Nothings simple is it? 

I’ve taken lots of holidays with the kids over the years.  Its hard work – the packing;  the driving;  the whingeing;  the unpacking;  the feeding;  the washing up;  the washing;  the packing;  the driving;  the unpacking;  the picking up of the dogs from kennels.  Ahhhh holidays – does anyone actually go on holiday for a rest?  Taking kids on holidays requires stamina and planning.  If you ever need some major event planned to the last detail get a mother to do it.  At preschool I have heard staff say ‘If you need something done get a mother of twins to do it’  They just DO!  I did used to be pretty organised, but I’ve slipped a bit over the years.   In sydney our kennel lady used to come collect the dog – such a big help.  Sometimes she used to phone and say she’d been held up and wouldnt be there till 8.30 or 9pm.  Apologising profusely.  Usually when she arrived she’d ask – So you’re all packed.  Me:  No.   I’m about to start.  Then I’d have a glass of wine, line all the gear up at the back door and start the packing.  I always found that a glass of wine got you over that late night OMG its just not worth going feeling. 

Before we moved here to the Snowy Mountains we used to come for holidays sometimes.  Loooong drive with 3 kids who like nothing better than whinging and fighting.  It was really special the trip down where the brothers were being nice to the little sister for a change………..and taught her to burp on demand.  I was a little afraid that they might teach her to fart on demand on the way home but they didnt TG.   Somehow you can understand how girls who grow up without brothers dont quite understand them?  Altho understanding them is a little scary in itself.  

We recently met a girl (grownup) who had twin brothers…………….my daughter said ‘YOU POOR THING!’   Being the little sister of two brothers is ‘special’ being the little sister of twin brothers is more than ‘special’.  I must admit tho that its not quite as bad as what happened to one of the bosses at the boys casual job.  What his older twin brothers did – well, so glad I wasn’t their mother!

Going on holidays here has been an interesting thing.  I don’t do heights – ewwww NO!  Not sure that moving to the Snowy Mountains was such a good idea when you have to go over some very hairy ‘hills’ to get anywhere!  My kids are familiar with ‘Shuttup, just shuttup’ and ‘OMG, OMG’.  You don’t talk when mum is going around hairpin bends.  Not while she’s going backwards either.   And that’s an issue when you take other people’s children away on holidays with you.  I’m more than happy to have them along, feed them, listen to them whinging, hassle them about sunscreen and GO TO SLEEP NOW.  But they have never been taught ‘mountain road manners’  They just don’t know when to be quiet.  Even when their friends are sitting quietly and shaking their head slightly, they just don’t stop talking!  They don’t realise the mother is not only on the edge of the road on the side of a very steep freaking hill with a semi coming at her and 6 cars behind trying to push her along…………and they don’t care.  All I can say is TG for the Lolly Shop in Braidwood.  Nothing like some good old fashioned sugar before you hit those 3 ‘Government funded Blockspots’ on  Snowball mountain.  Why the Government funded them instead of taking the mountain alltogether I don’t know! 

I can recommend the Sour Lemon lollies to take your mind off almost anything.  We didn’t get into them till we were already on the coast road (tame by comparison)  was funny going around those corners pulling horrendous faces because of the sourness and the oncoming drivers wondering WTF? 

We went (not on holidays but for a snowboard competition – see snowboard kingdom.blogspot.com) through the back of Thredbo to Falls Creek in Victoria.  I’d meant to leave early but the teenagers wouldnt get organised so we didn’t leave till afternoon.  I tortured them from Jindabyne where we picked up the snowboard (and batteries) with my singing and my ipod…………..I love that!  They were so well behaved after that (I’ll sing if you don’t………….sorry mum).   Now that is a hairy road for someone like me.  One of the boys sat next to me with the map going ‘There’s a couple of nasty ones and then a straight bit………..yep straight up or down!  But we did ok – altho very slow.  One vehicle kept pulling up behind us, then overtaking, then pulling into different stations along the way (work stations nothing else out there).  Then it got dark.  And we still hadn’t got over the border.  It was close by but where?  We realised we weren’t going to make it till after 8 or maybe 9 and tried to phone the cabin we were booked into.  Gotta love those mobile phone people – they gave us the number of the country club in the town, luckily that nice woman gave us the correct number.   We arrived to find that nothing was open.  Except TG a pizza place across the road. 

Next day we set off merrily on the 37.5 k trip.  K and I to drop the teenagers on the slopes and then go SHOPPING  – Yaaaay.   Only it didn’t work that way.  37.5 k’s of hairpin bends one after the other, I don’t think there was a straight stretch of 200 metres anywhere!  And there were only 3 guard rails – the rest…………..straight over the edge!   One of the boys was looking through the camera out the window going ‘This is Awesome – look at this!’   That is the sort of awesome I can do without.  We made it to the top at long last.  K and I decided we couldn’t stomach that again and went for coffee and cake.  Same trip back in reverse – still very very nasty – I was a wreck by the time we got to the last bend, where we saw a white ute with a canopy coming towards us (fairly fast too!)  and written on the sides in red – Careful Explosives!  So yes, it could have been worse – that car could have been behind us trying to overtake all the way!  Or it could have been a white out fog……………..like it was the next day.  I’m not sure if it was a help not being able to see the edge of the road, my memory still told me what was down there.  I told the boy if he got to the nationals again his father was taking him! 

The first time we went for a trip to Sydney after the teenagers got their L plates was interesting too.  I wanted them to get some hours up, especially since I get tired driving all the way there and back.  But the boys had stayed up the night before watching dvd’s so were too tired mum.  I got to Canberra and spat the dummy.  One of you is getting out and putting the petrol in the car and the other is driving the next leg.  Go and pay for petrol and out to the car. Teenager: Oh I cant drive Mum I’m too tired.  I got in the car and I pulled into the driveway ready to head out into the road…. You’re too TIRED!  Teenager:  What do you want me to kill everyone then?  Yes, Yes, why not!  At least I wouldn’t have to drive while you slept and be so tired I couldn’t enjoy myself yadayadayada……………and so it went on and on and on.  I had a full head of steam up!  Interestingly, as I got into yelling stride and started to pull out into the road about 30 cop cars and bikes all congregated on the other side of the road – didn’t worry me, didn’t even lose my rhythm!  I’m betting they were chatting later saying ‘Did you see that disturbed woman with those 3 kids in the car, going right off!’  No cop in his right mind would pull you over until you’d run out of steam, that’s for sure.   I do have a chuckle occasionally when I see some poor mother going right off as she is driving – you don’t have to hear the words, you can see the face, and the mouth is going flat out and the kids are sitting there going ho hum.  Ah well, we’re only human after all! 

This year just for a change we are leaving the boys at home and going away without them.  Cool.  Of course, because of the ‘Inconsistency of Teenagers’ we had to put the dogs into kennels anyway, but at least the cats and horse have company.  Hope the house is still standing when we get back……………….there’s no ‘Teenager’ clause in house insurance is there?

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