I am a firm believer that one can learn something from almost any experience. Whether it's going to the supermarket ('Ah, stringers are a type of cheese'), attending a kids' birthday party ('Hmm... so it's not appropriate to take a slice of birthday cake before the candles have been lit...') or meeting a friend for coffee ('Yes... Botox can go hideously wrong'), we can take something away from every experience.
So, even on holidays at the central coast, where I have been visiting for over a decade, I still learn something new every time.
And on this particular trip, the list is already quite impressive:
- When visiting a holiday home it is not sufficient to have the keys to the front door. It is also an excellent idea to have the keys to the security padlock, so that you can actually GET to the front door. At 6.30pm. In the driving rain. With three kids in the car. Who are hungry.
- Being at home in the rain is annoying. Being at a holiday home with kids in torrential rain is like being trapped in a cage with three angry tigers. There are only so many games of Jenga and Cluedo one can throw at them before they eventually turn on you.
- The new and improved version of Cluedo is far more complicated than the original. It frightens me. I don't like change.
- In the presence of spiders, I am as Brave as a Lion.
- In the presence of mice, I turn into a cartoon character, screaming hysterically and jumping on benches. This does not earn me the respect of my children, though it gives my mother a very good laugh (though who is she to laugh I do not know, considering that in the presence of spiders she screams hysterically and jumps on benches).
- Sleeping with the Toddler in my bed does not lend itself to a good night sleep, unless one considers being woken every two hours to the cheerful sounds of "Loot, Mama, Teddy Bear!!!" to be 'good'.
- My favourite pair of jeans are disintegrating. This has little to do with my trip to the central coast, but is a fascinating piece of information nonetheless.
- I am the World's Most Inconsistent Packer. Though for one week away I brought two varieties of toothpaste, about 10,000 nappies, every children's DVD ever made, 150 outfits for Toddler, five packets of biscuits, and two foam visors for the kids to decorate (don't even ask), I neglected to pack minor essentials such as pyjamas for my daughter, a jacket for my son, long-sleeved tops for me, and chocolate. So as evening falls, we huddle frozen in front of the television, watching Shrek on DVD, trying to warm ourselves by burning nappies as I satisfy my chocolate cravings with Aldi wafer biscuits. Oh bliss.
- It is a great idea to take children's activity books with you, to provide distraction and entertainment. I wouldn't recommend the Junior Spot-The-Difference Puzzle Book, though. Way too hard for me. The kids liked it, though.
- The holidays are long.