The problem with holidays is the preparation, bad enough if you are a solo traveller but many times worse if partner and children are involved. First is the decision of what each member of the family believes to be essential for their future comfort and happiness. I was reminded of this yesterday while waiting to be served at the bakery. A four year old child watched in disbelief as the last chocolate donut (with sprinkles) was handed over to ANOTHER PERSON. He screamed “ No! That’s my donut. Mummy that’s my donut! Why has that woman got MY donut?”
He was outraged and obviously angry that his mother had not snatched it out of the hand of the woman who had taken HIS donut. His embarrassed mother tried to shush him and distract him by offering all the other delights on display. He wasn’t having a bar of it and sobbed even more loudly as each delicious treat was offered. Didn’t his mother understand that a chocolate donut (with sprinkles) was the only cake or biscuit acceptable?
I couldn’t help wondering if this occurrence marked a turning point in his relationship with his mother…..obviously she was not the all-powerful woman he had believed her to be. In later life would he talk about the horror of that moment ?
My two older sons still speak in hushed voices of the time they were left for an hour in the Royal Women’s Hospital crèche while I attended a prenatal clinic….their sense of abandonment still lingers forty years later. Many would find that laughable compared with so many who are in childcare constantly but to them it is very real.
How many parents have accidentally left behind that essential item their child cannot live or sleep without. We left Oggy Doggy on a fence post more than an hour’s drive away and when we realised managed to obtain another one identical to the original. Was our child happy? No he was disgusted. Didn’t we know Oggy Doggy smelt different?
A friend decided to let her child pack her own bag rather than face the inevitable arguments only to find she’d packed books, pencils and socks but no shoes other than the sandals she was wearing, no underwear at all and no tops. Neither was happy but the child did learn consequences.
And let’s not forget the adult male in the mix…..always insist he packs for himself!!!!