If ever you’ve booked a weekend away and come home feeling like you’re children are the worst behaved kids on the planet, you will be able to relate to this.
Last weekend we organised a special trip for the kids to London, something I’ve been so excited about, in fact, I’ve hardly been able to contain my excitement – I love London and when we took the boys just before Christmas we had a blast. We organised to stay in The Draycott hotel, a luxury 5* hotel in the heart of Chelsea, with stunning rooms and grand arched doorways. The boys were mesmerised from the second they walked through the door and were greeted by the friendly staff who showed us to our room and explained (much to everyone’s delight) that complimentary tea and coffee would be served in the afternoon, champagne in the evening and finally, as a bed time treat, complimentary hot chocolate and biscuits in the snug at 9pm.
When we arrived in our room the kids immediately snuggled down to watch TV (which had kids channels – thank god), while Adam and I tried to wrestle Edith into the bath. Reuben was especially captivated with the rhino that was on one of the beds, in “his room” which was basically a single room down the hall with it’s own bathroom. We all devoured the complimentary vanilla shortbread and then Adam put the boys to bed while I fed Edith and put her in her travel cot (which, naturally, she climbed out of at 12am and got into bed with me). We could very well have taken the opportunity to go out at that point as The Draycott offers a wonderful babysitting service, but I’ve never been much of a fan of babysitting services so we helped ourselves to hot chocolate, biscuits and relaxed in the room while the kids snoozed… little did we know the following day would spell disaster.
I’m just going to say, I don’t have high expectations for children’s behaviour – they are children, I expect that I will have to correct them, I expect them to squabble and I expect them to be challenging at times. Children most definitely should be seen AND heard, just as much as any adult BUT…
I don’t expect them to throw yoghurt at you when you are trying to stop them eating raw butter in the luxury dining hall of your hotel (Edith)
I don’t expect phrases like “We never get anything, our life is so boring” while walking around London Zoo on a pre-requested visit (Reuben)
I don’t expect punch ups because one of them (still not sure which) looked at the other “with an evil squint”.
These things, and more, I do not expect.
Right from the moment the kids opened their eyes on Sunday morning, to laying them down after the train journey from hell, we had the WORST behaviour. One thing I can definitely attest to is that there was no judgement at all from the staff at the hotel who were both kind and patient, especially with Edith who was clearly brewing a cold and just screamed almost constantly. The boys, who ran up and down their beautiful hall way, picked up apples to eat from the apple stand – a point of intense excitement for Reuben who is always on the lookout for free grub – and then offered out the half eaten cores as bizarre trophies of affection, were never sneered at once. In fact the staff seemed to delight in having rambunctious guests and for that I cannot thank them enough!
After a very delicious breakfast, we chose the Zoo as our attraction of the day (Reuben’s choice) and even getting there was stressful with Reuben running off in the underground (slow clap for you child of mine) and Toby falling over at the top of almost every escalator because he lacked the ability to just step off, creating what can only be described as a pile up of pissed off Londoners and bewildered tourists.
I know on a logical level that children can be really difficult in high stress, fast paced situations but we had a 9 hour flight to Florida not so long ago and everyone was complimenting our children, yet a 1.58hr train journey home from London left people (silently) applauding our departure because Edith wouldn’t stop screaming!
I think sometimes you just have to write a weekend off as a difficult time don’t you? Both of us immediately said there is no way we are EVER taking the children out of the house again, yet is that the right thing to do? Wait until they are older and can be reasoned with or does that just exacerbate the problem? I’ll let you know when my stress levels reduce!