Since child number two arrived it has been over fourteen months since my family has been away from the house and on holiday together. Given that previous holiday attempts with child number one were less than successful, it was with a sense of anticipation, fear and trepidation that we set out on a week-long family holiday over the recent Easter break. We shouldn’t have bothered. We should have stayed at home. This is part 2 of that diary (here’s part 1 in case you missed it)
- Family holiday day 5
Black cross put back onto front door of plague house, quarantine procedures re-established and disinfectant on standby. We consider cancelling holiday and returning home. Daughter shows signs of improvement. By evening daughter is bouncing off walls again, happy, charismatic little self once more. Unfortunately son spends day screaming with teething pain. Calpol not working. It must be serious!
When children are in bed, wife finds “Contagion” in DVD drawer of the Plague House. We proceed to watch it, touched by the beautiful irony the universe is serving up. Film finishes and we spend rest of evening washing hands, trying to avoid touching face (which the film tells us we do subconsciously more than 2,000 times a day) and disinfecting surfaces some more.
Wife complains that DVD has made her skin crawl and spends an hour in bed itching and touching her face. Surely Plague House hasn’t also got fleas?
Hands red raw from over-washing. Becoming concerned that I might have OCD.
I wish I was back at work.
- Family holiday day 6
Daughter woke up at 03:00 screaming in pain, with a horrific rash on her lady bits. Wife starts sobbing and reveals cause is probably due to use of new toddler wipes used the previous day. Wife spends next three hours beating herself up. The Baton of Screaming is back in play again. Everyone takes a turn with The Baton of Screaming. I consider battering myself on the head with it again. Anything for a few minutes of quiet.
I spend the next hour organising an out of hours, out of area hospital appointment. Bitterly cold outside. Snow is falling. Peace returns to house around 07:00. Wife and I giddy with tiredness.
Later in the day wife starts to complain of nausea and stomach pain and retires to bed early. I sit upstairs on my own and revert to Twitter for solace. Good old Twitter. There is always Twitter. Thankfully there is wi-fi in The Plague House. Wi-fi stops working. Wi-fi is also sick.
I wish I was back at work.
- Family holiday day 7
No diarrhoea or vomiting for 48 hours and daughters rash has improved significantly. Happy house once again, so as a treat, we organise an outing to local play park.
Daughter insists on going on insane looking zip wire. Completes a couple of zips with my help, and then tells me to go away and let her go on her own. I hesitantly “let go” physically, emotionally and mentally. Surprised at how hard I find it to expose my daughter to risk.
Daughter spends the rest of the afternoon finally happy, zipping up and down the wire with her cousin. I stand by, watching nervously, wanting to run along side her every zip, but also amazed at bravery of daughter.
Sun comes out. Last day of holiday and finally all seems well. Wife comes and gives me a hug while daughter plays happily with cousin, and son messes about contentedly in sandpit. This is how it could have been.
Unfortunately, temporary happiness broken on last go of zip wire before dinner. Daughter gets thrown off like a rag doll, does double somersault in mid-air and lands heavily on back. Terrifying moment of silence. Daughter starts screaming. Daddy and mummy breathe sigh of relief and run to winded, but not wounded, daughter. Decide not to go to A&E.
Daugther later asks, repeatedly, why I didn’t catch her when she went flying off the zip wire.
- Family holiday day 8
No further events. Exhausted family pack up and leave Plague House behind. Car breaks down on journey home.
Standing on the roadside wife and I agree that from now on we are going to scrap all holidays. We agree instead that for future holidays we will lock children in front room for a week with a box of Cheerios and a DVD of “Lord of the Flies” on loop. We will retire to bedroom with a bottle of gin, curl up and rock gently in a corner, weeping whilst staring at pictures of unattainable sunny, palm fronded beaches.