Holidaying with Harriet: Spanish sun or mardy bum?

So we’re back home after our two weeks in Spain.

We had our fair share of sun and some rain, and the holiday passed relatively uneventfully. Exactly what I was hoping for. I wanted to write a blog post about the experience, but I didn’t want it packed full of drama thank you very much! That’s not to say there was none…

There was a spectacular dad fail on the second day when we were moving rooms. The husband sensibly put an (opened) box of formula in the case which completely emptied and left a suspicious white powder trail across the complex and covered everything in the case. We had to spend ages washing it out and everything in it. The smell lingered the rest of the holiday and the thought turns my stomach even now.

Incidents aside, what I will remember fondly is the precious family time- the break from (most of) the chores and the rushing around to really, truly take in our little miracle, Harriet, on the brink of her first birthday, loving her holiday and loving life.

I got to cuddle her with no distractions, burying my nose in her wild curls and her head smelling a mix of fresh air and sunshine- that smell only holidays can give. (On the flip side it meant having to deal with extra knotty morning hair which does distract from the picture perfect image I may have created!)

I got to see Harriet ‘the flirt’ in action. She’s taken to smiling, waving and pointing at everyone and everything- man, woman, black, white, cat, dog, grabbing random people’s hands or stroking their backs. While that behaviour would be far from acceptable if she wasn’t little and cute(!), it resulted in more holiday friends than we have ever had before- from the couple on the bus, to the barman, to the check in staff at the airport. She was a definite talking point!

I got to see Harriet at her absolute happiest, splashing about in the pool with a look of pure joy on her face. It was contagious. Another of her happy places was in her baby carrier. It’s not something we really use at home, but it proved an invaluable change of scene for her on long walks and in getting her around the airport. The only downside to her physical display of excitement (namely flailing her arms and legs around) was the need for the husband to use a glasses case as a makeshift cricket box… ouch.

I got to see Harriet a lot more than expected. We naively thought putting her to bed later would mean a lie in for us. No chance. She is a creature of habit and you can pretty much set your watch by her… but who doesn’t melt at hearing ‘mama’ and ‘dadda’ drifting out of the travel cot? I let her off…

I got packing the ‘mum bag’ down to a tee. As any travelling mum will know, the holiday bag is a change bag on steroids. Yes I’ve got the nappies and wipes and also the suncream, baby hat, snacks, cardi, toys, plant pot, kitchen sink… Not once was I let down by my veritable Mary Poppins bag. The regular change bag just won’t do though; you have to use one that’s passable as a beach bag. It’s the holiday law… because whipping nappies and nappy bags out of a nautical themed bag gives you so much more of a ‘Club Tropicana’ vibe. Honest.

In some ways I can’t disagree with my friend’s comment that holidays with kids are “Same sh*t just more sun and a better view”, as they still needing feeding, their bum changed and to be consoled after random meltdowns. However, after getting battered by hailstones this morning, finding my fingers frozen and battling against the elements to get Harriet in her car seat, I think holidays might just edge it…

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