights. This is not the case. If these children are indeed under eight some of them have very interesting metabolisms. A five foot Brian Blessed lookalike is clambering down the tiny slide taking out several babies on her way down. I fear for my own toddler’s life.
There is a ‘baby only’ area at the far left with a wooden sign with a tiger or giraffe on it (I can’t tell which animal as it has been torn in half or eaten) but it still reads “If you’re taller than this, you can’t play”. The sign is about a foot high. Despite this – there are herds of boys stampeding through the area with the beginnings of facial hair on their top lips. One lonely baby sits in the corner, clearly petrified. My toddler pulls himself up onto a large cushion just before it is whipped away from under him by a boy with a can of Strongbow in his hand. (Ok, he didn’t have a can of Strongbow- but he looked like he’d have no problem getting served).
There is a large tunnel that children can crawl through that is not transparent. And a queue to get into it. Every time my toddler waddles into it I hold my breath that he will re-appear at some point, without a bloody nose and a black eye. This is not the sort of soft play where you can sit in the corner with a coffee and watch your kid frolic about. This is the sort of soft play where 99% of the dangers are not soft – and it is seemingly the most stressful experience you will ever have – other than the swimming pool peasant frenzy.
If soft play was designed to be a ‘safe’ area – may I recommend that you stay in the caravan and pop on Cbeebies. Put a few cushions about the place. It’s a better option. And won’t give you severe anxiety and heartburn.
We last less than thirty minutes in this satanic pit.
We are back in the caravan and a plan is made for my partner and I to have a DATE! I pop some laxative in some chocolate milk for the toddler and leave him with his grandmother and we are off. We leave the caravan park and go to a pub in the next village.
The pub is lovely. I have the Surf and Turf which is a Sirloin steak and Scampi. The steak is cooked to perfection. It is juicy and tender. It is absolutely delicious. My partner and I chat and eat our amazing meal – and relax. I feel myself truly relax for the first time since we arrived. THIS is what I needed. This is what holidays are about. I am happy.