If I’d a pound, euro or dollar for every time someone asked me what ‘the new normal’ would be like I’d be the richest man in the world.
And be able to take the whole family on holiday.
Because that’s what I took out of the Family Travel webinar this week.
Where I was told that from now on ‘the children will get a big say in where we go on holiday.’
It’s called ‘pester power’.
And all of us who have been blessed/cursed with kids will know that the pestering starts from the moment you get the suitcases out of the attic.
Here are some random memories of holidays past and some admissions of bad behaviour…
The Scary One will tell you that was mostly me.
Men in Rome
Rome: And you’re rushing to make your audience with the Pope…
Well, visit to the Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel. But you know what I mean.
When the Son and Heir decided that he needed to have some lunch. We had told to bulk up at breakfast.
Un pezzo, the slice of pizza Romans buy from pizza counters, wouldn’t do and he had to have pasta, meat and dessert.
‘If that boy doesn’t hurry up I’ll throw him in the Tiber,’ rasped his usually patient father who was immediately called out for making a scene.
Turns out though that Ally, or Alessandro as we’ll call him for these purposes, was just following the maxim ‘When in Rome,’
Because the Romans never like to be rushed.
The Big Grapple
New York: And I get that children want to head for the clothes stores when they’re in NY.
But despite our protestations The Son and Heir decided he wanted a new pair of trainers.
And had to wear them which meant we had to stop for him as he hobbled around Manhattan.
Now this isn’t all about The Son and Heir because when I took my Dear Old Mum out to NY for a family holiday she played up again.
She insisted that we spend forever in Macy’s.
She dissed my choice of a pink Guess handbag for my wife and then rushed me through every site.
As I tried to get souvenirs for the family.
London: Now sometimes even when you get a break from the kids they still spoil it.
We’d scored a weekend away in Theatreland, London’s West End, to watch Carole King’s Beautiful musical.
When the next door neighbours started phoning up towards the end of the show.
To complain that the kids were having a party next door and that they had called the police.
It would have been easier if they had just invited them…
And when the dust settled Daddy’s Little Girl was even invited to to babysit for her.
Majorca: And you’re having to keep two kiddies safe in a waterpark where salmon-pink potbellied Brits are whizzing down the chutes.
Myself and the Son and Heir mastered the Beast.
While Daddy’s Little Girl was hurt in battle and bravely soldiered on after we’d taken her to the first aid centre and got her plastered.
No, not that plastered, we’re not irresponsible parents…
Although the Scary One did calm down with some Rioja after all that.
Paris: And she can’t take me anywhere (https://en.parisinfo.com).
The Parisians’ famous rudeness was put to the test when I tried to take back a guide book I’d just bought.
The shipowner on the Left Bank did her best insouciant shrug and answered me back in English when I tried to speak French.
And, of course, the kiddie winkles didn’t go a bundle on being told that they could only have frites.
Because the prices in the fast-food stalls started hiking up when they heard our English accents.
MEET YOU WITH THE FAMILY