Did I tell you about our hol? Not like me to miss a chance to brag huh? Some background required....it's very nearly Miss Dunnit's 18th birthday, and so to celebrate exam end, uni start, birthdays..three of her chums came with us to Spain. Remember, we only have one child, so it was a new experience for us ....... La Marina, taken from over my coffee cup of course, 10am last Friday
I'm already willing myself to remember what it was like;
The loveliness of waking up and knowing that you don't need to look outside to check the weather. Or waking up to discover a fresh crop of mahoooosive mosquito bites because you have an allergy to the repellants...
The fun of a day on the beach with adequate shade and drink and food just a short stagger away. Or the reticence of four 18 year old gals who collectively don't like sand or swimming in the sea because there might be erm, fishes. And can't go to the cafe hut because the sand's too hot and they're too shy to speak any Spanish....argh!
The ease of preparing for the beach - sun cream, towel, book, shade, money for drinks - my needs are simple.
Finding 'lost' swimsuits (rinsed and hanging on a line, actually), collecting books, eight factors of sun cream, glasses, changes of towels, change of costumes, debating who's ipod, which games, how much shade, how much money, the need to re-do nail varnish and schlepping the whole lot across the sand.
The fun of driving a people carrier to accomodate the girls and all their chatter.
The freaking out at sand in the car, the aircon not being up to it, the radio needs turning up to 8 kerjillion watts and oh gawd, the music!
The pleasure of a leisurely meal out, most evenings.
The confusion of polite 'I don't mind' when faced with choices, the difficulty of strange eating habits - difficult not to eat foreign food abroad!
The pleasure in seeing the girls turn from pale to tan, enjoying the sun and fresh air.
Realising that your advice about care in the sun was going to be ignored in favour of the tan. Shovelling Sudocrem onto burnt shoulders, suggesting loose t shirts instead of cami tops...ignored ..I did not get involved for the burnt bum...that was self medicated!
The pleasure of seeing the girls enjoying their exclusive time together.
Watching as they used every cup, plate, knife and spoon
in the house....and left them wherever they finished with them; realising that they weren't going to hang a towel out to dry or tidy anything....and having to wade in and teach life skills in preference to being the slave....!
Enjoying conversation about life, their universe and their plans
Actually, mostly in a group they speak too fast to be understood, they use phone text shorthand as real words and the chunks of conversation that we were privvy to were about music, men and shopping...themselves, of course!
Watching as they wandered off, oblivious to us....
This was great, Mr D and I had real lovely quality time together, no-one can ignore you like four teenaged girls!
Watching them at the fair - eighteen going on eight, excited and giggly
No pleasure like it - everyone around enjoyed their shrieking excitement..at hoop-la winning 3 bottles of cheap plonk. I haven't/daren't asked how much they spent!
Seeing the pleasure on their beautiful faces when huge ice creams were delivered to the table
Oh yeah, you can't be a sophisticated eighteen year old with a Copa, complete with paper umbrellas and sparkly things! I think the waiters enjoyed it too!
Herding them...acting in loco parentis can be a bit stressful
They can do it, of course, but they don't pay a lot of attention, so we ended up just meeting
them somewhere and guiding them back to the car
....we did that front and rear type herding: Mr D at the front looking as English as possible, me bringing up the rear....of course!
It was great. I would do it again actually; I wonder if that chance will arise? They have to be 25 to hire a car, so maybe it will make us useful for at least one more holiday?!!